The annual sporting extravaganza of India, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is undoubtedly the most popular league in the world. The tournament features players from around the world, both young and experienced, competing against the best in the business to be crowned the champion of Indian T20 cricket.
While the tournament is characterized by the batsmen taking apart the bowling line-ups, controversies have also been a fairly regular feature. Let it on the field or off it, controversies have marred the cash-rich league quite some times in its 13-year history. On that note, we take a look at the top five controversies in the tournament’s history.
5. Anushka Sharma vs Sunil Gavaskar
A comment by former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar during a game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab created a huge ruckus during IPL 2020. Referring to a viral video of Anushka Sharma bowling to Virat Kohli in the building compound, said on commentary: “Kohli faced only Anushka’s bowling during the lockdown.”
The comment didn’t sit well with the Bollywood actress after it was blown out of context by social media users. Anushka then slammed Gavaskar for the remark in a social media post. But everything ended well after Gavaskar later clarified that his comment was interpreted in a wrong manner in an interview with India Today.
4. Harbhajan Singh – S Sreesanth slap gate
The very first season of the IPL saw two Indian stars engage in a heated altercation in the middle. A game between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab saw Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth exchange words after the game.
The incident happened after MI conceded a loss against Punjab. The verbal fight between the duo escalated and Harbhajan allegedly slapped Sreesanth, who was later found in tears after the incident. Harbhajan was handed an 11-game ban after the incident by the BCCI.
3. MS Dhoni storms the field
MS Dhoni is renowned for his cool demeanor in the middle. But during IPL 2019, the fans got to see a different side of the former Indian captain as he lost his cool during a game against Rajasthan Royals. The incident took place when umpire Ulhas Gandhe signaled a no-ball immediately after Ben Stokes delivered a full toss in the final over.
But then called off the decision after consulting square-leg umpire Bruce Oxenford, who deemed it a fair delivery. Dhoni stormed into the field to protest against the change in the decision and had a fierce discussion with the umpires. In the process, he breached the IPL’s Code of Conduct and was fined 50% of his match fee.
2. Ravichandran Ashwin mankads Jos Buttler
Ravichandran Ashwin found himself in the one of the biggest controversies in the history of the IPL as he mankaded Jos Buttler. During the KXIP vs RR match, Ashwin stopped in his delivery stride seeing Buttler taking a head start at the non-striker’s end and was quick to dislodge the bails. Buttler was ruled out and he was visibly dissapointed with his mode of dismisal.
The departure of a well-set Buttler saw the Royals collapse in the chase as they lost the match by 14 runs. While mankading is legal going by the ICC rules, Ashwin drew flak for not warning the non-striker before running him out. The KXIP captain was criticised for his ‘unsporting act’.
1. Shahrukh Khan’s clash at Wankhede
Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan engaged in an altercation with the security staff at Wankhede Stadium following a match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians. The incident took place back in 2012 as Shahrukh decided to celebrate KKR’s win with a group of children.
But the security staff tried to stop the children from entering the stadium and it led to a heated exchange between SRK and the authorities. SRK was banned from the stadium by MCA, which was finally lifted in 2015.