Not quite cricket: Controversies that rocked the League

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Be it exciting cricket, jaw-dropping performances or controversies, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen it all since its inception in 2008.

Over the years, there has been an abundance of hullabaloo. From IPL spot-fixing scandal, Ashwin’s ‘Mankad’ row, to Shreesath’s slap-gate and Shah Rukh Khan’s Wankhede ban, India’s cash-rich cricket league has witnessed it all.

IANS takes you down the memory lane when cricket in IPL was overshadowed by controversies.

2008: Harbhajan-Sreesanth slap-gate

In the inaugural edition of IPL, Sreesanth of then Kings XI Punjab was slapped by Harbhajan Singh, who was the captain of Mumbai Indians at the time.

The pacer was caught by TV crying on the field before the presentation ceremony. Following the inquiry, Harbhajan was banned from the remainder of the tournament and IPL prohibited the spinner from collecting his salary after finding him guilty. The BCCI even banned Bhajji for five ODIs.

2010: Lalit Modi sacked

Lalit Modi was the first Chairman and Commissioner of the IPL, who was considered the brain behind the cash-rich cricket jamboree. He was sacked after being allegedly accused of misconduct, indiscipline and financial irregularities. The BCCI launched an investigation and found him guilty of all the charges and banned him for life in 2013. Lalit Modi, however, denied the charges and fled to London shortly before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) launched an investigation against him.

2012: Shah Rukh Khan banned from Wankhede

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who is the co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, was banned by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for five years from entering the Wankhede Stadium for misbehaving with its officials after an IPL match. As per reports, Shah Rukh got into an argument with one of the guards and allegedly abused him.

2013: IPL spot-fixing

The entire cricketing world was shocked when Delhi Police arrested three players of Rajasthan Royals — S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan — on charges of spot-fixing. Meanwhile, in a similar case, Mumbai Police arrested Vindu Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of CSK owner and now-ousted former BCCI President N. Srinivasan, for alleged betting and having links with bookies.

In 2015, the Supreme Court suspended Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings for two years. The two sides returned to the competition in 2018.

2019: Ashwin’s ‘Mankading’ row

The 12th edition of the league was shadowed by the ‘Mankading’ controversy after Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin ran out Rajasthan’s Jos Buttler, who was at the non-striker’s end. Buttler’s dismissal triggered a ‘spirit of the game’ debate and left the cricket world divided. However, the rules were in favour of Ashwin.

Despite all the dramas throughout, the BCCI needs to be praised as it has managed to deliver non-stop cricket to all the fans around the globe. Even when most of the sporting events were suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian board didn’t bow down and made sure “the show must go on”.

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