Indian Premier League 2013 was tarnished by allegations of betting and spot-fixing. This year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is going the extra distance to reclaim the faith of fans and ensure the image of the tournament is cleansed before the start on April 3.
According to a report in a national daily, BCCI will launch a 'clean-IPL' campaign in March and will have former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly explaining how IPL has always been free of corruption. (Also read: Dhoni's name in secret IPL inquiry report to SC)
"We will not only stick to Hindi or English. The campaign will be in different regional languages across India and top cricketers will be used for the campaign," a BCCI official was quoted as saying in the report. "We want stars of the specific regions speaking in their mother tongue on television about the highs of IPL."
While Tendulkar will speak in Marathi, Ganguly will address fans in Bengali to convince them of IPL's sanctity. This is being considered even more important as IPL this year may be shifted abroad due to elections in the country.
"As of now, the chances are that the tournament will be shifted to South Africa. If that's the case, the Indians living there need to be assured about the authenticity of the product. Who better than the big names of Indian cricket doing that," said the official.
Several players including India pacer S Sreesanth were accused of either betting or spot-fixing or both during the course of IPL last year. While investigations and court cases are still on, the image of cricket and that of IPL specifically, suffered a huge blow. With the tournament now in its seventh edition, BCCI will want to ensure that memories of the past year do not hit the thrill of T20 cricket for a six this year.