IPL controversies
IPL controversies

The Indian Premier League(IPL) has many controversies moments since the inaugural season. The moments which lead to players suspension and even the franchise have been suspended under many circumstances.

List of controversies that happen in IPL since 2008.

Slapgate Controversie(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.

Sreesanth slapgate IPL controversie

Pakistan bans cricketers from participating in IPL (2009)

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.

Lalit Modi suspended by BCCI(2010)

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.

Lalit Modi suspends by BCCI
Lalit Modi

Ravindra Jadeja banned (2010)

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.

Sensational revelations by cheerleader (2011)

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 (2011)

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 (2011)

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.

First signs of spot-fixing (2012)

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 (pictured, R). 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(2012)

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.

ShahRukh Khan verbal fight with security guard in Wankhede Stadium
ShahRukh Khan verbal fight with security guard in Wankhede Stadium

Deccan Chargers terminated (2012)

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 held in South Africa.

Rahul Sharma, Wayne Parnell test positive for recreational drugs (2012)

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 (2012)

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.

Luke Pomersbach
Luke Pomersbach

Sri Lankan cricketers banned from Chennai (2013)

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 (2013)

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.

Spot-fixing scandal (2013)

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 (2013)

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.

Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia row (2014)

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.

Preity Zinta Ness Wadia
Preity Zinta Ness Wadia

Mitchell Starc-Kieron Pollard altercation (2014)

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.

Kohli breaks BCCI guidelines (2015)

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 (2015)

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.

CSK RR banned includes in IPL controversies
Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals banned for 2 years from IPL

IPL moved out of Maharashtra due to water scarcity(2016)

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.

Kieron Pollard slams Sanjay Manjrekar (2017)

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…”

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.”

Harsh Goenka takes a dig at Dhoni (2017)

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.”

Ashwin ‘mankads’ Buttler (2019)

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.”

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.”

Umpiring error (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 (2020)

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.

Sunil Gavaskar slammed for his ‘distasteful’ remark on Anushka Sharma (2020)

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.