When the Indian Premier League had started, it was one of the biggest sports tournaments in the world and despite emergence of many other cricket leagues over the years, its popularity hasn’t reduced. 

However, in the 12 years of its existence, the IPL has seen many controversies from fixing to fighting. Here, we list some of them.

1. R Ashwin ‘mankading‘ Jos Buttler and stirring up a debate among cricket fans and experts as to whether it was ‘against the spirit’ of the game or not (2019).

Mankading is a form of dismissal where the bowler can stump out the batsman on the non-striker’s end if he/she leaves the crease before the delivery. Ashwin’s strategy wasn’t received well by some, while others said that rules allow it so it shouldn’t be an issue. Regardless, it seems like something that is going to be discussed for quite some while. 

2. The ‘slapgate scandal’ where Harbhajan Singh allegedly slapped S Sreesanth, leaving him in tears after a match between Punjab and Mumbai (2008).

This was the IPL’s first big controversy as it happened the year the tournament was launched. After Mumbai’s loss to Punjab, Sreesanth reportedly told Harbhajan Singh ‘hard luck’ and agitated him enough to get physical. Complete details of the controversy are still unknown but the pictures still ring a bell in people’s minds.


3. Shah Rukh Khan getting banned from entering Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after an altercation with the security guards (2012).

Shah Rukh – co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders – allegedly entered the ground after his team’s match with Mumbai Indians and abused the guards in a reported drunken state. Following which, he was handed a 5-year ban from entering Wankhede for any match: Local or international. In his defense, Shah Rukh said that he got angry because his kids were not treated properly by the staff on ground.

India Today

4. The Verbal fight between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli after the latter’s dismissal in a match between Kolkata and Bangaluru (2013).

Finding himself in a rhythm after hitting a couple of sixes, Virat Kohli hit Lakshmipathy Balaji for a shot and was caught out. As KKR players rushed to celebrate, RCB captain Virat Kohli was seen being verbally aggressive with his counterpart Gambhir who also retaliated. The two were separated by other cricketers and they later played down the entire thing.

India Today

5. The spot-fixing and betting case that shook the roots of the tournament and virtually ended the career of the established Indian pacer, Sreesanth (2013).

In 2013, 3 players from Rajasthan Royals: Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by the Delhi Police on the charges of spot-fixing. The team’s co-owner Raj Kundra was also found to be involved in betting. Later in the year, Mumbai Police arrested Vindu Dara Singh and CSK Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan for having links with the bookies. Umpire Asad Rauf was also dragged into the controversy and ICC banned him from being a part of the Champions Trophy. 

India Today

6. The Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from IPL after the betting controversy. The ban was handed by the Supreme Court of India and went on for 2 years (2015).

CSK had claimed the title 2 times at that point, while the Rajasthan Royals had won the inaugural season in 2008 against everyone’s expectations. In a huge hit to the franchises, they were banned from participating for 2 years, to ‘protect the integrity of the game’.

Zee News

7. Sahara India pulled out its team Pune Warriors from the IPL after the BCCI’s decision to encash the bank guarantee to make up for the franchise fee (2013).

However, the company later said in a statement:

We would not keep the IPL franchisee even if the entire franchisee fee was waived. It is a firm and final decision of Sahara to withdraw from IPL.
Cricket Country

8. The BCCI suspended Lalit Modi as IPL Chairman for ‘alleged acts of individual misdemeanours’ a day after the final of the third season (2010).

BCCI president Shashank Manohar issued a statement after the final and it read:  

Alleged acts of individual misdemeanours of Mr Lalit K Modi, chairman IPL and vice president BCCI, have brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself.

9. IPL matches were moved out of Maharashtra’s cities – Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur in wake of intense drought in the state (2016).

The ruling was given by the High Court after a PIL sought explanation for hosting matches in these cities while Maharashtra was facing its worst ever droughts.

Inside Sport

10. In the 5th season of the IPL, Australian and RCB cricketer Luke Pomersbach accused of molestation by a US citizen, who was staying in a hotel in Delhi (2012).

It was the 5th season of the IPL when RCB player Pomersbach was arrested by the Delhi Police, but the woman later dropped charges against him after an ‘out of court settlement‘. Pomersbach had not played a single match till then and team owner Vijay Mallya had assured that he will not be selected until the matter was resolved. He did not play any match that season.


Indian ‘Problem’ League?