From Priety-Wadia molestation to Shah Rukh ban in Wankhede: 5 Controversies that rocked IPL over the years
The Indian Premier League (IPL), despite being the most glorious T20 league in the world, has never been short of controversies. From molestation to bans and even racism, it has seen it all. Meanwhile, the 13th edition is all set to kick-off from Saturday.
The IPL is undoubtedly the most lucrative T20 league in the world, as players from around the world do not miss out on a chance to feature in. Known for its glamorous atmosphere and high-octane gameplay, the tournament has completely changed the landscape of the game, despite having its share of controversies.
Over the years, the tournament has witnessed a controversy in almost every season. From accusations of molestation and racism to corruption and even physical abuse, the league has seen it all.
The tournament is all set to kick start from Saturday. On the same note, let us look back at the top controversies that have rocked the competition to date.
Harbhajan Singh slaps Sreesanth: The very first season of the league saw a rift between two Indians. It was following a match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Harbhajan Singh, of the former, got engaged in a spat with S Sreesanth, of the latter. In the process, Harbhajan lost his cool, as he slapped Sreesanth. The latter burst into tears, while the former was later summoned by the IPL governing council, as Harbhajan was banned for the rest of the season.
Cheerleaders reveal dark secrets: During the 2011 edition, a cheerleader named Gabriella Pasqualotto of MI alleged that cricketers used to treat them as ‘meat’, while she seemingly referred herself as 'walking porn'. "These cricketers are the most loose and mischievous I have come across. I have a long while still here, so I must remember my tip list: beware of the cricketers!” she had noted.
Shah Rukh Khan banned in Wankhede: One of the most shocking controversies emerged when in 2012, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) owner, Shah Rukh Khan, got involved in a spat with the security officials at the Wankhede Stadium during a match against MI. The scuffle happened after the security personnel had stopped him from entering an area reserved only for players. Owing to this rift, SRK was banned from entering Wankhede for five years. However, the decision backfired, as the governing council decided to shift the 2014 final from Mumbai to Bangalore after KKR reached the final. Consequently, his ban was lifted three years later.
Preity Zinta accuses Ness Wadia of molestation: In what could be considered one of the weirdest controversies, KXIP co-owner Preity Zinta accused fellow co-owner Ness Wadia of molesting her during a match. She testified that Wadia forcefully held her hand and abused her in front of spectators. Wadia, who is her ex-boyfriend, denied the allegations, as the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Chennai & Rajasthan banned for two seasons: This was certainly the most shocking of all. It all started in 2013 when some players from Rajasthan Royals (RR) and some hierarchies of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were involved in betting and corruption. After a couple of years of serious investigation, both the sides were banned from the tournament for two seasons. Consequently, the players of the teams played for two new teams in 2015-16.