Harvard grad hacks into IPL site, finds scores of next year’s matches

Srinivasan steps aside further, Dalmiya made permanent interim president of BCCI

New Delhi:  When Chinappa Das, a Harvard Grad, hacked into the official IPL site, it was just for fun. But two hours later, when Das was through, in front of him were the complete scorecards of each and every match of the IPL. Of next year’s edition, that is.

Also, Das was able to stumble on to the fact that the IPL site and the beleaguered Rhiti Sports Management’s site were hosted out of the same server.

Writing about his findings, Das seems confused about how easy it was. ‘I had all the results of all the matches on my very own computer, in a bunch of comma-separated value files that would unfold sometime in the future’.

‘It was truly incredible. An Excel file I couldn’t scroll to the bottom of. Just for kicks, I Ctrl+F’d a few names I knew and what do you know? Sehwag and Warner were struggling to score in future, too.’

When Das plotted all batting and bowling numbers on a graph for the mathematical purpose of looking knowledgeably cool (otherwise graphs and pie charts don’t serve any actual purpose), he was in for a major surprise.  ‘I think I just died. Are you kidding me? Is that a distribution or a giraffe’s neck? No, it was Ashok Dinda’s bowling figures’, he wrote in his blog.

With future IPL scorecards of future tumbling out, the BCCI was yet again caught in the eye of a huge and turbulent storm. ‘This is monumentally scandalous. This is one more blow to the biggest stake-holders left in the game, the bookies,’ wrote a well-known cricket analyst.

‘Spot-fixing and match-fixing are usually found out retrospectively. To learn about it in future tense is disconcerting, and hits at the core of the game. The faith of the average bookie is crucial to the long-term health of the game. To see it shattered does not augur well,’ he added plaintively.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the latest scam to hit Indian cricket, bowing to relentless pressure from all quarters N Srinivasan stepped further aside (remember he had stepped aside as BCCI president after the spot-fixing scandal broke out late last month) and Jagmohan Dalmiya, who had been appointed interim president of BCCI last week, has taken charge as the permanent interim president.

And elsewhere, keeping with his lofty moral standards, Rajeev Shukla once again quit as the IPL Chairman. ‘Last week I resigned from that post. This week I am quitting the same,’ he explained with his typical yen for nuance.

Meanwhile, Delhi police have revealed that the three arrested cricketers, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, may be extradited to the US after it was found that they had been in touch in with bookies who were in touch with Dawood Ibrahim and others in Dubai who were in touch with some radical elements behind the Boston blast early this year.

Sreesanth and two others, who are already booked under MCOCA, may be sent for questioning by the US authorities at the detention centre in Guantanamo Bay.

Elsewhere, more questions about Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s links with Rhiti Sports Management have been raised. ‘The Indian team won the World Cup in 2011 after he signed up with Rhiti Sports in 2010. He was clearly over-performing. Especially in the finals, Dhoni’s batting was quite out of place as he promoted himself and actually helped the team win. Such a strong performance shortly after he signed up with Rhiti Sports Management is disturbing and again raises questions about his overriding interest in cricket conflicts,’ a report in a well-known English daily said.

The paper further said it is quite clear that Dhoni signed a deal for Rs.210 crore with the company. It is also equally clear that he had financial and proprietary interest in the company. ‘So the question to ask is how did Rhiti Sports, in which Dhoni was virtually a partner, raise Rs.210 crore to pay Dhoni the player,’ the paper said.

At Cardiff, where the Indian cricket team was set to play in the Champions Trophy, when reporters asked Dhoni about his financial stakes in Rhiti Sports Management, the Indian captain quite candidly said: ‘it is indeed a conflict of interest for sports journalists to be asking business-related questions’.

(Disclaimer: As it was fully immersed in getting to the bottom of the bookie and spot-fixing scandal, the finance ministry totally forgot to compute this week’s inflation rate. Luckily no one noticed)