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IPL Controversies: The Indian Premier League(IPL) has had many controversial moments since the inaugural season. The moments which lead to players’ suspension and even the franchise have been suspended under many circumstances.
Though cricket is known as a gentle man’s game there are times when the scenes got worsen on the cricket pitch itself. While playing an underpressure game, players lose their temper and will get into an altercation.
Following are the details of such major IPL controversies since 2008:
IPL Controversies 2008
The IPL courted controversies right from the maiden season when the then skipper for MI Harbhajan Singh reportedly slapped KXIP paceman S. Sreesanth.
The incident happens after Punjab had won the match against Mumbai Indians. Although the exact reason for the incident remains a mystery, Sreesanth is believed to have said something that Singh found offensive.
IPL Controversies 2009
Pakistan bans cricketers from participating in IPL
In the backdrop of terror attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, the Pakistan government deemed it was unsafe for its players to travel to India for the following year’s IPL.
Top players such as Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, and Umar Gul, who was playing for various franchises, were declined permission along with others.
IPL Controversies 2010
Lalit Modi suspended by BCCI
The IPL founder and chairman was suspended from his post by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after charges of financial wrongdoing emerged against him that year.
After finding him guilty of indiscipline and misconduct, the BCCI, in 2013, banned him for life from holding any cricket post.
Ravindra Jadeja banned
Jadeja did not renew his contract with the Rajasthan Royals and tried to negotiate a more profitable deal with other franchises. It was a serious breach of players’ guidelines, and the IPL Governing Council slapped a one-year ban on him.
IPL Controversies 2011
Sensational revelations by cheerleader
South African cheerleader Gabriella Pasqualotto (of MI) created quite a stir in the fourth edition of the IPL after she blogged about the questionable conduct of cricketers at post-match parties.
She was sacked from her role as a cheerleader by the IPL, but that did little to scuttle the controversy.
Sourav Ganguly dumped by KKR
The fourth season of the IPL saw the KKR dumping Ganguly after his base price reportedly increased from $200,000 (around Rs. 9 million) to $400,000 (Rs. 18 million).
The southpaw was later bought by the Pune Warriors as a late replacement for injured Ashish Nehra, but the KKR snub effectively ended Ganguly’s IPL career Who is the current President of BCCI.
Kochi Tuskers terminated
The franchise made its debut in 2011, but was terminated the same year after it failed to furnish its bank guarantee by the stipulated date of March 26.
In 2015, the team won an arbitration challenge according to which BCCI was ordered to pay Rs. 550 crore as compensation with an 18 percent annual penalty. The matter has since remained unsolved.
IPL Controversies 2012
First signs of spot-fixing
Acting on a sting operation conducted by a news channel, the then BCCI President N. Srinivasan handed a life ban to medium-pacer T.P. Sudhindra and a five-year ban to fast-medium bowler Shalabh Srivastava.
Three others – batsmen Mohnish Mishra and Abhinav Bali, and all-rounder Amit Yadav – were banned for a year. All five were involved in a spot-fixing scandal.
Shah Rukh Khan banned from entering Wankhede stadium
The Bollywood star and KKR co-owner was involved in an altercation with security guards at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after his side’s win over MI. Khan was accused of walking into the field after the game and abusing the officials.
Mumbai Cricket Association banned Khan from entering the stadium for five years but revoked it in 2015.
Deccan Chargers terminated
The contract of the IPL franchise was canceled by the BCCI after it failed to pay the stipulated bank guarantee of Rs. 100 crore.
The team took the matter to court, alleging that the termination happened a day before the expiry of a show-cause notice. In 2020, a Bombay High Court-appointed arbitration tribunal held the BCCI guilty and ordered it to pay Deccan Chronicles Holding Ltd (DCHL), the owner of the franchise, Rs. 4,800 crore in damages.
Notably, Deccan Chargers won the 2009 IPL which was held in South Africa.
Rahul Sharma, Wayne Parnell test positive for recreational drugs
Pune Warriors’ Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell were detained in Mumbai when the police raided a rave party.
The duo tested positive for recreational drugs, however, they were soon released and didn’t face any ban from their franchises.
Luke Pomersbach arrested over molestation charges
The RCB batsman was arrested in New Delhi over a complaint of molestation filed by an American woman, who also claimed that the Australian player had beaten up her fiance when he tried to intervene.
RCB suspended Pomersbach’s pending inquiry, but all charges were later dropped after the complainants withdrew the case.
IPL Controversies 2013
Sri Lankan cricketers banned from Chennai
The 2013 season of IPL didn’t feature a single Sri Lankan player or match official for any game in Chennai, as the then Tamil Nadu government deemed it was unsafe for them to stay in the city. The decision was taken amid political tensions over the treatment of Tamilians in Sri Lanka.
Virat Kohli-Gautam Gambhir spat
Things went a bit too far when Kohli and Gambhir charged at each other after the former got dismissed. Remarks were exchanged, and Delhi player Rajat Bhatia had to pacify the duo. Things were, however, much calmer when the duo met in the 2016 edition.
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.
Other top names who were implicated included BCCI chief N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Royals’ owner Raj Kundra, both of whom were banned for life from all cricketing activities in 2015.
Sahara pulls Pune Warriors out
Pune Warriors owner Sahara Adventure Sports Limited announced its withdrawal from the IPL in the controversy-marred year. The move came after BCCI decided to encash Sahara’s bank guarantee after it failed to pay the full franchise fee for the year.
IPL Controversies 2014
Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia row
While Wadia and Zinta’s much-publicized romance reportedly ended a few years back, the businessman-actress duo decided to continue their professional relationship.
However, things went sour between the two when Zinta lodged a complaint with the police, accusing Wadia of threatening and molesting her during one of the IPL games at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Mitchell Starc-Kieron Pollard altercation
Sparks flew when RCB’s Starc followed up his bouncer to Mumbai Indians’ Pollard with a few choice words during a game. Next ball, Pollard pulled out of his stance, but Starc didn’t abort his run-up and instead threw the ball at Pollard.
Pollard responded by hurling his bat at Starc, and it took the umpires and Chris Gayle to separate the duo. Pollard was fined 75 percent while Starc lost 50 percent of his match fee.
IPL Controversies 2015
Kohli breaks BCCI guidelines
The RCB skipper breached BCCI’s anti-corruption guidelines when he stepped out of the players’ area to meet actress and his then-girlfriend Anushka Sharma during a rain break in an IPL match.
Players and match officials are not allowed to leave their designated area during a game, as per BCCI’s guidelines. Kohli escaped the offense with a verbal warning.
Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals suspended
The Supreme Court-appointed three-member panel suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals for two years as part of big-ticket reforms to Indian cricket.
Justice R.M. Lodha, the head of the committee, became the face of the court’s crusade against corruption in Indian cricket, which also led to the ouster of the BCCI’s top brass.
IPL Controversies 2016
IPL moved out of Maharashtra due to water scarcity
Acting on a Public Interest Litigation by an NGO, the Bombay High Court directed the BCCI to shift all IPL matches, scheduled after April 30, outside the state.
The court said the use of water to maintain the pitches while there was a drought in the state was a waste of resources. The state missed out on hosting 13 matches, including the final.
IPL Controversies 2017
Kieron Pollard slams Sanjay Manjrekar
The West Indian all-rounder slammed the former Indian cricketer and commentator for calling him “brainless,” during a match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Pollard tweeted: “@sanjaymanjrekar u feel any positive can come out of your mouth bcuz u get pay to talk u can continue with your verbal diarrhea..”
He also said: “Do you know how I get big so.. about BRAINLESS.. words are very powerful .. once it leaves u can’t take it back… sins of parents fall on…”
Do you know how I get big so.. about BRAINLESS.. words are very powerful .. once it leaves u can’t take it back.. sins of parents fall on…
— Kieron Pollard (@KieronPollard55) April 9, 2017
Manjrekar denied the claim and clarified on Twitter: “Said ‘Does he have the range (to bat higher up the order)?’ Using terms like ‘no brains’ or ‘brainless’, not my style. I can be critical but never insulting. I would also encourage all those reacting to the Pollard issue to hear the footage & not just take my word for it.”
@sanjaymanjrekar u feel any positive can come out of your mouth bcuz u get pay to talk u can continue with your verbal diarrhea ..
— Kieron Pollard (@KieronPollard55) April 9, 2017
Harsh Goenka takes a dig at Dhoni
Goenka, chairman of RPG Enterprises and the brother of Sanjiv Goenka – the owner of Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), was heavily criticised after taking a dig at M.S. Dhoni.
Goenka tweeted: “#RPSvMI Smith proves who’s the king of the jungle. Overshadows Dhoni totally. Captains innings. Great move to appoint him as captain.”
IPL Controversies 2019
Ashwin ‘mankads’ Buttler
KXIP captain Ravichandran Ashwin “mankaded” Rajasthan Royals (RR) batsman Jos Buttler (L) during a match, eventually leading his side to a win by 14 runs.
In cricketing terms, “mankading” is a run-out method, where the bowler can dismiss the non-striker by hitting the bails before bowling if the former is outside his crease.
While Ashwin’s move was lauded by some fans, it was largely frowned upon by cricketers who voiced their opinions on social media. Eoin Morgan tweeted, “I can’t believe what I’m seeing!! @IPL Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that.”
I can’t believe what I’m seeing!! @IPL Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that.
— Eoin Morgan (@Eoin16) March 25, 2019
Shane Warne also posted a tweet saying, “So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball – so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI – this a not a good look for the #IPL.”
So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball – so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI – this a not a good look for the #IPL
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 25, 2019
IPL Controversies 2020
A major controversy in this edition was an umpiring error that apparently cost KXIP the match. Playing against Delhi Capitals (DC), Chris Jordan went for a second run but his first was adjudged ‘short-run’ by the leg umpire during the third ball of the 19th over.
Replays showed that Jordan had in fact completed his first run. Thus only one run was added to the KXIPs total, bringing the scores at the level. KXIP could not take the final run in the next three balls and the match entered the Super Over stage where they lost.
The umpiring decision came in for severe criticism from many on social media, including former cricketers such as Virender Sehwag. KXIP subsequently lodged an appeal with the match referee over the umpiring error.
IPL theme song ‘plagiarism’ row
Even before the season got underway, the tournament found itself in a ‘musical’ controversy when an artist named Krishna Kaul alleged that the theme song of this year’s tournament, “Aayenge Hum Wapas,” was plagiarised from his song “Dekh Kaun Aaya Waapas.”
Responding to the allegation, Pranav Ajayrao Malpe, the composer of the IPL theme song, told news agency ANI, “I was shocked. My composition is original and has not been inspired by any other artist’s work. It has been created by me and my team through our hard work and efforts.”
According to ANI, he also presented a certificate from the Music Composers Association of India stating that he was an original composition. In response, Kaul took to Twitter to air his dissatisfaction.
“This is scary! I just got word that ‘Music Composer’s Association of India’ has suggested that plagiarisation of Hip Hop songs is permissible in their opinion because all hip hop songs sound the same. Shabaash! Tumhara khoon khoon, hamara khoon paani! #IPLanthemcopied,” he wrote.
This is scary! I just got word that ‘Music Composer’s Association of India’ has suggested that plagiarisation of Hip Hop songs is permissible in their opinion because all hip hop songs sound the same. Shabaash! Tumhara khoon khoon, hamara khoon paani! #IPLanthemcopied
— KR$NA (@realkrsna) September 9, 2020
Sunil Gavaskar slammed for his ‘distasteful’ remark on Anushka Sharma
Referring to Virat Kohli‘s poor form during a match between (RCB) and (KXIP), commentator Gavaskar made a remark involving the Indian captain’s wife.
The comment did not go down well with the actress and she took to Instagram to issue a statement, calling Gavaskar’s comment “distasteful.”
She wrote, “I’m sure you can have many other words and sentences in your mind to use to comment on my husband’s performance from last night, or are your words only relevant if you use my name in the process?”
Later, Gavaskar told India Today that he was not being sexist. “Where am I blaming her, where am I being sexist in this? I am only stating what was seen on the video… I am only saying that the video says that she was bowling to Virat. So Virat has played only that bowling in the lockdown period… Where am I blaming her for Virat’s failures?” he said referring to a viral video of Kohli playing cricket with Sharma in the front yard of their home in May.
IPL Controversies 2021
No-ball controversy during the CSK vs DC game
During the final over of the IPL 2021 CSK vs DC league match, in the second innings DC needed 6 from the last over, CSK’s Dwayne Bravo bowled wide outside the off-stump of the West Indies batter Shimron Hetmyer.
It was so wide that it failed to even land on the pitch. In an ideal scenario this should have been a no-ball.
However, the umpire Anil Chaudhry after giving a no-ball suddenly changed his decision and gave it a wide. This didn’t sit well with several cricket pundits. Even the legendary Sunil Gavaskar went on to criticise the umpire for his decision.
Ashwin vs Eoin Morgan Duel
This happened during the game between DC and KKR. While batting in the death overs, the player decided to take the extra run after a throw from Rahul Tripathi deflected off his skipper Rishabh Pant’s bat at the non-striker’s end.
This didn’t sit well with a few people from KKR as their skipper Morgan himself got into a verbal duel with Ashwin.
Several former cricketers including Shane Warne criticized Ashwin for going against the “Spirit of the Game”. The spinner later defended himself on Twitter and mentioned that he did nothing wrong.
IPL Controversies 2022
Harshal and Parag Get into an Argument
On April 26, At the end of the first innings of the RCB vs RR match, RCB’s Harshal Patel and Rajasthan Royals’ Riyan Parag get into a heated argument while both players walk toward their respective dugouts.
Harshal bowled the last over the of the innings and Parag hit two sixes, one of which came off the last ball. Riyan Parag struck 18 runs off the last over from Harshal Patel which includes a couple of sixes with a boundary.
RR ended the innings after scoring 144 runs for 8 wickets loss where Riyan Parag scored his second IPL half-century and remains unbeaten for 56 runs. The exact reason for the argument was not known while the clash has been disbanded by the teammates.
— Times of Sports (@timesofsports) April 26, 2022
DC vs RR No ball Controversy
During the match against Rajasthan Royals, the same match which Ricky Ponting skipped, Rishabh Pant gestered DC’s batsmen to return to the pavilion while staying behind the boundary line where batting coach Pravin Amre gets into the playing area and had an heated argument with the umpires regarding the delivery which they thought a no ball.
Rajasthan Royals pacer Obed McCoy had bowled a full-toss on the third ball of the over and the Delhi Capitals camp thought it was a definite no-ball.
In the end, Obed McCoy was able to deliver the final three balls on a good spot and Delhi Capitals stumbled to a 15-run loss.
Amre has been fined 100% of his match and handed a one-match ban for his offence. Pant and Thakur were fined 100% and 50% of their match fee respectively. All three DC members have accepted their sanctions.
Ashwin’s Retired Out
During IPL 2022 league match between Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Super Giants at the Wankhede Stadium saw Ravichandran Ashwin become the first batter in IPL history to be tactically retired out.
Promoted to No. 6, Ashwin was on 28 off 23 when he walked off, allowing Riyan Parag to join Shimron Hetmyer in the middle. Parag ended up scoring eight off four balls. Hetmyer struck 59 off 36 as RR finished on 165 for 6.
Only four batters, including Ashwin, have been dismissed retired out in T20s.
- R. Ashwin Rajasthan Royals vs Lucknow Super Giants IPL 2022
- Sonam Tobgay Bhutan vs Maldives T20I, 2019
- Sunzamul Islam Cumilla Warriors vs CC BPL 2019
- Shahid Afridi Pakistanis vs Northants Tour Match, 2010
Kane Williamson Controversial Dismissal
The incident happened in the game between SRH and Rajasthan Royals on March 29. SRH skipper Kane Williamson was adjudged to be caught out by Devdutt Padikal. The replays indicated that the ball had touched the ground before Padikkal caught it.
Williamson opened alongside Abhishek Sharma in SRH’s opening match of the season. After Trent Boult gave away just 2 runs in the first over, Prasidh Krishna arrived to bowl the second and quickly gave Rajasthan Royals their first wicket of the match.
That wicket was of none other than Williamson. The Kiwi stalwart only managed to stay for 7 balls, scoring 2 runs. However, the manner of his dismissal saw the third umpire draw plenty of flak.
Brilliant reflection catch from Devdutt Padikkal👏
— Times of Sports (@timesofsports) March 29, 2022
It was the 4th delivery of Krishna’s over that took the outside edge of Williamson’s bat and went towards the wicket-keeper Samson. The Rajasthan Royals skipper failed to complete the catch as the ball slipped off his right hand and went towards the first-slip fielder Devdutt Padikkal.
Padikkal seemed to have failed to complete a clean catch, with the ball looking to have touched the ground before the fielder was able to gain full control over it.
Regarding this SRH team management has written to the Indian Premier League (IPL) officials, protesting the third umpire’s decision against their skipper in their first match against Rajasthan Royals at the MCA Stadium in Pune on March 29.
Sunil Gavaskar’s Unpleasant Comment on Shimron Hetmyer
During RR’s match against CSK, while commenting the legendary Sunil Gavaskar lands in controversy after making a fun comment on Shimron Hetmyer and his wife.
Gavaskar said: “Hetmyer’s wife delivered, will Hetmyer deliver for the Royals now?” during Rajasthan Royals’ match against Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2022.
On May 10, Hetmyer was blessed with a baby boy and later Hetmyer returned to India and joined the RR squad for the IPL 2022 season.