On the Front Foot: World awaits result of spot-fix investigation not the IPL final


The richest cricket tournament on the planet reaches its messy climax today in Kolkata. The result of the Indian Premier League final between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians is almost incidental, because for the past 10 days the IPL have been rocked by allegations of spot fixing, which have embraced players, officials, owners and Bollywood stars.

The three cricketers originally charged with offences, including the Test bowler S Sreesanth remain in custody. Nobody knows the extent of the murky dealings but the involvement of the government, who intend to enact a new law, means they are being taken seriously. So far, the omniscient chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, N Srinivasan, has managed to avoid resignation, if not censure.

Srinivasan, like many involved in the running of Indian cricket, appears compromised. As the boss of Indian Cements he also owns IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings. CSK have been dragged into the scandal through Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, the team principal arrested by Mumbai police. Srinivasan has waved away suggestions that there might be a conflict of interest and said yesterday he will not be bulldozed into resigning. But he is not alone.

The IPL chairman, television chat- show host Rajiv Shukla, is also the government's minister for parliamentary affairs. Rahul Dravid, one of the most respected men in world cricket and captain of Rajasthan Royals, said after his team lost Friday night's semi-final that the tournament had to proceed, but urged the police investigation to yield a result.

Pietersen back, but for how long?

England's season, as so many before it, has been dominated by the shadow of Kevin Pietersen. The captain, Alastair Cook, has confirmed Pietersen will return as soon as he is fit.

Pietersen himself turned up at Lord's last week and was in the dressing room when England won the First Test. Presumably he wanted to be part of it, and the team made it clear he was welcome now he is fully reintegrated. Yet it seems odd that Pietersen was not present at Lord's for the player of the year dinner on the eve of the Test, probably a more fitting venue to meet his pals than the dressing room, which is usually considered sacrosanct and limited to those involved. Everybody, including his colleagues, is wondering how long it will all go on.

Pietersen will return for the two Ashes series, home and away, this year but speculation is rampant that he might then retire from international cricket.

Finn gets woodworm

England's new nightwatchman, Steve Finn, finally has a bat sponsor. During his vigil in Dunedin, his first innings in the role, he batted for nearly five hours with a bat as plain as a pikestaff. Bat-makers Woodworm now adorn his blade, but will hope for more than his 16 balls and 20 minutes at Lord's.

Fudpucker stumps Coney

This is the 30th anniversary of New Zealand's first Test victory in England, at Headingley. Jeremy Coney, who hit the winning four, recalls the dressing-room toast. "I spilled a revolting drink. A base of beer, lashing of champagne, two nips of Galliano, topped up with leftover orange cordial from 'drinks'. A Fudpucker. It stained my shirt and burned my stomach lining."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific