Dominica, Caribbean. The entire cricketing fraternity is in for a rude shock today, as three Indian cricketers on the West Indies tour have been tested positive in a dope test, for consuming “performance reducing” drugs. Although the names of the cricketers involved haven’t been disclosed, BCCI declared today that three cricketers have been suspended for consuming banned drugs that led to an extraordinarily subdued performance by the team.
This is a second blow for the sports fans in the country, after several Indian athletes tested positive for consuming performance enhancing drugs. But this is one of the rarest of rare cases when sportsmen have been found to take performance “reducing” drugs.
“We noticed that a few of our cricketers were not looking confident enough. They weren’t getting into the right positions and were getting out more cheaply than they did in the nets. Even the bookies didn’t seem interested in our players anymore. That is when we decided to conduct a surprise dope test,” says a BCCI official on conditions of anonymity.
He adds that India’s decision to opt for a draw is also under the BCCI scanner:
“Despite having world-class batsmen like Harbhajan Singh in the side, the team opted for a draw. Something is definitely fishy and BCCI will get to the bottom of it.”
Coach Duncan Fletcher is reportedly considering fleeing the country along with the Indian Athletics coach to save travel expenses. BCCI is also investigating the source from which the cricketers bought these drugs.
“We are looking into all packages bought by the team and support staff,” informs our BCCI source, “There are some packets from Flipkart.com too that are being investigated as we know that very few of our cricketers can read.”
“However accidental consumption of such drugs cannot be ruled out as some of our cricketers have a habit of eating fairness creams that they promote. Research has indicated that such fairness creams have certain performance-reducing agents in traces,” the source adds.
If the charges are proven, these cricketers may face a ban of up to two years and punishment may also include acting in a Coca-Cola BRRR commercial or playing for Kochi Tuskers in the next IPL.
BCCI hasn’t revealed the names of those involved but rumor mills are abuzz. A senior sports journalist Ramchandra Hoo-Ha mentions that the absence of several seasoned cricketers from the team could have led the youngsters to take this drastic step:
“Without the presence of legends like Sreesanth and Nehra, it was impossible for West Indies to win a game against India. In such an event, some youngsters could have taken a bold decision to reduce their awesomeness by some medical intervention, to allow West Indies better chances of winning. If you look at the bigger picture, these cricketers should be rewarded for fostering peace and creating equal opportunity in the cricketing world, and not ostracized from the community.”
The cricketing fraternity is divided in its opinion on the issue. While former commentator Ravi Shastri said that he news ‘went like a tracer bullet’ through his heart, Kris Srikkanth was too agitated for a comment and could only manage a ‘This, this, this problem’. However Cricket pundits like Sangeeta Bijlani and Siddhartha Mallaya have come out in support of these cricketers.
While the cricketing world is visibly shaken by this development, conspiracy theorists are busy pushing theories that the cricketers did this ‘for Sachin’, as their poor performance would force BCCI to bring Sachin back into the team. The cricketers are said to be inspired by Jayasuriya’s return from retirement.
In a related incident, Ajit Agarkar threw a ball at this reporter, which missed him by a comfortable distance, after he asked Agarkar whether he had been on performance reducing drugs for a major part of his career.
(reporter blogs here)