The Indian Premier League (IPL) fervour has gripped everyone, to say the least. As IPL successfully continues in its 11th year, it has grown to be the biggest sporting extravaganza in India. It’s three hours of frenzied action spiced up with a trumpet tune, screaming fans and coquettish cheer-leaders. IPL has snowballed into a huge money making business not only for the players who are auctioned at skyrocketing rates but for advertisers, sponsors, TV channels, illegal betting mafias and the popular Dream 11 app, minting money under the garb of legal betting. But did you know what was the real reason for starting the IPL? It was supposed to be a platform for budding cricketers, especially from the Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities of India. However, all that has been overshadowed by the already famous and successful Indian cricketers as well as international players.
The very foundation of IPL has been a ruse. In this article we expose the biggest controversies in IPL in our exclusive timeline:
IPL begins with the Slapgate, 2008: This was IPL’s first controversy; Harbhajan Singh slapped Sreesanth without any provocation and was banned for 11 games. However, as per insider reports there was a betting angle involved for that altercation. Guess we’ll never know!
Kochi Vs Lalit Modi, 2010: Lalit Modi, the man behind the idea of Indian Premier League revealed Kochi Tuskers Kerala’s shareholding patterns and accused Shashi Tharoor of conflict of interest. Tharoor was forced to resign. It also started the end of Modi. After the conclusion of IPL’s third edition, Modi was sacked after being accused of money laundering, financial impropriety, offering bribes, rigging bidding deals and betting.
Jadeja banned, 2010: Ravindra Jadeja was accused of trying to secure a deal with another franchise between seasons. He missed the 2010 season. He was then signed by Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011. Kochi Tuskers Kerala IPL franchise was terminated the same year by the BCCI because they failed to provide the bank guarantee to cover their annual fee.
Cheerleaders scandal, 2011: A South African cheerleader Gabriella Pasqualotto blogged about deplorable conduct of cricketers at post-match parties with cheerleaders in her blog titled ‘We are like walking porn’. Her blog created a lot of uproar and later she was sacked from her role by the IPL board. All was kept hush hush!
Flintoff Saga, 2012: Lalit Modi said he was “arm-twisted” by Srinivasan to allow Andrew Flintoff’s sale to CSK in the 2009 auction. E-mail exchanges showed how Rajasthan Royals were held off from bidding for Flintoff.
SRK’s Wankhede Ban, 2012: Bollywood actor and KKR owner Shah Rukh Khan was banned from entering the Wankhede stadium for five years, after his scuffle with security guards. Just a couple of years later, he was given a clean chit. Another soldier succumbed to a Baadshah.
Pune Warriors Ouster, 2012-13: After just one season, Sahara, Pune Warriors promoters, pulled out an hour ahead of the auction in 2012 over disagreement with the BCCI. After multiple attempts at a truce, the BCCI encashed their bank’s guarantee and ousted them from the IPL in 2013.
The towel trouble, 2013: In 2013, the cash-rich league got mud on its face when the shocking spot-fixing scandal broke out in 2013.Delhi police had arrested three players from the Rajasthan Royals – S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan— for fixing. Sreesanth allegedly used a towel as signal for the bookies, before conceding 13 runs in an over in which he had promised to give away 14.
Betting 2013: “Cricket enthusiast” Gurunath Meiyappan, a CSK top official and son-in-law of then BCCI president N Srinivasan, was arrested for betting. During investigation, Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra also confessed to betting. Both franchises were banned for two years from the tournament. Wow, two years! That’s a really long ban for match fixing. Is it?
Not a Gentleman’s game, 2015: Kohli met his girlfriend Bollywood star Anushka Sharma in the stands at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium during a rain-break in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Delhi Daredevils on Sunday, violating the anti-corruption code which states that players can’t meet any non-accredited personnel when the match is on. No action was taken against Kohli and he was set free with a loose investigation.
Shaun Marsh disappears, 2016: Australian batsman Shaun Marsh left the tournament midway under the pretext of an injury, later it was revealed that it was due to dressing room brawl with a teammate. We wonder if both statements can be true as an injury can happen after a ‘fight too.
IPL follows the approach of, ‘A lie is a lie until caught,’ hence only a handful of controversies have been surfaced, in spite of which nothing has changed. The IPL fiasco is filled with such dark and dirty secrets under the veil of entertainment and the glittering game of cricket.
The 2017 web-series on Amazon Prime called Inside Edge has said to be inspired by inside stories of IPL and is a succinct tale on the reality of IPL.
Let us know your thoughts on IPL and if cricket should be made into a business? Comment below. #BeFearless
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