The countdown has started for one of the most watched cricket tournaments in the world, the Indian Premier League (IPL). The IPL all set kick-off its tenth season on 5th April 2017. The opening match will be played between defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad and runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
Despite being an instant hit among the fans worldwide since its inception in 2008, the IPL has always hogged the limelight for all the right as well wrong reasons in the past nine editions of the league. The tournament has witnessed several record-breaking moments on the cricket pitch along with some really disturbing off-field activities which have grabbed enough attention in the media and among the fans.
Also Read: 10 MOST MEMORABLE INNINGS IN IPL HISTORY
With season 10 around the corner, we take you along on a trip down the memory lane and recall some of the very infamous incidents which have left an indelible mark in the minds of every cricket lover.
‘The Slap-Gate controversy’
The incident took place in the first season of the IPL when ‘Turbanator’ Harbhajan Singh crossed the line of conduct on the cricket field by slapping his Indian teammate S Sreesanth who was on the opposition side. This was unarguably one of the biggest scars in the history of Indian cricket. Harbhajan was representing Mumbai Indians who lost to Kings XI Punjab who has Sreesanth on their side. The Kerala-born pacer was captured crying on the field after the ugly spat between the two Indian cricketers.
Lalit Modi showed the door
It won’t be wrong to say that IPL is a brainchild of Mr. Lalit Modi who brought together this new concept in Indian cricket of coming up with a unique tournament involving cities, having games in the shorter format. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stunned everybody by sacking Modi as the IPL commissioner for allegedly involving in misappropriation of funds. Later, it was found out that Modi was involved in some other wrongdoings as well which includes bribes, money laundering and betting.
‘Sourav Ganguly’s famous exit from KKR’
One of India’s most successful and respected captains – Sourav Ganguly was the first choice captain for the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders owned by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan. But, three poor seasons in the tournament (2008-2010) made the KKR management take the stern decision of dropping ‘Dada’ from the side and release him of his duties. The icon player Ganguly was not purchased in the January auction in 2011 which led to protest rallies and signature campaigns throughout the country. The whole incident received both national and international press attention.
‘Rave reviews for India’s Rahul Sharma and South Africa’s Wayne Parnell’
Indian leg-spinner Rahul Sharma and Protean all-rounder Wayne Parnell were tested positive for recreational drugs after being detained by the police following a raid on a party in Mumbai in May 2012. The duo played for Pune Warriors India (PWI) and refused to have taken any kind of drugs at the party but the tests which were done later proved that they consumed recreational drugs.
One of the biggest blots in the history of Indian cricket, the shameful Spot-fixing scandal in 2013 left every Indian cricket fan shattered. Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were found to have illicit connections with the bookies during the much-famed tournament. The trio was later arrested by Delhi Police on grounds of spot-fixing. Interestingly, the incident also highlighted the involvement of CSK owner Gurunath Meiyappan (N Srinivasan’s brother-in-law) and Royals' owner Raj Kundra in the betting scandal.