Indian Premier League and it's dark past: 11 shocking controversies
IPL 2018 gears up for a historic edition once again. Indian Premier League fans and cricket enthusiasts are all set to root for their favourite teams again this season
IPL defending champions Mumbai Indians. Pic/ AFP
Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set for a historic eleventh edition this year and fans and cricket enthusiasts cannot wait to root for their favourite teams again this season. IPL 2018 season will have eight teams participating, that includes Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are back in this year's edition after serving respective bans. The IPL 2018 season also witnesses the exit of former IPL teams like Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant. Take a look at the full list of IPL 2018 squads.
While IPL is known to bring the whole country together - men, women, children of different ages - we have witnessed quite a few incidents that have created a dark cloud over the cash-rich Twenty20 league. Over the years, the Indian Premier League has been marred with scandals and controversies such as the slapgate, spot-fixing scandals in 2012 and 2013, BCCI's tryst with many teams and owners and many more. Peeking into the dark side of IPL this time, let's walk down memory lane, and look at some of the biggest controversies in the history of the Indian Premier League.
During the IPL 6 season, three Rajasthan Royals bowlers - S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan - were arrested on charges of spot-fixing by Delhi Police. In September, S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan were banned for life from the BCCI. Later in July 2015, Sreesath was acquitted in the fixing case. Ankit Chandila was given a life ban in January 2016.
In a move that left everyone shocked, MS Dhoni was sacked as skipper of Rising Pune Supergiant on the eve of high-profile player auction for the T20 spectacle. This was the the first time in his illustrious career that the 35-year-old was sacked as a captain. He was replaced by Steve Smith. The move to sack Dhoni as RPS skipper came after he ended his innings as skipper in international cricket after he quit as Team India captain in the limited overs format. Dhoni, who had stepped down as India's limited-overs captain to snap his international run as skipper earlier this year, will, however, continue to be a part of the Pune franchise as a player. "Dhoni has not stepped down. We have appointed Steve Smith as the skipper for the upcoming season. Frankly speaking, we did not have a good last season and we wanted someone young to lead the side and revamp it ahead of the upcoming season 10," Rising Pune Supergiants owner Sanjiv Goenka had said at the time.
Celebrated commentator Harsha Bhogle found himself out of favour for a place in the Indian Premier League-9 commentary team after his comments in the box weren't well received by some members of the Indian cricket team and officials within the BCCI. Bhogle was informed of his termination by the BCCI , but big wigs did not offer an explanation for dropping Bhogle. Bhogle has remained off the air as a cricket commentator for a year now. The controversy rose last year when Bhogle's criticism of the Indian team wasn't well taken by Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who indirectly took a shot at Bhogle. This tweet was subsequently re-tweeted by former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and complaints were made to the BCCI by Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay. Bhogle was then cut at a late stage from the IPL 9 despite being part of its early production videos and promotion.
On 14 July 2015, Chennai Super Kings, the most consistent team in the IPL, and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the cash-rich cricket league for a period of two years following the IPL match fixing scandal. The Justice Lodha Committee found Gurunath Meiyappan and RR's co-owner Raj Kundra guilty of their roles in betting and were banned for life from taking part in any cricketing activities. Two new teams - Pune Rising Supergiants and Gujarat Lions were added to the roster. (Pic/ PTI)
BCCI expelled both Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab franchises from the Indian Premier League (IPL) for committing violations in their shareholding pattern, without informing the cricket board. But both the franchises decided to contest the ruling and ultimately the issue went to court. The Bombay High Court ruled in favour of the franchises allowing them to be part of the tournament. However, currently Rajasthan Royals is no longer part of the tournament.
In April 2010, the BCCI suspended IPL chairman Lalit Modi for 'alleged acts of individual misdemeanours'. The BCCI framed 22 charges of impropriety against Modi. But the sacked IPL chairman has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. The BCCI even stopped 12 Indian players from joining the Sri Lankan Premier League T20 cricket tournament in 2011 on the basis that Modi had ties with the event's organizers. Modi has denied these links too.
In September 2011, BCCI terminated the Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise after they allegedly defaulted on the payment of franchise fees to the cricket board. The trigger for the decision was the franchise's inability to furnish a new bank guarantee for 2011. Some of the Kochi players were picked up during the auction for IPL V.
IPL IV saw a major controversy surrounding the pitch selection for a Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings game. The controversy erupted after the pitch at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur was changed at the last minute. Royals' captain Shane Warne had termed the decision as 'ridiculous' and hinted at foul play. The accusation was aimed at CSK owner N Srinivasan using his clout to influence the curator's decision. The board had rubbished the claims and said that it was the curator's prerogative to select the playing surface.
Unhappy with the treatment meted out to them, Sahara India ended its 11-year-old financial ties with the BCCI and also pulled out of the IPL by withdrawing from Pune Warriors' ownership just hours before the players auction for the fifth edition. Sahara accused the Board of not giving due consideration to its genuine grievances. The board is hoping to resolve the issue amicably.
On May 14, 2012, an Indian news channel aired a sting operation which deceptively caught a person committing some secretive negotiation on television. It caught five players discussing terms and conditions where they would be willing to do spot-fixing. BCCI and the IPL President Rajiv Shukla reacted to the TV news by immediately suspending those five uncapped Indian players: TP Sudhindra from the franchise Deccan Chargers, Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav and Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) as also Abhinav Bali from Delhi. Mishra admitted to having said that franchises pay black money in a sting operation.
The Bombay High Court on April 15th directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to shift all IPL 9 matches out of Maharashtra after April 30. The court made the ruling since it said it could not afford to ignore the plight of people affected by drought. The directive means 13 IPL matches scheduled to be held in Maharashtra after April 30 will have to be shifted to new venues. The 13 matches that will move out include six to be played in Pune, four in Mumbai and three in Nagpur. While delivering the order, the High Court said that shifting of IPL matches to another state could be a beginning towards addressing the drought situation in Maharashtra.
IPL 2018 will have quite a few faced making their debut on the grand stage. All eyes will be on these young performers during the Indian Premier League 2018. India's Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill, South Africa's Lungi Ngidi, Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhanne and Afghanistan's Mujeeb Zadran will all look to make their mark in this season. Here is a detailed look at these 5 budding stars.
Watch the video here
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will look to retain their title again while Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will look to regain their lost respect. Mumbai Indians remain the only team to win the IPL title three times, while Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders have won the trophy twice. Virat Kohli's RCB has been runners-up on 3 occasions while Gautam Gambhir's Delhi Daredevils have done the same twice.
The Indian Premier League 2018 edition will begin on 7 April 2018 and will come to a close on 27 May 2018. IPL matches are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. IST. Read here for more details on the full schedule.
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