The Indian Premier League, also known as the IPL, was founded in the year 2007 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It is a national Twenty-20 cricket tournament held annually. Along with being the most watched tournament, the IPL is also the second best-paying sporting league internationally. As of now, the tournament consists of eight teams, which are named after eight different cities in India. There were a total of 13 teams that played in the IPL, but five of those are no longer a part of the competition. Although IPL is one of the most loved sporting events in India, viewers have often found it controversial. Be it Chennai Super Kings or Rajasthan Royals, team players have been found time and again amidst the conflicts of IPL. From match fixing to involvement in black money, IPL fans have seen it all.
In 2010, the removal of the former chairman, Lalit Modi, overshadowed the third edition of the Indian Premier League. He was fired from the role of Chairman after being allegedly accused of felony, incivility, and financial misconduct. In 2013, BCCI started an investigation and Modi was found guilty of all accusations, thus ruining the gentleman’s gesture of the game. He disputed the allegations and went to London just as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) began an inquiry into potential financial irregularities.
Gabriella Pasqualotto shared her experiences as a cheerleader for the Indian Premier League in 2012. She stated how cheerleaders were mistreated by the flirtatious behavior of the players. Gabriella was an employee of Nita Ambani, co-owner of the Mumbai Indians team. Her statement caused a stir in the cricket world and soon she was removed from the Mumbai franchise.
On May 14, 2012, India TV aired a sting operation, accusing five players of spot-fixing. Rajiv Shukla, President of the Indian Premier League, immediately suspended those players in response to the news. TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Abhinav Bali (Delhi Daredevils), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav, and Shalabh Srivastava (Kings IX Punjab) were among the five accused players. However, the news went on to claim that none of the well-known players were found guilty. Regarding the report’s credibility, Rajat Sharma, the editor-in-chief of the news channel, India TV, stated that he had no doubts about the sting operation’s legitimacy and was willing to go to court.
Mohnish Mishra, a member of the Pune Warriors India team and one of the accused players, was recorded on tape admitting that the franchise paid them black money in a sting operation. Mishra said that he received $15 million from them, of which $12 million was black money. He was also kicked off his team.
In 2013, the cricketing world was again left appalled after Delhi Police arrested Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan of the Rajasthan Royals team, accusing them of alleged match fixing. On the other hand, Mumbai Police arrested Vindu Dara Singh and Gurunath Meinyappan, son-in-law of Chennai Super King’s owner, former president of the BCCI, and former Chairman of the ICC, N Srinivasan. They were accused of alleged betting and being involved with gamblers.
In 2015, the Supreme Court announced a suspension of 2 years for both the teams, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. They were not allowed to play in either the 2016 or the 2017 editions of the Indian Premier League. However, they were permitted to play in further matches from the year 2018.
Pune Warriors India declared their resignation from the Indian Premier League in 2013. They had failed to pay the entire franchise fee for the previous year. The Sahara Company, which owns the franchise, opted to walk out of the league when the BCCI cashed the bank guarantee, which was rocked at the time by the match-fixing scandal.
Despite all these controversies, IPL remains one of the most loved tournaments in India. It is the most-attended cricket league in the world, ranking sixth among all sports leagues in terms of average attendance in 2014. In 2010, IPL became the world’s first live streamed athletic event on YouTube. Duff & Phelps stated that IPL’s brand value in 2019 was Rs. 47,500 crores. The 2015 IPL season donated 150-million USD to the Indian economy’s GDP. With 31.57 million average impressions and a 23% increase in overall consumption over the 2019 season, the 2020 IPL season broke an incredible viewership record. By winning the 2021 season, Chennai Super Kings are the current IPL holders.
Sana Perween is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Shoa Falak