With one of the most riveting seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL) ending with a bang almost a month earlier (yes, it has been that long), I assumed cricket fans might have had to return to a humdrum life full of lackluster amidst the dearth of content around the league. Read on to discover some of the ugliest controversies delivered by the world’s most celebrated T20 league!

Though this might be an exaggeration, the two months across which the IPL spans is arguably the most exhilaratingly gripping time of the year for not just fans but cricket viewers in general, keeping them on the edge of their seats (all credits to the IPL scriptwriters). While cricket lies at the heart of the game, the league carries with it a fair share of bizarre controversies and scandals. Though this might be an exaggeration, the two months across which the IPL spans is arguably the most exhilaratingly gripping time of the year for not just fans but cricket viewers in general, keeping them on the edge of their seats (all credits to the IPL scriptwriters). While cricket lies at the heart of the game, the league carries with it a fair share of bizarre controversies and scandals.

1. The Delhi boys meet in Lucknow

Nearly 10 years after their viral spat in 2013, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir reunited in the latest edition of the league for a dramatic recreation of their heated exchange. The tension began when Gambhir, a mentor to Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), was seen shushing the crowd post a one-wicket nail-biting victory against
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the latter’s home ground. The 2 teams met again in Lucknow where the altercation began with a fiery chat between Kohli and LSG’s Naveen-ul-Haq mid-match, both of whom lost their cool again during the post-match customary handshakes. Soon enough, LSG opener Kyle Mayers’ exchange
with Kohli triggered Gambhir to step in and profanities were thrown around as players from both teams intervened to prevent the fight from getting further. Both players were fined 100% of their match fees for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct. So, despite them claiming they are “good friend” on and off the field, their juvenile brawls every now and then are the perfect reminder of how animosities like these are set in stone!


Kohli and Gambhir- 20 days apart!

2. The OG ‘Slapgate’
You are wrong if you think Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars was the original Slapgate- Bhaji did it  first! The first-ever IPL controversy during the inaugural season of the league in 2008, despite never being captured on camera, took no time to hit the headlines. Losing to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) extended Mumbai Indians’ (MI) losing streak to 3, which undoubtedly created tension for their new skipper Harbhajan Singh, who was leading the team in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar. Allegedly, post an easy win, KXIP’s S.Sreesanth approached his national teammate Singh with a cheeky smile and muttered “hard luck”, which was taken by the latter in the wrong intention and triggered a physical altercation. The details of what went down remain a blur, but Sreesanth was seen crying inconsolably on live TV while Bhaji faced a ban from the remaining matches of the season for “unprovoked assault”.

A tearful Sreesanth breaking down after being slapped by Singh.

3.  Bade Bade Shehron Mein Aisi Choti Choti Baatein Hoti Rehti Hai?
India’s heartthrob and the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan is famous among the masses for his charm, wit, and poise. However, after Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the enthralling 2012 IPL final, an allegedly drunk SRK got into a verbal scuffle with the security officials of the Maharashtra Cricket
Association (MCA). The actor, denying any misconduct, stated that he only reacted after his kids were “manhandled” by the security staff, who also abused him first. After the incident, going all “Don ka stadium mein ghusna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai,” the MCA managing committee put a 5-year ban prohibiting King Khan, co-owner of KKR, from entering the Wankhede Stadium-the venue of the final. Later, the actor issued an apology and served the ban faithfully for 3 years, until it was lifted in 2015.

SRK slapped with a 5-year ban from the iconic Wankhede stadium.

4. Jade-ja or na ja?
Ravindra Jadeja, despite a nearly controversial season this year, played an integral role in Chennai bagging their 5th IPL trophy. Rewind to 2008 when even after having a stupendous season with Rajasthan Royals(RR), and being labeled a “superstar in the making” by legendary Australian cricketer Shane Warne, he found himself amidst a huge controversy. Considering his brilliant performance, the franchise insisted on signing him for the next 2 years but Jaddu agreed to continue with them for only one. However, he was also found to be negotiating with other IPL franchises for higher pay and more lucrative deals (allegedly looking for a possible ‘Gateway’). This violated the code of conduct, according to which, he could only do this if RR- who had the first right to refusal- let him go. The emerging star was found guilty of indulging in ‘anti-team activities’ by the IPL Governing Council, which slapped a one-year ban prohibiting him from participating in the 2011 season.

Jadeja credited Warne for giving him a huge platform during the
inaugural season.

5. And the ‘Mankading’ begins!
Ravichandran Ashwin attempting another ‘Mankad’ this season and escaping a scandal by a hairbreadth is proof that old habits die hard. However, he was not as fortunate in 2019 when the actions of the Indian off-spinner, then captain of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), were frowned upon by the cricketing fraternity. Jos Butler, with an impressive 69 off 43 balls was leading Rajasthan Royals (RR) towards a high-scoring victory until he was dismissed by Ashwin, who seemingly stopped in his bowling action waiting for the non-striker to exit the crease and knock the stumps out. Even as the umpires asked the bowler to reconsider on grounds of ethicality, Ashwin, who claimed that he had given multiple warnings did not abandon the appeal, which resulted in a fuming Butler taking a dejected walk back to the pavilion. Getting its name from Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad and though a perfectly legal way of dismissal, the action has for long been looked down upon as ‘unsportsmanlike’ and ‘going against the spirit of the game’.

‘Mankad’ has stirred a massive debate among cricket experts.

6. Lalit Modi ‘Sus’-pension
Hours after Chennai Super Kings bagged their first IPL trophy in 2010, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) shocked the entire cricket fraternity by sacking their Vice-President and IPL Chairman Lalit Modi on “alleged acts of individual misdemeanors.” Modi, who is often credited with the worldwide success of the league, was reportedly involved in rigging bids, bullying franchises, and money laundering during the franchise auction in 2010. He was also accused of selling broadcasting and internet rights without authorization. Modi denied all charges and soon fled to London, hence failing to appear in front of BCCI’s disciplinary committee.
Subsequently in 2013, finding him guilty of misconduct, the committee slapped him with a life ban, restricting him from any future involvement in cricket.

IPL Chairman sacked after being found guilty of misconduct.

7. The ‘Betting Rajas’
Indian pacer S.Sreesanth found himself entangled in yet another controversy; this time, however, on the receiving end of condemnation. In 2013, Delhi Police arrested 3 Rajasthan Royals (RR) players- Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan on charges of spot-fixing, and subsequently, they faced a life ban imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). This triggered one of the most heartbreaking moments in the history of the IPL when fans had to witness the suspension of the two most loved teams- Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals-from the league in 2015. Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of CSK’s owner and then BCCI President N Srinivasan (who eventually resigned), and Raj Kundra, co-owner of Rajasthan Royals were banned for life from being involved in cricket by a 3-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India. The 2 teams faced a 2-year suspension from the league, eventually making an exciting comeback in the 2018 season.

CSK and RR face consequences for being involved in match-fixing.

With all that goes on within the league, I am sure there will be a lot more than just cricket to watch out for in the upcoming season as well!

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Featured Image Credits: The Indian Express

Manvi Goel
[email protected]

The eleventh season of the Indian Premier League is set to start from the 7th April. One can admit that it has been no less than a festival, celebrated for almost two months every year since the past decade.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a sensation in the world of cricket. The much beloved tournament has completed ten successful years, and is about to enter in its eleventh year on the 7th of April.

Idealized by Mr. Lalit Modi, the introduction of the event was a massive hit among the viewers since the very beginning. After all, who thought that players from different countries rivalling each other at the international level could play together? It was a big example of sportsmanship, friendship, and fraternity.

Over the years, it has served one of the major purposes it was introduced for. The tournament has been significant in terms of helping talented young players earn fame and money while benefitting Indian cricket simultaneously. A lot of players having good seasons in the IPL have gone on to represent the national team. The success of this sporting contest to help identify future stars has led various other nations to introduce similar tournaments, some of them being the Pakistan Super League, and the Caribbean Premier League.

But it has not been a smooth ride for IPL all the way. There were cases of match-fixing by players and team owners, which put the tournament in jeopardy. Experts and pundits all over the world criticized the level of corruption in the league that was defaming the spirit of cricket. One shocking incident was the suspension of two teams, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for two years due to match fixing allegations. Also, the engagement of players from various nationalities in such a hectic and tiring tournament raised concerns over their fitness and commitment towards their national team.

But against all odds, IPL has made its way through to the 11th season, much to the delight of cricket lovers. This season is highly anticipated, particularly because of the return of the two suspended teams. Also, there has been a complete revamp of the teams in an auction that was held in January. Fans are excited to see new players playing for the teams they are rooting for, while a shuffle in the team composition means that many players will fight it out against their older franchises in the upcoming season.

A lot has been said, done, and discussed up to this point. But all eyes will now lay on the tournament which is expected to deliver to the hype with thrilling matches and some good cricket. As it has always been the case with IPL, viewers can now just wait and witness all the different surprises the tournament will unfold in this season.


Feature Image Credits: India.com

Karan Singhania

[email protected]

With the IPL auction due to happen on the 27th and 28the January, there is a lot of hype regarding the teams and players participating in this event.

The auction for the 11th season of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) is going to be held on the 27th and 28th of January. More than 570 players will be going under the hammer this season. The event will take place in Bangalore at the ITC Gardenia. It will be broadcasted by Star Sports India who acquired the broadcasting rights earlier this year. The broadcast will commence from 9:05 am.

Cricket has been a sensation in India and the Indian Premiere League has just added to the love and excitement of the fans. Just above a decade ago, the commencement of this tournament where they could see international stars playing together send all the cricketing fans in a frenzy. Ten years forward, the tournament remains one of the most anticipated tournaments of cricket. And just like any other season, there will be an auction held where franchises will bid for players they want. But there’s a catch.

There will be a complete revamp of teams as the players have finished their contracts with their respective franchises. The franchises were given an option to retain a maximum of three players with subject to reduction in the total purse of Rs. 80 crore. One of the major reasons for the added excitement for this season is the return of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) who will make a comeback after serving a suspension of two years for match fixing. The return of CSK also means that the former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead the team much to the delight of fans.

The retention strategy adopted by some franchises has also set the enthusiastic tone for the upcoming auction. The release of Gautam Gambhir by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the retention of Sarfaraz Khan by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) certainly put the pundits and fans under deep thought. However the franchises also have an option of exercising the Right to Match (RTM) card on some players. The RTM card enables a team to buy back its player during the auction by matching the highest bid made for the player. The players on whom the teams have decided to use RTM will be known on the auction day itself.

The likes of players like Ben Stokes, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle, and Dwayne Bravo going in the auction has set the fans on their toes who are hoping to see their favorite stars play for their favorite franchises. The commercialization of the auction due to the huge fan base has led to teams and broadcasters doing extensive advertisement for the same. Each franchise has set up portals asking their fans to vote for the players they want the franchises to buy.

It will be very interesting to see the various franchises battling it out for some of the biggest cricket stars. And as always, everyone will keep an eye on which player bags the highest price. With the franchises and fans all ready, it is now a matter of time until the bidding war for one of the most enthralling cricket tournaments to begin.


Feature Image Credits: Logo & Tagline

Karan Singhania
[email protected]

The early days of the Indian Premier League (IPL), as many of us will remember was structured around the concept of city loyalties; it used to be a case of nurturing city allegiances, cultivating home grown talent and embellishing regional ‘Icon players’ in a whole new T-20 light. However, moving into the 7th edition of the IPL, a lot seems to have changed. The crowd that was initially sucked in this regional pull of the IPL now seems to be complaining about a lack of local flavour in their respective teams. Is their claim legitimate? Or, is the average enthusiast reading too much into the game?

For a few years now, there have been some gradual shifts and rearrangements amongst the team rosters. Constantly shifting bases, many people argue that most of the teams no longer support their own local players . Chennai has had the best score in this regard, as they continue to play all three local players; Murali Vijay, S Badrinath and R Ashwin, together on a regular basis. However, by todays standards, sporting 3 local players can be called a rarity. “Team captains are supposed to be the representatives of a team. Watching Virat Kohli represent Bangalore and Gautam Gambhir represent Kolkata really annoys me sometimes.” said one ardent Delhi Daredevils supporter.

Virat Kohli from RCB and Gautam Gambhir from KKR

And if these reactions were rather latent in these last few years, some recent developments definitely seem to be guiding this sense of alienation towards more vocal expressions of dissatisfaction. Due to clashing dates with the Lok Sabha elections, the 1st leg of IPL-7  had shifted its base to the United Arab Emirates. Talks of another leg in Bangladesh are also not completely off the mark. So, not only are the players not local, but now even the home ground is not really ‘home’ anymore. In such a context, how are the fans expected to have any sense of attachment to their teams.

A broad analysis of the BCCI policies (in the IPL) over the years would lead one to discover of its compromising shift from a position of promoting regional unity to one which now endorses global integration. This however, has exposed some serious double standards in their policies.In essence, what seems to be lacking amongst the committee members of the IPL is a broader and future oriented perspective on the whole issue. And since the whole topic of creating a more regional or global outlook is intricately linked with the former question of what exactly does the committee plan for IPL’s future, it seems to be abundantly clear that a solution to the former would naturally create an answer for the latter. Therefore, the need for a defining stand will not only help the committee develop a more clear perspective on matters, but also lead to many more bright prospects for the sake of the IPL as well as its followers.