Even though the IPL has had a rather short life so far, there haven’t been a shortage of controversy surrounding the popular domestic cricket league. Here we have compiled some of the biggest scandals that have struck the Indian Premier League so far – let us hope they dwindle in numbers as we march on!
The incident took place on April 25, 2008, in a match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab match, in IPL inaugural season. The ‘slapgate’ case inquiry done by Sudhir Nanavati (retired Justice), said that KXIP player, Sreesanth was slapped by the off spinner Harbhajan Singh. BCCI appointed Justice Nanavati for this incident who said that there was no provocation made by Sreesanth. Moreover, the security guards tried to stop Harbhajan Singh when he tried to slap Sreesanth again. Consequently, Harbhajan was banned for the rest of the tournament, which meant 11 remaining matches for Mumbai Indians and 13 if Mumbai qualified for playoffs and the final. 100% fine on match fee was imposed on Harbhajan as well. Lalchand Rajput, the coach of the Mumbai side, has also been found guilty of a level 2 offence and fined 50% of his match fee. “Rajput was right behind Harbhajan when the incident took place,” said the then IPL Chairman, Lalit Modi. “He didn’t take any step to restrain him. He has been fined 50% of his match fee,” Modi further added. Sreesanth was let off with a warning only.
A Hindi news channel, India TV, aired a sting operation, performed by reporters of India TV Jamshed Khan and Sushant Pathak posing as representatives of various teams. The operation started in May 2011 and lasted until April of the following year which accused five players of seeking money in exchange for spot-fixing. Bans were imposed on all five, with a life-ban on Deccan Chargers‘ TP Sudhindra, a five-year ban on Kings XI Punjab‘s Shalabh Srivastava, and a one-year ban on Pune Warriors India‘s Mohnish Mishra and Kings XI Punjab’s Amit Yadav. In addition, Abhinav Bali, who was not in contact with any team during the 2012 season, was banned for a year. In the sting operation, Bali claimed to have spot-fixed during the 2009 season. According to the sting operation, some of the players revealed that they had received more money from the franchise owners than agreed on in the players’ auction; they said that this money was black money.
Mishra claimed that his franchise, Pune Warriors India, gave him around ₹12 million (US$180,000) to ₹14 million (US$210,000). This was against the BCCI guidelines; being an uncapped player, Mishra could not receive more than ₹3 million (US$45,000). TP Sudhindra also bowled a no ball in a domestic match on the wish of the reporter.
On 16 April 2010, the representatives of the Kochi franchise complained to BCCI that Lalit Modi had threatened them to give up the franchise. A day after the IPL final on 24 April, BCCI suspended Modi on 22 charges, including bypassing the governing council while taking decisions, not following proper processes, bid rigging, awarding contracts to his friends, accepting kickbacks on a broadcast deal, selling franchises to members of his family, betting and money laundering.
Modi defended himself arguing that he was not individually responsible for the decisions: BCCI and its committees took these decisions collectively.
In 2013, a BCCI committee found Modi guilty on 8 charges, which resulted in his expulsion from BCCI. As a result, BCCI banned Modi for life in 2013.
IPL cricketers Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell have tested positive for drugs at a rave party held in Mumbai’s suburban Juhu on May 20, 2012. They are among the 100-odd people who were detained by the Mumbai Police. Both players denied taking any drugs. During the raid, the police had also seized 110 grams of cocaine and MDMA from the hotel. Out of the 44, who tested positive, 27 had consumed cannabis, one had MDMA (better known as ‘Ecstasy’, a drug usually taken in a pill form), while 16 had consumed MDMA as well as cannabis while the two cricketers tested positive for both drugs.
In IPL 2013, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan got into a spat with a security guard at Wankhede Stadium after KKR vs MI match. As a result, Maharashtra Cricket Association had banned SRK from entering the stadium for the next five years.
For his alleged misbehavior at the Wankhede Stadium, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials not only lodged a police complaint against Shah Rukh Khan, but also decided to ban him for life from entering the MCA premises. Shah Rukh, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, was involved in a fracas with the security staff and officials of the cricket body following KKR’s victory over MI on May 16, 2012. The actor had, however, denied any misconduct and said he reacted only after children, including his kids, were ‘manhandled’ by the stadium’s security staff. Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) lifted the ban on Shah Rukh Khan’s entry to the Wankhede Stadium after three years. According to a report, the decision was taken in a Managing Committee meeting of the MCA.
Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was arrested on May 18, 2012 for allegedly molesting an American woman in a five-star hotel and bashing up her fiancé during post-match. The 27-year-old Pomersbach’s conduct prompted RCB owner Vijay Mallya to suspend the batsman, who did not play a single IPL match that season.
Bail was granted to the Australian but he had to surrender his passport. The cases registered against him under various sections include section 354 of IPC (outraging modesty of woman), 323 (hurt), 454 (house trespass) and 511 (Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment). The case was later settled out of court and the charges were dropped.