When the spot-fixing scandal broke out in 2013, it led to a great deal of anguish and reflection on the state of cricket in India. Questions about why fixing and corruption continue to exist in broad daylight were raised with great vigour. Reams of column spaces and hours of panel discussions were spent discussing ways of preventing such incidents from taking place.
However, there was one lamentation that was universally expressed. Almost everyone was in agreement that, in order to provide a deterrent, the past offenders should not be allowed to go scot free and permitted to regain a pride of place in the cricket world.
Alas, the lack of proper laws in the code books has meant that there is nobody in India who is, legally, a match fixer. On top of that, the lack of spine in administrators and media outlets has meant that those accused of fixing, with convincing proof, have earned the job of analysts and commentators.
Take the case of Mohammad Azharuddin. He was cleared by the courts some years ago and the lifelong ban on him was lifted. Then, we had the farcical biopic titled 'Azhar' where the former India captain was shown to be a man of the highest virtue who protects other players from being ensnared by the bookies.
All this while, Aaj Tak, India's leading news channel, had him as an expert. The same is the case with many other people who faced serious allegations of being involved in corrupt practices. Now, the crowning glory of the acquittal of Azharuddin has come in the form of him becoming the head of Hyderabad Cricket Association.
So, the man who was disgraced as the central figure in the biggest sports-related scandal of India will now be heading the cricket board of one of the most famous teams in Indian domestic cricket.
But even before this elevation of Azharuddin, there have been other instances of players, caught red-handed, getting off the hook without any restrictions remaining. Look at the case of S Sreesanth. He too, has been acquitted by the courts and the ban on him was even overturned at one stage.
Both Sreesanth and Azharuddin have also made forays into politics with the latter even serving a term as an MP from Uttar Pradesh for Congress and the former contesting the polls on a BJP ticket in Kerala Assembly elections.
So, India is a country where even people with rock-solid evidence against them are given a pride of place by political parties, media outlets and now, even the BCCI. The coming generation of Indian cricketers would know that corruption in the game is wrong, but not something that will distort their careers for long.