IPL : A Peek into its (Not So Perfect) Past
Cricket and India – it’s a relationship that does not need any further explanation. We can call it a “deemed to be religion” in our country. Even the players are close to worshipped, but that’s a discourse for another article.
India is also home to the most attended cricket league in the world – The Indian Premier League, fondly known as IPL.
Fun fact : It is also the second most attended sports league globally, after NFL.
So how did this glorious (not always though) event begin?
It was proposed in 2007 in light of India’s T20 World Cup victory, with its grand first season slated to commence in 2008. The then BCCI Vice President Mr.Lalit Modi is said to be the pioneer of the idea of IPL. Now he’s officially barred from anything related to the BCCI, but hey, a great idea certainly.
It is said that the IPL was launched as a competitive rival to the ICL (Indian Cricket League), also founded in 2007 by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, but it was not recognised by BCCI. The chairman of IPL profusely refused to acknowledge any relation between ICL and IPL and maintained that the IPL was inspired by NBA, United States and Premier League of England. The IPL franchises were sold for almost $700 million while the ICL folded in 2008.
There are 10 teams in the IPL. The tournament proceeds with round robin format and playoffs. The constant teams in IPL have been -Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Gujarat Titans & Lucknow Super Giants are the new additions of 2022.
Some of the defunct teams are- Deccan Chargers, Kochi Tuskers Kerala,
Pune Warriors, Gujarat Lions and again from Pune, the Rising Pune SuperGiants.
With crores of rupees, people and subscribers pouring in, it’s unlikely that the IPL will function flawlessly. So, set on the backdrop of India, a lot of drama has unfolded during the last fourteen seasons of IPL.
Let’s have a look into some of those. Because who doesn’t like drama?
The Lanka issue –
In 2013, when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, refused to accommodate Sri Lankan players in IPL matches to be held in Chennai, a great controversy developed. In reaction to the Sinhalese vs Sri Lankan Tamils issue, which dominates Tamil politics, this drastic move was adopted. The shocking part was that the decision had to be approved by the IPL’s governing council, and a total of 13 Sri Lankan players, including legends like Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, were barred from playing in Chennai due to security concerns.
Quite surprisingly, the management of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has received backlash from fans after signing a Sri Lankan cricketer in the IPL 2022 auctions. This did not bode sit well with native Tamils in Tamil Nadu, who created the hashtag #Boycott ChennaiSuperKings on Twitter, owing to long longstanding unresolved issues.
The King Khan Controversy-
It’s safe to assume that all Indians are no stranger to this bizarre incident of their beloved bollywood star. A confrontation with security forces occurred at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in 2012 and Shah Rukh Khan was accused of assaulting security personnel.
As a result, Mr.Khan had been barred from attending the stadium for the next five years by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). Despite the appeals of several prominent political people, the actor ban remained in place. After court appearances and lots of opinions, the case was finally closed in 2019.
The Founder is sacked –
Lalit Modi was fired as the IPL Chairman on the grounds of “financial irregularities, indiscipline and actions detrimental to the interest of the BCCI”. He was present at the third edition of his brain child, IPL, and apparently everyone but himself knew that this was his last match. Minutes after the last ball was bowled on 25th April, 2010, he was handed a 34 pages long suspension letter, and no, he certainly did not fall asleep like Ross.
He jetted off to London citing “security concerns” and has been living there since. Sounds familiar?
Put in the “Spot”-
“But 2013, the angle was completely different. People are talking about match-fixing and spot-fixing. It was the most talked about thing in the country,” Dhoni said in the first episode titled ‘What did we do wrong’? From the documentary ‘Roar of the Lion’. As rightly said by MSD, literally everyone knows about this scandal, but here’s a brief.
Spot fixing surfaced in the 2013 IPL when Delhi Police caught three Indian players — Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan – spot fixing and were later jailed. Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested after Mumbai Police conducted an investigation. Meiyappan is CSK’s putative owner and son-in-law.
CSK faced a two year suspension following this huge goof up, something that the Indian fans accepted morally but not emotionally.