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10 Most Famous Controversies of the IPL


IPL_controversies_cricketThe 11th edition of the IPL started on 7th April 2018, and the brand has only grown stronger. It is the most popular T20 league around the world. Both upcoming cricketers and experienced stalwarts of international cricket, from all countries, want to be a part of it. It has given financial security to around 150 Indian cricketers, where only around 20 elite Indian cricketers used to earn big money before its inception.

There have also been many controversies in its 10 years, even though the popularity of the league has ensured that it shoulders all setbacks and continues to march on. Here are 10 of the most famous controversies that have occurred since the inaugural edition in 2008.

Slapgate 2008

Mumbai Indians, led by Harbhajan Singh, were playing Kings XI Punjab. Sreesanth, as is his wont, was trying to get under the skin of the MI players. He said something which Harbhajan Singh found offensive and Harbhajan responded by slapping Sreesanth.

This created a huge furore: even though sledging, gamesmanship and verbal insults were a part of international cricket, things had never escalated to fisticuffs on the field. Harbhajan was banned for the remainder of the 2008 edition. Even though the inaugural edition was a success, this incident left a sour taste in the memories of the fans.

Ravindra Jadeja banned for the 2010 season

One of the main benefits of the IPL for players were the astronomical amounts of money that they earned displaying their skills for a period of 2 months. There were strict rules and procedures in place and there was an auction in 2008 where the owners and management of the teams bid for players.

Ravindra Jadeja was part of the Rajasthan Royals in the 2008 and 2009 editions but tried to negotiate a better deal with other franchises before the 2010 edition. He was dealt with harshly and was banned for the 2010 edition.

Spot-fixing case in 2012

A Hindi news channel carried out a sting operation in which 5 Indian players were accused of seeking money in exchange for spot-fixing. TP Sudhindra of Deccan Chargers was banned for life and Shalabh Srivastava was banned for 5 years. Mohnish Mishra of Pune Warriors India and Amit Yadav of Kings XI Punjab were banned for a year. Abhinav Bali who was not associated with any team in 2012 was also banned for a year.

According to the sting operation, some players also claimed they were paid more money from the franchises that they played for than the price they were entitled to from the auction. The spot-fixing trial of the Pakistan cricketers were still fresh in the minds of the cricketing public and this just added more ammunition to critics who felt that the IPL encouraged spot and match fixing.

Shah Rukh Khan banned from the Wankhede for 5 years

On 16th May 2012, the Kolkata Knight Riders were playing against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. KKR’s owner Shah Rukh Khan got into a scuffle with security guards. The officials of the MCA claimed that he was drunk and abusive, which the KKR owner denied. The MCA banned him for a period of 5 years from the stadium.

However, Shah Rukh Khan denied the allegations and said that he was merely protesting the bad and unpardonable attitude of the officials at the venue, saying that the security guards at the stadium were manhandling children. The ban on Khan was rescinded in 2015.

Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell of PWI test positive for recreational drugs

Both players from Pune Warriors India were detained by police during a raid at a party in Mumbai. This created a lot of outrage as cricketers are expected to be role models and supposed to be tested at random for both performance enhancing and recreational drugs.

Both the players denied taking drugs. Rahul said he would quit cricket if found guilty and Parnell said that he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Even though the alleged incident took place in May, it only came to light in July.

No Sri Lankan players could feature in IPL matches in Chennai in 2013

Just prior to the 2013 edition, the IPL governing council decided that Sri Lankan players would not play in any IPL games in Chennai. The reason given was that allowing Sri Lankan players to play in Tamil Nadu would offend the sentiments of the people of the state and create a hostile atmosphere due to ill-feeling, because of the treatment of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Kohli-Gambhir spat in 2013

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli both played for the same state team and were also teammates in the Indian team. In a match between Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kohli was dismissed. Instead of walking towards the dugout headed towards Gambhir and the KKR team who were gathered at the cover region.

Both took steps towards each other, eyes blazing, and the incident threatened to blow up. Rajat Bhatia stepped in and separated the two, defusing the situation.

Spot-fixing case in 2013

Three players of the Rajasthan Royals: Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, were arrested by the Delhi police on charges of spot-fixing. The BCCI suspended the trio till further investigation. On 4th June 2013, the Delhi police said that the players would be charged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, and the incident was far more serious and grave than the one in 2012.

On 13th September, 2013, Sreesanth and Chavan were banned for life. In July 2015, Sreesanth was acquitted in the spot-fixing case. In August 2013, the Kerala High Court revoked the BCCI decision. On October 2017 a division bench of the Kerala High Court ruled that the ban would stay.

Mitchell Starc and Kieron Pollard clash in 2015

Mumbai Indians were playing the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium. As Starc ran in to bowl at Pollard, the West Indian moved away as batsmen often do when there is some disturbance near the sight-screen. In such cases, the bowler usually aborts his run-up.

However, in this case Starc continued to run in and bowled the ball straight at Pollard. This infuriated the West Indian who almost threw the bat at Starc. Pollard later claimed that the bat slipped out of his hand. Both players charged with Level 2 offences under the IPL’s code of conduct and Starc was fined 50% of his match fee while Pollard was fined 75% of his match fee.

CSK and RR suspended from the 2016 and 2017 edition

During the spot-fixing scandal in 2013, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, the owners of CSK and RR respectively, were found to have been betting on the IPL. In July 2015, the Lodha Committee suspended both CSK and RR from the IPL for a period of two years if they continued to be owned by the same people and staffed by the same management.


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