The Indian Premier League (IPL), ever since its inception, has proved to be beneficial not only for the BCCI but also for the domestic players. It has provided an excellent platform for the cricketers across the world to stake their claim for a place in the national side. Rather many have made their international debut after shining in the cash-rich T20 league.
But every coin has two sides. With fame, IPL also invited controversies. The 2013 spot-fixing scandal was a huge shock to the cricket fans. It led to the two franchises Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Rajasthan Royals (RR) being suspended for two years. However, there have been instances when the IPL franchises have also been involved in controversies and here we bring you five such instances.
5 Times IPL franchises were involved in the controversy:
1. Gurunath Meiyappan’s involvement in betting in IPL 2013
The 2013 edition of the IPL is remembered more for the infamous spot-fixing scandal. Three Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested during the tournament for their involvement in the spot-fixing. Moreover, during the investigation, CSK team owner’s N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan’s name came forward.
He was accused of betting and passing on the team information to the bookies. Gurunath was usually seen with the team and used to sit in the dugout as well. In February 2014, he was also found guilty of the same even as the CSK denied his any role with the franchise.
However, as he was always spotted with the team, it deemed as the franchise’s mistake and CSK was eventually suspended. Likewise, the Royals franchise was also suspended as their co-owners, Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra were reportedly accused of betting. Both the franchises missed the 2016 and 2017 seasons of the IPL.
2. Pune Warriors pulling out only 1 hour before auction
Pune Warriors franchise owner Sahara had created a huge controversy by pulling out of the IPL on the day of auction in 2012 due to the financial differences with the BCCI. However, the two parties had patched up later by issuing a joint statement. But the strained relations between Sahara and the BCCI continued and eventually the franchise pulled out of the IPL soon after the IPL 2013.
Sahara had bought the Pune franchise for a huge amount of Rs 1702 crore ($30 million) in March 2010. However, they requested the BCCI to recalculate the franchise fee from their original agreement as the league matches per team reduced from 18 to 16. With 10 teams playing in IPL 2011, every team played a total of 18 league matches and when the Kochi Tuskers Kerala were terminated, it reduced to 16.
Sahara, in its statement according to ESPNCricinfo, claimed that they bid Rs 1700 crore for the IPL franchise on the basis of the revenue calculation of the matches being played. It also added that they requested the BCCI to revisit the franchise fee but nothing was heard. Eventually, the differences remained and the franchise pulled out of the IPL and Sahara also decided to pull out of team India sponsorship at the end of 2013 when the contract was about to end.
3. Preity Zinta accusing Ness Wadia of abuse and molestation in IPL 2014
When Preity Zinta filed a complaint against Ness Wadia on June 13, 2014 accusing him of molestation, threats and abuse, the nation was shocked. According to a report in India Today, the incident dates back to May 30, 2014 during the game between Kings XI Punjab (Preity and Wadia were the co-owners of the franchise) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Wankhede Stadium.
Ness Wadia was allegedly abusing the team staff over the ticket distribution issue. At the same time, when Preity who was sitting in the Garware pavilion, asked him to calm down, Wadia manhandled her be grabbing her arm and also abused her. Rather Preity also submitted four photographs to the police to support which showed bruise marks on her right arms.
On May 30, 2014 Preity Zinta also claimed that Ness Wadia had also threatened her by stating that she was only an actress and nobody else. “Mr Ness Wadia had intimidated me by saying that he could make me disappear as I was a nobody and only an actress and he’s a powerful person… I have tried to be very normal and nice to him as I wanted peace in my life, but the recent afore-stated incident in Mumbai at the Wankhede stadium has left me shattered and fear for my life,” she alleged.
Four years after the complaint was filed, in February 2018, the Mumbai Police filed a chargesheet against Ness Wadia under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
4. Shah Rukh Khan involved in a brawl security guard at the Wankhede
Bollywood superstar and the KKR franchise’s co-owner Shah Rukh Khan was involved in a tiff with the security guard at the Wankhede stadium after the IPL 2012 game between the Mumbai Indians (MI) and the KKR on May 16. Allegedly, the actor abused the MCA officials and the security guard and also pushed the latter during the altercation.
However, Shah Rukh Khan claimed that the security guards pushed his daughter Suhana and the other kids. Moreover, he also sought for the MCA’s apology for such ‘unpardonable’ behaviour. Both the parties refused to blink in this huge controversy even as the MCA filed a police complaint against the star for abusing and assaulting its officials while being under the influence of the alcohol.
In the very next week, the MCA banned Shah Rukh Khan from entering the Wankede stadium for a period of five years. However, the ban revoked in August 2015 after which the security guard involved in the brawl, Vikas Dalvi wasn’t happy. “I’m not happy with the decision of MCA’s managing committee. What can I do? The members of the committee didn’t speak to me before lifting the ban,” he had said.
5. Rising Pune Supergiant axing MS Dhoni as captain ahead of IPL 2017
MS Dhoni is an undisputed captain of the IPL. He has led the CSK in every season they’ve played and the franchise hasn’t even thought about replacing him ever. Even during CSK’s two-year suspension, the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), who bought Dhoni, named him the skipper of the side for the IPL 2016.
This decision wasn’t as surprising as it was obviously expected. But the team didn’t do well in the tournament and it eventually turned out to be the first season when MS Dhoni wasn’t the part of the playoffs or the knockouts in the history of the IPL.
Also, the team not doing well surprisingly led to the former India skipper being axed as the captain of the franchise. This led to the fans fuming over the RPS even as few didn’t even support them during the IPL. Steve Smith led the team even as Dhoni played the supportive role throughout the season. Moreover, Harsh Goenka, brother of the actual owner of the franchise, time and again took a dig at MS Dhoni over his batting in his tweets.
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