Biggest controversies in the history of IPL. The Indian Premier League (IPL), took the cricket world by storm in 2008, when it was first launched. The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007. It has become a true benchmark for T20s over the decade. Almost every cricket playing nation has its own T20 League nowadays. And thanks to the cricket fans, who prefer watching the shorter and more exciting format of cricket, these leagues have quickly gained a lot of popularity. IPL is not only the biggest cricket tournament but also amongst the biggest leagues in the entire sporting world. The IPL itself is one of the biggest brands at the moment.
The IPL controversies that have broken out in the league, perhaps consequently, have not only shaken up the world of cricket but it has affected its fans also. Here are the Top 5 controversies involving the Indian Premier League.
2008 – Slapgate incident
The most famous IPL controversy was there in the first season itself. It was the 2008 season and a match between KXIP and MI. Harbhajan was the captain of Mumbai Indians and was having a poor evening. Punjab had defeated Mumbai in that match. Sreesanth had a good one with his bowling. It was reported that Sreesanth kept passing comments at all the MI batsmen, including Harbhajan. When the customary handshakes were being exchanged, Harbhajan slapped him across the face. Sree was in tears when the camera caught him.
Harbhajan was suspended immediately for the season, and a sobbing Sree walked away. However late Sreesanth and Bhajji resolved the situation by becoming friends again, but pictures of Sreesanth crying were all over the newspapers next day.
2009 – Ban on Pakistan Players from participating in IPL
Another big IPL controversy was regarding the exclusion of Pakistani players from IPL. The 2008 was the only edition in which 11 Pakistan players took part in the cash rich tournament. 2008 edition of IPL saw as many as 11 Pakistani players represent 5 franchises. CSK, MI and KXIP were the only franchises in IPL 2008 without any Pakistani international. From the 2009 edition due to political tensions, Pakistani cricketers were barred from further taking part in the tournament.
After the 2008 Mumbai attack, when the second season of the IPL was about to commenced, the Pakistan Cricket Board refused to grant permission to its players to come and play in India. On the other hand, the BCCI also took a decision on the same line and kept Pakistan away from the league. Till now, Pakistani players are not allowed to participate in Indian Premier League.
2010 – Lalit Modi sacked
Lalit Modi was the founder & first Chairman and Commissioner of the Indian Premier League, and ran the tournament for three years until 2010. The trouble started in 2010 when Modi was served three show-cause notices, which accused him of breaching confidentiality agreements, alleged financial irregularities in broadcast deals and rigging auctions. The downfall from being the board’s blue-eyed boy to villain was swift. He was charged of following counts-
- shady initial bids of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab;
- a suspect broadcast deal with Sony;
- bid-rigging of two new franchises this year and his behavioural pattern.
Chirayu Amin then became the new chairman of the league.
2012 – Wankhede banned Shah Rukh Khan
In 2012, another big IPL controversy happened. Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan was banned from the Wankhede, the home ground of Mumbai Indians, for five years after the Bollywood superstar was caught in a brawl with security officials at the ground after a match.
As per the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), Sharukh entered the stadium making noises in a drunken state. He had also abused the security personnel, namely Vikas Dalvi, who warned Sharukh against entering the players dressing rooms. Sharukh decided to demonstrate his power and joined the group itself with his family and friends. This created a considerable stir in the ground, and people were holding Sharukh from attacking Dalvi.
The MCA banned Sharukh from entering its premises for the next five years (till 2017). However, this ban was lifted in 2015 with pressure from political circles.
2013 – IPL Spot-fixing scandal
This was the most significant IPL controversy in the history of Indian Premier League which also revealed the dark side of betting world. IPL fixing controversy had previously also emerged in league, but this time, it left some famous victims in its wake.
- India cricketer Sreesanth was jailed and also banned from playing for India.
- Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, were banned from the league for two years.
- Delhi Police arrested three cricketers of the Rajasthan team – Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, on charges of alleged spot-fixing in 2013.
- Raj Kundra, the co-owner of RR, was questioned for fixing.
- The Supreme Court ordered the BCCI president T. Sreenivasan to step down from his post on October 13th.
- Mumbai Police arrested Vindu Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of Chennai’s owner for alleged betting and having links with bookies.
There were a lot of speculations and doubts about the league at that time and a lot of people were quite critical of the IPL controversies that were surrounding the tournament. Despite everything, the fans and audiences seemed quite excited about the new league and large crowds at T20 games lured some big businessman and bollywood stars to the newly introduced format of cricket.
Amidst all the controversies, the Indian Premier League has established itself as a successful brand and is undoubtedly the premier and most watched T20 league around the World. Getting a team contract is the topmost priority for many cricketers nowadays.