The grandeur and scale of the Indian premier league is unmatchable. It is the most watched cricket event and the 4th highest most watched sporting event in the world. Everything about the IPL is grand and lavish. The moneys involved can be comparable to the economies of many small countries. When there is something as huge as this, there is scrutiny, there is pressure and strange things happen. IPL is no exception either.
Before the IPL 9 goes underway, it is already in the news for other reasons. Maharashtra is facing a drought like situation, people are dying for water but the scarcity is getting worse. Many wouldn’t know that to make a cricket ground ready, a lot of water is required. For the pitch, for the outfield and when 50,000 people gather at a place, in the humidity of Wankhede, a lot of water is required. For a total of 14 league matches to be played in Maharashtra, millions of liters of water is required and the matter has gone to court for moving IPL out of the state to avoid this wastage of water. For the time being, the court has allowed for the first match to be played at Mumbai, but the future of rest of the matches, hangs in darkness at the moment. This is the latest one, but IPL has been controversy`s favorite child. Let`s take a look at some of the major controversies that took place in the IPL:
The inaugural season took the nation by a storm. Everything about the IPL was making news. The cheerleaders, the drunken parties but what made the headlines was an ugly incident between Harbhajan Singh (Mumbai Indians) and S Sreesanth (KXIP), teammates in team india. After Mumbai Indian was defeated by Kings XI Punjab in a close match, Harbhajan could not bear the frustration and apparently slapped a celebrating Sreesanth. The latter`s teary eyed visuals were all over the news for days. They hugged and made up a few days later.
IPL moves out of India
One year old Indian premier league was staring at cancellation of its 2nd edition. In the year 2009, India was to hold the general elections in April-May, the same period when IPL was to be held. The Government refused to provide ample security for the event and suggested that it be cancelled or postponed, as it was also security threat during elections. The IPL mastermind Lalit Modi swung into action made impossible looking arrangements to move the IPL out of India, in South Africa. The tournament was a super success in South Africa as well. All`s well that ends well.
Lalit Modi Scandal
After India`s 2007 T20 world cup win, it was Lalit Modi who conceptualized the event called the Indian Premier League. He was the IPL commissioner for the first 3 editions of IPL, until the truth came out. With the amount of finance involved, there had to be a scandal. Lalit Modi was accused in a lot of irregularities. He apparently took bribes in granting Television rights of IPL and also helped a lot of his relatives to gain contracts related to IPL activities and also helped them in the bidding process for buying the teams. Lalit Modi left India before he could get arrested and is now settled in London.
IPL 6 was underway, when the reports of match fixing rocked the nation. Reports of the arrest of some Rajasthan Royals players including S Sreesanth were in the news. Even the names of some team owners started coming out. The credibility of the tournament was questioned for some time but the popularity of IPL in the following seasons put all the speculations to rest.
Suspension of CSK & RR
IPL has been playing musical chairs for some teams. Two new teams were introduced; Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers in 2011 and were sent packing in a couple of years due to financial reasons, but the big news came when the owners of the two most consistent teams of all IPL; Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Superkings were found guilty for their role in betting and match fixing. Both the teams were suspended from IPL for 2 years and for the meantime, 2 new teams (Pune and Ahmedabad) have been brought in for IPL 9.
Hoping this year’s IPL will be high on entertainment and less on controversies.