The Indian Premier League began in 2008 with lot of gala and a reputation of being the first league to boast of a huge mix of International players. T20 cricket was still in its honeymoon period and the emergence of the IPL was viewed with sceptic eyes at the time.
However, an iconic 158 by New Zealand batsman, Brendon McCullum, in the inaugural match of the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders silenced all the doubters and drew fans to the stadiums.
As is the case with all leagues, lot of money is thrown around which attracts bookies who try to rope in players to fix/spot fix matches to change results to favour their betting.
IPL is not immune to such controversies, although surprisingly, it withstood almost four years before the first betting controversy came to light. When some of the richest in the country own franchises, a lot of cash flows for each and everything associated with the IPL. From cheerleaders to after match parties to umpteen promotions, money dominates the talk for anything IPL related.
Here we take a glance at players who were involved in betting scandals in the IPL.
#5 Ankeet Chavan
A former Mumbai cricketer and Rajasthan Royals IPL player, Ankeet Chavan was accused and arrested with spot-fixing charges by Delhi Police in 2013. As per Delhi Police, the left-handed all-round spinner was offered an amount worth Rs. 6 million (US$89,000) if he agreed to concede 14 runs in his team's IPL match against Mumbai Indians on 15th May 2013.
Chavan conceded 15 runs in one over of his spell. He has been suspended from cricket since September, 2013 by BCCI.
He was granted bail soon after being put in Tihar jail, for his marriage, but wasn't relieved of the charges until July 2015 when the Delhi Court removed all charges levied against him.
"I am looking forward to playing cricket. I'm taking it step by step. It was tough for me. It was a tough time but I got through with support from family and friends. I'm sure I will be back to cricket again," Ankeet had said as quoted from TOI, after the verdict.
Chavan has played 13 IPL matches, taking 8 wickets with a best of 2/23. His major breakthrough season in first-class cricket came in 2012/13 when he was Mumbai's best bowler on show, while contributing immensely with the bat as well.
#4 Ajit Chandila
A talented off-spin bowler, Chandila was arrested by the Delhi Police for spot-fixing a match against Sunrisers Hyderabad while playing for Rajasthan Royals on 17 May, 2013. Chandila is believed to have been paid Rs. 1.5 million (US$22,000) by bookies for fixing the match.
However, the spinner is believed to have fixed more than the solitary game as bookies revealed to have paid him three times the amount mentioned for the one game. In January, 2016, BCCI banned him from all forms of cricket.
His IPL career started way back in 2011 with the Delhi franchise but it was his hat-trick in the fifth season of the IPL that made him known among fans before the scandal broke out. Chandila played 12 IPL matches taking 11 wickets with a best of 4/13.
"Chandila is held guilty of misconduct and corruption within the Articles 2.1.1; Article 2.1.2; Article 2.1.3; Article 2.1.4; Article 2.2.2; Article 2.2.3; Article 2.4.1 of the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code and is banned for life from playing or representing cricket in any form or to be associated in any way with the activities of the Board or its Affiliates,” a BCCI release revealed at the time.
#3 Hiken Shah
A Mumbai batsman, Hiken Shah was banned in 2016 by the BCCI for his participation in the IPL fixing scam. He is believed to have approached Pravin Tambe before the 2015 edition of the IPL to spot-fix matches.
A talented batsmen, Shah broke into the Mumbai Ranji team during the mid-2000s but failed to retain a permanent spot due to the emergence of several talented players like Rohit Sharma and Abhishek Nayar. Tambe, the leg-spinner, is said to have approached franchise officials to inform about Shah's approach.
However, Shah denied any involvement in the scandal and had said, “I have always played the game fair. I have never even been summoned by match referees for misconduct during my Ranji Trophy career.”
Shah never took part in an IPL game although his First-class statistics for Mumbai aren't all that bad. In 37 games for Mumbai, Shah has an average above 40 including six hundreds. He hit a memorable 92 in 2012 against a visiting England side but performances were few and far between.
#2 S. Sreesanth
The Kerala speedster was the only capped cricketer to be arrested of spot-fixing charges in the 2013 IPL betting scandal. Yet another Rajasthan player, Sreesanth had been one of India's strike bowlers across formats.
A classic outswing bowler, Sreesanth made a name with his exceptional skills and over the top antics on the field. The Kerala seam bowler earned rave reviews for his outstanding spells in countries like England and South Africa. However, all the fame was tainted with the big revelation in 2013.
On July 26, 2015, Sreesanth and the other two players, Chavan and Chandila were relieved of spot-fixing charges by a Delhi Court. “God willing, I will be able to return to cricket. I have no regrets, no complaints,” Sreesanth had said after the verdict to the media.
However, that never happened as BCCI did not overturn the ban. The governing body of Indian cricket felt that though not criminal charges in the Indian Penal Code, the actions were still against the spirit of the game.
#1 2012 spot-fixing case
Even before the infamous 2013 incident came to light, spot-fixing had made an appearance in the famed Indian league a year back. India TV accused five players of spot-fixing for money after a sting operation which was started a year back.
Bans were imposed on the following players - a life-ban for Deccan Chargers' TP Sudhindra and a 5-year ban for Kings XI Punjab's Shalabh Srivastava apart from a one-year ban on Pune Warriors India's Mohnish Mishra and Kings XI Punjab's Amit Yadav.
Besides these players, Abhinav Bali, a Himachal Pradesh cricketer who hasn't played in the IPL, was also banned for his involvement in spot-fixing with players, which was rumoured to be as early as in 2009.