In December 2006, team India played their first T-20 international match, against South Africa in Johannesburg. The format was an instant hit. Hence, when Lalit Modi, the then Vice President of BCCI introduced Indian Premier League as an improvised T-20 tournament with a franchise format, Cricket-crazy Indians immediately loved it. Amid its successful journey from 2008 to 2018, IPL has also received its share of criticism, with many holding the opinion that it's merely a money making machinery and can't be a measure of good cricket. One such is former cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi.
"I don't want to say anything about IPL. There's not a bigger scam in India than IPL. Nobody here knows where IPL's money comes and goes. The second edition of the IPL happened in South Africa, millions of money was taken out of the country without the permission of Finance Minister," he said.
Besi was speaking at the three-day-long Sahitya Aaj Tak in New Delhi. He also hinted at an illegitimate money laundering within the IPL circle.
"IPL should not be the basis of Indian selection, local T20 tournaments should be. A team has players who are paid high and ones who get less money. The lower income player doesn't have the skills, how does he catch up? The only way he sees is betting. I have a lot of experience in cricket, you can tell what is happening in what match. If we stay blind even while seeing, then it's our choice," he added.
Not that ILP never came under the radar, though. Owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years over betting charges along with a number of cricketers being probed.