The Indian Premier League's fifth edition may be over with the crowning of a new champion, but not before a new controversy left a bitter taste in the mouths of its fans.
The controversy relates to a SMS goof-up by telecom major Vodafone after they sent out an SMS to its subscribers on Friday morning that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were to be in the final, much before it qualified.
The SMS -- "IPL FINALS! Watch KKR vs CSK battle it out this Sunday..." -- was sent hours before the IPL qualifier in which Chennai beat Delhi to enter the final.
The SMS goof-up left Vodafone subscribers startled and confused since the second qualifier was yet to take place. Screen shots of the SMS went viral on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Vodafone, however, was not aware of the error in its IPL promotional package, but subsequently corrected it.
Vodafone has admitted to having made the mistake. "Vodafone did detect this error in the IPL promotional verbiage late on Friday... The error from our end was in assuming that KKR and CSK will be playing the finals," the official spokesperson of the company said in a statement.
Vodafone said that the error was subsequently corrected. It also said the incident happened in Hyderabad and has nothing to do with any other city.
It said the mistake was due to a wrong understanding about the IPL format of qualifiers.
Typically in regular tournaments, Vodafone spokesperson said, winner of two semifinals meet each other in the final.
However, in IPL the winner of qualifier match between teams which stood first and second in the league games goes to the final, which is KKR in this case.
The second qualifier was between the teams which stood third and fourth at the end of the league stage. This was between CSK and Mumbai Indians. CSK won this match and qualified for finals.
"This was purely an inadvertent promotional campagin error that was corrected immediately upon detection," it added.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad on Sunday said he was not surprised by the SMS goof-up.
He called for a correction in the system of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament to protect the sanctity of the prestigious game of cricket.
"I am not at all surprised with somebody already predicting, who is going to get into the finals of the IPL. We have been talking about the ills that have gotten into this system. And unless and until you are not going to correct the system, people are going to fix matches like this, allegedly as one of the companies has said that the finals would be played between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders," said Azad.
"How did he know two days in advance is a big question mark on the basic sanctity of the IPL?" he asked.
When asked whether all this was taking place because the format of IPL is not good, Azad said: "There is nothing wrong with the format of the IPL. There is nothing wrong with the game. The only thing wrong is the ones, who are running the game. They have flouted all norms, the rules and regulations, FEMA violations have taken place, evasion of income tax and then you have money laundering, all these reports."
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