Yet another basket case

A boy is born and raised in a conservative muslim family in Hyderabad. He turns out to be a tremendously talented cricketer and eventually makes it to the coveted Indian cricket team. Thanks to his impressive performance beginning with his debut Test he slowly makes his way up to become the captain of the team. Meanwhile, he goes through a conventional muslim wedding and is soon the father of two boys. His cricketing career continues on a meteoric rise. During this rise, he is exposed to the glamour of Bollywood and its nexus with the underworld. Cricket in Sharjah gives him access to the bigwigs of Bollywood and the mafia. He is slowly but surely drawn into the glitzy world of fame and fortune.

The simple middle-class upbringing was now a thing of the past. Instead flashy cars, hot women, a persistently upturned shirt collar, expensive watches, fancy perfumes, and late night parties become the order of the day. He divorces his wife and marries a Bollywood star. He continues to perform well on the cricket field, so his tenure as captain continues. Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly a sting operation exposes match-fixing in cricket and the young man finds himself in trouble. Meanwhile, the all powerful cricket board changes hands from one power block to another. This shift combined with his being from a minority community with little presence in the upper echelons of the board, leaves our hero with no backers.

With no one to pitch his case in a cricket board that is largely an exclusive rich man’s club, he finds himself at the receiving end of lifetime ban. Still supremely fit, yet unable to play the game that practically gave him everything, he finds himself with no where to turn. After trying everything he could to overturn his life ban, he takes to politics. Blessed by a high powered political dynasty he joins the rolls of the ruling party and contests elections from a constituency that he had barely visited but had a significant muslim population. The move paid off landed him in Parliament despite lack of any experience in public service whatsoever. There were occasional rumors surrounding his personal life. Then, there was the tragic death of his son in a road accident. Along the way, he challenges his life ban in court. Twelve years go by since the outbreak of the scandal and the courts finally overturn the ban citing lack of sufficient evidence. Now, he is too old to play cricket, and finds himself in a new avatar, that of politician.

 Click here to read the rest of the article in The Economic Times

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