The Indian Premier League, which is entering its tenth season, has witnessed several controversial and jaw-dropping moments over the course of its nine-year history. There have been incidents in the past when the tournament has been threatened by several factors, both on the field and off the field.
We take a look at 10 such moments which made the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
#10 Pollard hurls the bat at Starc
In a heated altercation at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, things turned for the worse when Kieron Pollard hurled his bat on the ground out of sheer disgust. It all started when Mitchell Starc dug in a bouncer, which missed Pollard’s bat.
Starc followed it up with some stern words and Pollard gestured him away. In the next delivery, the West Indian pulled out of his stroke with Starc on the verge of delivering the ball, however, the bowler released the ball, following which an enraged Pollard flung his bat on the turf.
#9 Harbhajan slapping Sreesanth
The inaugural edition of the IPL had its fair share of controversy when Harbhajan Singh lost his cool and slapped Shantakumaran Sreesanth after a game. The Kings XI Punjab man was left teary-eyed after the incident and was consoled by his team members.
Harbhajan later admitted to making a mistake and apologised for the ugly spat with his Indian teammate.
#8 Expulsion of Lalit Modi
The chairman of the IPL was first banned from the prestigious tournament, after which he was expelled for life from any activity involving the BCCI.
Modi was accused of breaching the laws by rigging bids during the IPL auction and attempting to conduct rebel leagues in England without informing the Indian and England cricket boards.
#7 Ajit Chandila’s life ban
Ajit Chandila turned into an overnight star by pinning down three big names in cricket – Sourav Ganguly, Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa – to bag an IPL hat-trick. But things turned on its head for the Rajasthan Royals off-spinner when he was handed a life ban following a spot-fixing scandal in 2013.
The charges on Chandila were later dropped, but it didn’t impact BCCI’s life ban on the player. Chandila was reportedly seen interacting with bookies along with other players and hence the action against him.
#6 Gambhir-Kohli brawl
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders) are known for their brash approach to cricket. The duo have got India over the line on many occasions together, but this time they were on opposite sides, representing their respective IPL teams.
It all commenced after Kohli holed out at the deep extra cover region off the bowling of Laxmipathy Balaji. Both Delhiites were seen charging towards each other following a heated exchange of words and Rajat Bhatia and the umpire had to intervene to bring restore normalcy.
#5 Pune and Kochi’s fate
Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala had to experience the bitter taste of eviction from the prestigious cricket league. The Kochi franchise were held responsible for breaching the terms and conditions of their agreement by not producing a bank guarantee within the stipulated deadline.
Meanwhile, Pune Warriors suffered the same fate when Sahara was unable to pay the franchise fee due to which the BCCI ended its agreement with the team.
#4 Shahrukh Khan banned from Wankhede
Bollywood’s connection with cricket has been an open secret since the inception of the IPL and Shahrukh Khan – the owner of Kolkata Knight Riders – has been an integral part of the overall setup. However the King of Bollywood was banned entry into the Wankhede Stadium after allegedly misbehaving with ground officials.
A five-year ban was slapped on SRK in 2013 after he was caught launching abuses at the MCA officials.
#3 Harsha Bhogle removed from IPL 2016
Harsha Bhogle isn’t flashy in the commentary team, but he brings a sense of maturity and wisdom. He was an exemplary figure in the commentary box from the beginning of the IPL in 2008 until recently.
But in 2016, his contract was terminated one week before the commencement of IPL 2016 with no reason provided for the expulsion. During the World T20, his conversation with a Vidarbha Cricket official didn’t go down well, which was suspected to be a primary reason for Bhogle’s termination.
#2 The Luke Pomersbach fiasco
As if match-fixing scandals weren’t enough, the IPL had a taste of yet another controversy, this time by an Australian, Luke Pomersbach. The Western Australian was arrested for molesting an Indo-American woman.
He was also convicted of beating up the fiancé of the girl pretty severely. The Royal Challengers Bangalore player was banned by Vijay Mallya until the time he was proved innocent.
#1 Rajasthan and Chennai’s suspension
Following numerous spot-fixing and match fixing scandals, the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were handed a two-year ban by the RM Lodha committee. Gurunath Meiyappan – a former team official of CSK – and Raj Kundra – the co-owner of Rajasthan were handed life bans.
“Disrepute has been brought to cricket, the BCCI and the IPL to such an extent that there are doubts abound in the public whether the game is clean or not,” said a statement released by Justice Lodha. It will be interesting to see how things pan out after the two-year ban ends.