With the ICC 2019 World Cup slated to begin on May 30, Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj’s Netflix show Patriot Act talks about the corruption in the sport, in an episode titled Cricket Corruption.
This is Hasan’s second episode that is India-centric, the first being the episode on Indian elections in season two.
In Cricket Corruption, Hasan addresses the origins of cricket as a colonial sport that the colonised countries then came to dominate, as a unifier, and as a diplomatic tool as well. His story is about the Afghanistan cricket team, but then Hasan goes on to address the hindrance to cricket’s growth — India.
Hasan says that the International Cricket Council (ICC), cricket’s governing body, is essentially controlled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which makes every major decision, and has a big chunk of the revenue generated as well.
He also addresses scandals in the cricketing world, and then goes on to introduce Lalit Modi — the man who began the Indian Premier League. Modi was ousted minutes after the final of the third edition for financial irregularities.
The allegation was a huge blow and the biggest controversy till then as Lalit Modi was charged on five counts -- shady initial bids of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab; a suspect broadcast deal with Sony; bid rigging of two new franchises this year; and his behavioural pattern.
Perhaps, the most interesting part of Cricket Corruption is Hasan’s interview with Lalit Modi. The former IPL chairman pleads not guilty to every offence against him except one — that by creating the IPL, the BCCI began to control the IPL. Minhaj: “Don’t you think you created this problem by creating the IPL. Lalit Modi: “I did, and I didn’t foresee this. That’s right. I am to blame for it.”
Watch the full episode here: