IPL and controversies go hand in hand. The love between IPL and controversies is unmatchable. IPL arrives in April and controversies follows. Then IPL and controversies go for a long romantic walk in the park (for almost two months). IPL and controversies are like two souls in one body. If one calls Indian Premier League as controversy league, it is doesn’t make any difference. IPL is not only famous for its cricket, it is also famous for its controversies.
After the match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians in 2008, Sreesanth was seen in tears when Harbhajan walked past him. Soon, the news broke that Harbhajan slapped Sreesanth as he was furious after losing the match. BCCI took the matter into its hands and Harbhajan apologised to Sreesanth. This controversy was back in the news when Sreesanth tweeted in frustration. He tweeted that he was not slapped but was rather elbowed by Harbhajan Singh. Sreesanth tweeted this because he was constantly trolled on social media after that incident. This slapgate created a negative impression about the tournament. Ex Indian players started saying that IPL is creating a feud between Indian players so it should be stopped.
Relationship getting stronger
In 2010, first, Ravindra Jadeja was banned for a year. Ravindra Jadeja breached players’ guidelines. He didn’t renew his contract with Rajasthan Royals and tried to sign with other franchises. He negotiated deals with a couple of franchises but was slapped with a one year ban by IPL governing council.
The second one was the biggest shock. News broke that Lalit Modi has been suspended from his post by BCCI. BCCI suspended him because he was charged with financial fraud. He was found guilty of indiscipline and misconduct and BCCI handed him the life ban from holding any cricket post.
With Lalit Modi’s suspension, the relationship between IPL and controversies got stronger.
Most controversial years
In 2012, they announced their relationship in public through one news channel’s sting operation. And in that sting operation, five players were found fixing the match. These were the first signs of spot-fixing.
Shahrukh Khan showed dominance over security guards at Wankhede stadium after KKR won the match against MI. Mumbai Cricket Association banned him from entering the stadium for five years. In 2012, SRK came in the controversy light for the second time. The first controversy he created was in 2011 when he dumped Sourav Ganguly. The city of joy was enraged by this move of KKR.
Two players of Pune Warriors India were detained in Mumbai. They were partying in a rave party which was raided. Both Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell were tested positive for drugs but escaped the ban.
Another case which was filed in 2012 was against Luke Pomersbach (Australian cricketer). He was arrested over the charges of molestation. A U.S woman of Indian origin filed a case against him and RCB suspended him. Later the charges were dropped as the case was withdrawn.
2013 started with the ban on Sri Lankan players and officials in Chennai. Political tensions between the two countries were on a rise over the treatment of Tamils in Sri Lanka. It led Tamil Nadu government towards the ban on Sri Lankan players and officials.
When Kohli charged towards Gambhir in anger after getting out, it raised many eyebrows. Gambhir celebrated as KKR got the wicket of Kohli and it provoked Kohli. Kohli himself is infamous for ugly celebrations, being enraged on this was a hypocritical move from him.
Considering the controversies, 2013 was the worst year in the history of IPL, the spot-fixing scandal came out in that year. In that scandal, Delhi Police claimed to have evidence of spot-fixing against the cricketers Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. It spoiled the image of IPL and gave people perception that every match of IPL is fixed.
Sahara pulled out Pune Warriors in 2013. Sahara failed to pay the full franchise fee for the year. Thus, BCCI decided to encash their bank guarantee. In 2011, the other team which made a debut with Sahara Pune Warriors, Kochi Tuskers, also failed to furnish its bank guarantee. Both 2011 teams were out of IPL due to financial reasons.
Cheerleaders have had their own share of controversies. It started with the clothes of cheerleaders. It was believed that the clothes which cheerleaders wear are against our culture. Thus, issues were raised against the cheerleaders’ clothes. Some people were pathetically happy with short clothes. A lot of people used to book tickets near cheerleaders to see them dance in short dresses.
One cheerleader from South Africa named Gabriella Pasqualotto revealed some sensational stuff. She blogged about the deplorable conduct of players at post-match parties. She was shown the way out of IPL but those revelations raised a lot of questions.
Arrival of Lodha
Lodha panel was appointed to make Indian cricket corruption free. In that process, Lodha panel suspended Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings for two years. It was a part of reforms to purge Indian cricket. Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings didn’t take part in the ninth and tenth edition of IPL. This decision was taken by Lodha panel in 2015.
Suspension of Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings was not the only controversy in 2015. It was the biggest controversy in 2015. Another controversy which grabbed eyeballs was when Kohli went to meet Anushka during the rain break of a match. As per BCCI guidelines, match officials and players are not allowed to leave their designated area during the match. Kohli breached BCCI’s anti-corruption guidelines but escaped the punishment.
In 2016, IPL was moved out of Maharashtra as an NGO filed a complaint against the usage of water to maintain grounds during the IPL. There were conditions of drought in some parts of the state. In those conditions, water used on pitches and grounds was a waste. The Bombay high court accepted that public interest litigation and directed BCCI to shift all IPL matches scheduled after April 30, outside the state.
Controversies are free with IPL. It is difficult to say whether controversies are part of IPL or IPL is part of controversies. IPL and controversies are inseparable. They may announce their marriage soon. Accept them together.