It’s that time of the year again! The time, when Indians from all age groups and all walks of life look forward to eagerly. For the past 6 summers, the Indian Premier League has has been the main source of headache for a certain Ekta Kapoor; and with good reason too! During those two months when the IPL pans out, all of her No 1 TV soaps( invariably starting with ‘K’) are replaced from the top of the TRP list, consistently! Also, it helps that you get to see cricket and not repeated re runs of ‘Suryavansham‘ in Max.Yes, love it or hate it, you have to be a brave man to say that the IPL hasn’t managed to create a lasting and deep impression amongst the Indians. However, as we all know, Newton’s 3rd Law (” For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction “) of motion still stands validated. The laws of nature can never be altered, it seems. For every good that the IPL has done, it has, unfortunately, managed to throw up a lot of unpleasant surprises as well! It is truly unfortunate because, now, if a random person walking through the dusty by lanes of India is stopped for a moment and asked to contemplate on the first thing that comes to his mind when we say ‘IPL’ ,would most probably say ‘Controversies’ ! Let’s have a look at 5 probable reasons for which we can’t blame this guy!
#5 The Slapgate
When the hero gets slapped by the heroine on screen, we Indians, gasp a little! However, in the 2009 edition of IPL, something happened, which left ever one of us shocked and horrified. A group league match between the King’s XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians served as the setting for this infamous accident. King’s XI Punjab had won the match and the players were going through the routine post match hand shakes, when suddenly, the camera zoomed in and found S. Sreesanth in tears. No one could fathom what was happening. A little while later, a recorded video had shown that when Sreesanth went up to Harbhajan Singh to shake hands, the latter had blatantly slapped him on the face. The entire video had shocked and angered millions of cricket fans and the media had been served with fresh fodder. They had termed the entire incident as ‘Slapgate‘. Things went out of hand in a jiffy and it was left to the IPL President to quickly intervene and call for truce between the two players. Needless to say Harbhajan was fined a hefty sum and had to serve a couple of matches in suspension.
#4 Omission of Dada from the KKR Squad
When you say Kolkata, you think about Dada aka Saurav Ganguly! Even the most imaginative and daring bong won’t be able to picture a cricket team from the society, sans him. However, that is exactly what happened when King Khan and co. overlooked Saurav Ganguly for the KKR squad in 2011. Needless to say, a section of the fans were outraged and effigies of the Bollywood Baadshah were burnt in the streets. Every Kolkata fan was hurt and disappointed at some level, though not every one acted in an outrageous manner. In the middle of the tournament, Dada had got an offer from the Pune team, which he accepted gladly. The home match for KKR vs Pune Warriors had torn the Edens into two: one half had come swearing to stand by their Dada come what may, sporting Pune’s jersey and the 2nd half deciding to support their home team. It was a scene to behold! IPL yet again had managed to live up to it’s hype.
#3 Uncertainty Over Venue in 2009
It’s the ‘Indian’ Premier League after all. So, in the summer of 2009, when the dates of the IPL clashed with the impending Elections, another major controversy was in the making. Home Minister P. Chidambaram had made it very clear that The Government won’t be able to provide adequate security for the matches. The IPL Convening Committee was not at all keen in shifting the tournament to some other country, depriving the fans of their rights. What followed, was a string of heated exchanges between the two parties and as is the norm in the country, The Government flexed their arms to wield brute muscle power and the tournament had to be shifted to South Africa for good.
#2 Clash between Kohli and Gambhir
They both hail from Delhi. They both used to play for the National team at that point of time. Indeed, if sources were to be believed they were the best of friends. So, when these two were involved in an ugly fight bad mouthing each other in the cricket field, the world was left aghast. It happened in a group match involving RCB and KKR, when Kohli got out playing a false shot and a charged up Gambhir asked him to buzz off( Yes, of course, I am diluting the words here. Sorry for that)! Kohli didn’t take it lightly and before long both of them were at each other’s throats. It took some other sensible players to separate the two but the damage had all ready been done.
#1 Match Fixing
Well, frankly, I won’t say much about this because too much has been said and written all ready. Every one knows who were the players involved in this heinous crime over the years and the teams they belonged to. Players, Bollywood Stars and starlets, Board Presidents no one could escape the lime light. What really saddens me and most cricket fans, would be the shame and embarrassment which some of the greats of the game had to endure because of these tainted people. Rahul Dravid, Mahender Singh Dhoni all had to bear the brunt of the investigation. Every edition of the IPL, somehow manages to throw up new names involved in match fixing and it seems as though it will never stop.