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The business of… the IPL scandal

The Indian Premier League was set up in 2008, and is now worth a cool $4 billion. But its fate is in the balance following recent allegations of corruption, fraud, and match-fixing.

May 2, 2010 12:23 by

Shashi Tharoor

Another figure in the IPL scandal is Shashi Tharoor, India’s former Minister of State for External Affairs.

Many regarded Tharoor as representative of the changing politics of a “new India.” Reuters said he is “among the country’s few reformist politicians.” But the minister was forced to resign over charges that Sunanda Pushkar, a female friend of his, received a free stake in the Kochi franchise of the IPL. Tharoor maintains there was no wrongdoing on his part.

“Tharoor had played an instrumental role in galvanizing the Kochi consortium, insisting all along that he had no financial stake in it,” the Hindustan Times reported earlier in this month.

“All I did on my part was to offer encouragement, blessings and expert advice when required to the bidders,” The Hindustan times quoted Tharoor as saying. “Beyond that, I had no role to play. It’s a group of business people and I understand it’s a business decision,” he added.

Observers are divided on the matter: Was Tharoor a victim of his own naiveté? Or can it all be put down to overconfidence and human frailty? Whatever the case, a sentiment of dashed hopes surrounds the news of Tharoor’s involvement in the scandal.

“Mr Tharoor’s inglorious departure is a big blow to urban, English-speaking Indians who believe that the country’s politics needs people like him to change the rules of the game,” the BBC’s India correspondent wrote.


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