The 12th season of Indian Premier League is all set to begin its proceedings from March 23, 2019, where the defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
The IPL is considered as one of the biggest sports event globally featuring talented cricketers from all over the world. Apart from the astounding cricket action, IPL is also well-known for its heated controversies which not only features the cricketers but also the management and the franchise owners.
Here are the top 10 IPL controversies of all time:
1. Harbhajan’s Slap (2008):
The inaugural season of IPL was full of action, unexpected results and sparking controversies. One of the biggest controversies took place on April 25, 2008, in Mohali, when Mumbai Indians led by then skipper Harbhajan Singh faced their third consecutive loss against Kings XI Punjab. After the game ended, when teams were returning back to the pavilion, the Mumbai Indians’ stand-in skipper Harbhajan Singh reportedly slapped Kings XI Punjab paceman S. Sreesanth. Although the exact reason for the incident remains a mystery, Sreesanth is believed to have said something that Singh found offensive. Harbhajan later went on to regret his action and apologised to Sreesanth.
2. Lalit Modi sacked (2010):
Back in 2010, the IPL founder and chairman Lalit Modi was suspended from his post by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after charges of financial wrongdoing against him emerged. Lalit Modi has been accused of a wide range of financial impropriety, offering bribes, betting and money laundering in IPL which led to his lifetime ban from holding any cricket post by BCCI.
3. Kochi Chaos (2011):
Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK) were an IPL franchise representing the city Kochi in Kerala. The franchise made its debut in 2011 along with Pune Warriors India but was terminated the same year after it failed to furnish its bank guarantee by the stipulated date, March 26. On 19 September 2011, the BCCI announced that the Kochi Tuskers Kerala IPL franchise was terminated for breaching its terms of an agreement.
4. Shah Rukh Khan’s Wankhede brawl (2012):
In 2012, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the Bollywood star and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner was involved in a brawl with Mumbai Cricket Association’s security guard after his side’s win over the Mumbai Indians. SRK was accused of walking into the field after the game and abusing the official. Mumbai Cricket Association banned Khan from entering the stadium for five years but revoked it in 2015. On the controversy, SRK claimed that the security guard stopped a group of children from entering the ground to play and even manhandled the kids which triggered the actor into an argument with the security personnel, in which SRK allegedly abused and pushed MCA security guard.
5. Molestation charges over Luke Pomersbach (2012):
The 2012 edition of IPL was full of controversies as just after two days of SRK’s brawl with MCA officials at Wankhede Stadium another controversy arose as the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman Luke Pomersbach was arrested in New Delhi for allegedly molesting a U.S. woman who also claimed that the Australian player had beaten up her fiancé when he tried to intervene. RCB’s then owner Vijay Mallya suspended Pomersbach pending inquiry, but all charges were later dropped after the complainants withdrew the case.
6. Spot-fixing scandal (2013):
The spot-fixing and betting case from IPL 2013 arose when Delhi Police claimed it had evidence that the Rajasthan Royals trio of Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan indulged in spot-fixing. The cricketers were arrested and later handed life bans, with the scandal itself going down as the worst in IPL history. In a separate case, Mumbai Police arrested Vindu Dara Singh and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan for alleged betting and having links with bookies.
7. Gauti Kohli argument (2013):
During IPL 2013, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Virat Kohli and Kolkata Knight Riders’ Gautam Gambhir were involved in a heated argument after the former was caught in the sweeper cover region. As Gambhir and other KKR players walked toward the sweeper cover region to celebrate the dismissal, Kohli instead of walking back to the pavilion walked towards short extra cover and allegedly made a remark. Soon Gambhir also made certain remarks and to cool down the situation another Delhi player Rajat Bhatia got in between the duo. Things were, however, much calmer when the duo met in the 2016 edition. Later, when asked about the controversy Virat Kohli said, “What’s done on the field is done.” While Gambhir said, “Some things happen in the heat of the moment… it’s nothing.”
8. Preity Zinta Ness Wadia controversy (2014):
Bollywood actor Preity Zinta and business tycoon Ness Wadia who are once dating, parted ways in 2009. Although they remained friends and business partners after their break-up. However, things apparently took an ugly turn when Wadia allegedly molested and threatened Zinta at the Wankhede Stadium during one of the IPL games on the evening of May 30, 2014. The actress lodged a complaint with the police, accusing Wadia of threatening to kill her. The Mumbai Police had filed a chargesheet against Ness Wadia under section 354, 506 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, after almost four years.
9. Pollard-Starc altercation (2014):
The controversy between Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Mitchell Starc sparked when the Australian pacer purportedly threw the ball at the West Indies’ all-rounder even when the latter pulled out of his stance. Pollard responded by hurling his bat at Starc, and it took the umpires and Chris Gayle to separate the duo. The game turned into one heated argument soon which later resulted as Pollard was fined 75 per cent while Starc lost 50 per cent of his match fee.
10. RR and CSK suspension (2015):
After the IPL 2013 spot-fixing incident by three Rajasthan Royals players, the honourable Supreme Court-appointed three-member panel to look into the matter. The Justice Lodha committee suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years as the investigation found the two franchises involved in illegal betting on cricket matches as well as in spot-fixing. The panel had also banned former CSK official Gurunath Meiyappan and RR co-owner Raj Kundra, for having contacts with the bookies.