New Delhi, May 20 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker and former cricketer Kirti Azad has begun his fast today to highlight the shenanigans of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament, which he feels is hurting the reputation of cricket.
Azad began his fast at gate number five of the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, saying that he is not against the format of the game, but was not in tune with the recent incidents taking place outside the ground after IPL matches.
"There is no transparency now. The discipline has also finished following the untoward incidents that take place outside the ground. Who is responsible for all this?" asked Azad
"Just think, what impression would these (unpleasing incidents) be leaving on the minds of youngsters, who want to play cricket for the country in future. Is this the message we want to give to our people through the game of cricket? Why doesn't it take place in Test matches, ODI matches and even T20 World Cup matches? Why do we get to see it only here (in IPL). What have you exactly sold that you are quiet on the issue?" he added.
Azad also sought an explanation from the finance ministry over alleged money-laundering cases linked to the IPL.
"I would raise this issue again and again. We live in an independent India," he added.
Azad had earlier on Friday compared the IPL tournament to a fantastic cinema script, where there are both heroes and villains providing full entertainment to the viewers.
"It's a fantastic script of the IPL. IPL is supposed to be entertainment, so is cinema, which is an entertainment. So, the only thing left in this entertainment of IPL was rape. When you go and watch a cinema, you find a hero, a villain. So, we have seen how smugglers earlier or people used to money launder from here. We have seen how foreign exchange regulations have been violated by the IPL. We have seen one player slapping the other, that's another entertainment," said Azad.
Expressing apprehension over the fact that the law is not taking its due course in all untoward matters related to the IPL, Azad said: "We have seen money-laundering case, then we have seen how people are ready to spot-fix, that is spot fixing. Now, the rape has come into it. And, there are so many things, you have got full 'masala', it's full entertainment, a very good cinema can come out of it. If somebody wants to give me a role in it, even of a villain, I am ready to take it, because I think nobody better would enact that."
"And they are above the law, so they don't even have to go to the police. I suppose they tried their best that the Australian lady on whom an attempt to rape had taken place that don't go to the police, but she did. So, it's a beautiful story, the real IPL we are seeing. And, it is unfortunate they are above the law," he added.
The IPL over the last week has been caught in a slew of controversies.
First, there was a sting operation done by a TV channel that showed IPL players indulging in spot fixing. Then Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan's ban from the Wankhede Stadium for five years following a scuffle with the guards.
The latest controversy was the arrest and subsequent release of Royal Challengers Bangalore player Luke Pomersbach on charges of molesting an Indian-American woman at the ITC Maurya Sheraton Hotel in Delhi. (ANI)