A tainted legacy: IPL Controversies (2008-2018)

IPL Controversy

The legacy of IPL has not only included glorious records and wondrous players but has also revealed to us the darker side of the sport, the events that come up as breaking news and catches everyone’s attention, surprising and annoying them but sadly, entertaining too. Let’s have a glance at the biggest controversies in chronological order:

2008: This was the year, when the first session of the Indian Premier League was out. Two controversies took place then. The first one was a conflict with the England and Wales Cricket Board. The first IPL season was coinciding with New Zealand’s tour of England and the County Championship. The ECB (England and Wales cricket board) got into a problem with BCCI, when their concerns were not paid attention to and in turn, the ECB refused to sign the No objectification certificate for the IPL. Only one player turned up for the IPL from England. Another move by ECB was the introduction of the Twenty20 English Premier League. The second one was the Slap controversy that occurred when the Mumbai Indians’ player Harbhajan Singh slapped the Kings XI Punjab paceman S.Sreesanth. Nobody is sure what his motivation exactly was, but it did cost Singh 11 games because he was banned.

2009: Ness Wadia and Mohit Burman‘s deplorable behavior and the Pakistani Cricket teams were gripping the headlines this year. Ness Wadia was accused by girlfriend Preity Zinta for molestation and she went onto say that he has violent tendencies which were not safe for her. Mohit Burman, the very same year was accused of poking the daughter of Ajay Gupta, the owner of Sahara group with a flagpole during the match. The Pakistan government banned its cricketers from coming to India for the 2009 IPL. This is because the previous year, there had been terror attacks in relation to the country and thus, it was deemed unsafe for them to travel to India.

2010: This year’s IPL was well-known for it’s Lalit Modi scandal that garnered a lot of attention. Lalit Modi was the mastermind behind the idea of the Indian Premier League. On the exterior, he was accused of breaching confidentiality as he tweeted the details of the new Kochi IPL team. But when dug further, he was accused of money laundering and several other financial wrongdoings.  He left the country to go to the UK. He was then banned for life to take up any cricket-related post in 2013.

2011: Misdemeanour of cricket players at post-match parties was brought to attention by cheerleader Gabriella Pasqualotto. She was eventually removed from her post, however, it did create a stir and raise eyebrows about the behaviour of these cricketers.

2012: The spot-fixing begins. Spot-fixing has gone onto become a huge problem for IPL. But it was showing it’s colors in 2012 when several players were banned from cricket due to it. TP Sudhindra faced a life ban. Shalabh Srivastava faced a 5-year ban. Abhinav Bali and Mohnish Mishra were banned for a year. The same year Shah Rukh Khan, the huge Bollywood celebrity misbehaved with the guards and officials at the Wankhede Stadium and was banned from entering the field.

2013: Betting was now becoming another problem. Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of BCCI President N.Srinivasan and a top official of the CSK was charged for betting. Even Raj Kundra, who owned Rajasthan Royals back then was charged with betting to which he confessed and thus, he lost the team. Both the franchises were banned for two years from the tournament. This year also looked at the biggest controversy of IPL when Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and the popular player, Sreesanth were given life-bans as they were accused of match-fixing.

2014: Although a lot of people thought that the Ness Wadia and Preity Zinta controversy got over long back. Apparently, they were still together and this time, he had allegedly threatened to kill her, molested and threatened her. She then lodged a complaint with the police.


IPL Celeb owners 2018: Lesser drama = more responsibility?

SRK Preety Zinta Juhi Chawla Nita Amnbani KhelPanda

The Indian Premier League has long been known for controversies, betting, match-making and anger issues. It has been in the headlines for reasons apart from cricket on innumerable occasions. Teams have been banned, popular owners, like Kundra, have been removed from their position of power and players blacklisted, all for money. Money is indeed a poison that corrupts and infects people.

The other important thing is popularity. For the longest time, we tend to see the celeb owners over the less popular owners, in the news, mostly involved in the drama, behind the scenes. They are extremely concerned about their public image and the public display of their involvement in all this, is as disturbing to them as it is to some of us who read about it. At the end of the day, the most popular figures, are the ones who try the hardest to look their best.

Most of the time, in the past, players have also been chosen based on their public popularity more than their real-time performance results. It appears as though, this time, there is a shift in the way these celebs and others are handling their stature and importance. They may be doing so responsibly, but we cannot be so sure yet. To look at this year’s situation, let’s get the popular celebs straightened out – Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Juhi Chawla and Nita Ambani.

It was noticeable, that this time, these celebs were going for the less-popular cricketers like Ben Stokes and Manish Pandey. More obvious popular choices such as Martin Guptill, Hashim Amla were not even bid for. To everyone’s immense surprise, Chris Gayle was not even bid for until the very end when Kings XI Punjab took him in for the lowest bid. It was a sad sight for a lot of the fans, however, it was reasonable if we consider his performance in the recent matches.

Also, during this year’s bidding, we saw the entry of the two of the youngest participants – Jhanvi Mehta (Juhi Chawla’s daughter) and Akash Ambani (Nita’s Ambani’s son). It was a refreshing sight and gave us all the feeling that the decisions being made this time were probably done in a different way, with fresher perspectives, which have probably resulted in good results for the teams.

Talking about reputation, it is very obvious that the stars don’t want the fans to think that they don’t care enough. Some of the public stunts and the social media posts are mainly for this purpose. Shahrukh Khan recently took on Twitter to apologize for the lack of spirit of KKR and their horrible fail. Preity Zinta had a feud with Kings XI Punjab mentor, Virender Sehwag publicly after the match. I am not sure whether she consciously chose that particular moment to lose her cool or if it was simply a burst of anger. Either way, it garnered a lot of attention.

Thus, one can say that Drama is an essential part of IPL, whether it be on purpose or by chance. However, this year we have seen relatively lesser of that and more of fair IPL selections, matches and no unnecessary drama.