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HindustanTimes Wed,02 Jul 2014
Top 10 controversies courted by T20
Hindustantimes.com
New Delhi, May 16, 2013
First Published: 16:42 IST(16/5/2013)
Last Updated: 11:15 IST(17/5/2013)
A combination picture showing three players of Rajasthan Royals (clockwise) Ankeet Chavan, S Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila.

T20 league is not just known for cricket, money and entertainment, but also for being rife with controversies.

In the last five years, the league has not just created overnight stars, but was always faced with controversies ranging from molestation allegations, superstar scuffles, on-field verbal altercations, scandals, spot-fixing and termination of franchisees that has marred the spirit of the game.

Despite these controversies, the sport has managed to successfully enter its sixth year. Even before the start of its campaign, this year's T20 tournament was facing major setbacks owing to issues related to Sri Lankan players.

Here is the list of top 10 controversies that happened over the past six years since its inception in 2008.

* The blots of spot fixing
The allegations that the game was embroiled in scandals and spot fixing yet again proved right as the Delhi police special cell arrested three cricketers of the Rajasthan Royals team, S Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila after surveillance confirmed telephonic talks between bookies in India and Pakistan over betting in the ongoing T20 tournament.

In a swift follow-up, BCCI suspended the three till further inquiry. Apart from the cricketers, seven bookies from Mumbai and two from Delhi have also been arrested, police sources said. Raids were on to nab two more bookies in Delhi. Read more | What is spot fixing


In 2012, A TV channel carried out a sting operation in which many T20 players had confessed on hidden camera that they had allegedly accepted bribes to spot fix during the fifth season of T20 League.

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Five players including Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, TP Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali were suspended by the BCCI following the revelation. But none of them have been proven guilty.

The BCCI had slapped a life ban on the 28-year-old pacer TP Sudhindra which proved to be the worst hit for his career.

While Shalabh Srivastava was banned for five years, Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali were banned for a year each.

* Sri Lankan players banned from playing in Chennai (March 2013)
The sixth season of T20 League started with the ban on the cricketers from Sri Lanka from playing in Chennai after Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa insisted that the matches can be played in the southern metropolis only if there were no players or team officials from the Emerald Island.

Jayalalithaa's diktat comes in the wake of the growing unrest in Tamil Nadu over the atrocities against ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka during the civil war against Tamil Tigers that ended in 2009.

* No entry for Pak players in T20 League (2013)

There were no Pakistani presence in the sixth edition of the Twenty 20 League. The list of 101 to be auctioned in Chennai did not feature any Pakistan player.

"Who would be foolish to invest in the Pakistan players?" a senior Board functionary asked. The Pakistan cricketers have not been invited to play in the cash-rich league since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

* The chairman is sacked (April, 2010)

The T20 tournament again hogged the limelight in 2010, for the wrong reasons for the unceremonious sacking of its creator Lalit Modi.

Former T20 League commissioner Modi saw the dice turn against him in 2010 when he was sacked following charges of financial irregularities. He left the country for London and has stayed there since.

He was sacked for alleged financial impropriety listing 22 allegations ranging from financial irregularities to rigging bids, proxy holdings and the WSG deal against him.

* Ban on King Khan (May, 2012)

In 2012, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials lodged a police complaint against Kolkata Knight Riders' co-owner Shah Rukh Khan for his alleged misbehaviour at the Wankhede Stadium.

The superstar was banned from entering the stadium for five years by MCA chief Vilasrao Deshmukh.

KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan brushes aside a security guard at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. AFP Photo

The actor allegedly manhandled security and hurled abuses at them in an inebriated state after being barred from entering the ground.

* Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell at Rave Party (21st may, 2012)

Pune Warriors cricketers Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell were among several people who were detained by Mumbai police for allegedly taking drugs at a rave party in Juhu in Mumbai last year.

Parnell claimed innocence saying that they were "at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Rahul said that he would quit cricket if the test results showed positive. Despite being tested positive for drug use, no measures has been taken against Raul.

Wayne Parnell who was a wanted accused in the case had surrendered before a local court.

"I was invited to a birthday party," said Rahul Sharma.

They were tested positive for consuming drugs during a rave party recently busted by police in Mumbai.

* Luke Pomersbach faces molestation charges (2012)

T20 League 2012 again hit the headlines the very next day when Royal Challengers Bangalore's Luke Pomersbach was arrested for allegedly molesting an Indian-American woman.

The Australian batsman was said to have misbehaved with the woman after drinking with her in a room.

The player allegedly molested the US national in her room in the hotel, thrashed her companion and was later arrested by the Delhi Police.

Pomersbach was later given interim bail and is to be produced before the court by the police with CCTV footage on Saturday.

RCB was further dragged in another controvery when Sidhartha Mallya, the son of owner Vijay Mallay's, tweeted defending Pomersbach and thus insulting the US national.


* The infamous Sreesanth-Harbhajan slapgate (April 2008)

The inaugural edition of the T20 League will perhaps be remembered more for the 'slapgate' involving Kings XI Punjab pacer S Sreesanth and then Mumbai Indians' captain Harbhajan Singh.

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Sreesanth caught himself in a controversy on 25 April 2008 when he was slapped under his eye by Harbhajan Singh, the captain of Mumbai.

The video footage - the pacer sobbing and his teammates consoling him - became one of the long-lasting images of the opening edition. As a fallout, Harbhajan was suspended for the remaining 11 matches.

 

 

 

 

* Cheerleader troubles (May 2011)

But the sleazy affair was discontinued after South African cheerleader Gabriella Pasqualotto, in her tell-all blog, described cheergirls as "walking porn" and certain cricketers as "naughty".

The 22-year-old South African was fired from Mumbai Indians' cheerleading squad for alleging on her blog that cricketers misbehaved with her at post-match parties.

She had tweeted from her handle @Iplgirl, “My blog was meant to be light and witty and not taken seriously or to heart… this should not have become such a scene…” She added, “My blog was not just based on the cricketers, I wrote only a few sentences about them and it seems it scared the S### out of them.”

* Kings' showdown (April, 2012)

The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) lodged a complaint with T20 League authorities against Kings XI Punjab team for damaging the dressing room.

Rajiv Shukla, MCA officials said that Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist had broken the dressing room door in a fit of rage after being dismissed for just six runs.

And there were the others:
* Fiesty Preity Zinta (2012)
Kings XI Punjab owner Preity Zinta was seen visibly agitated and reacting vigorously during the strategic time out period against the controversial dismissal of Kings XI batsman Shaun Marsh against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mohali.

* Mumbai's bad boys (2012)
Harbhajan Singh's boys have provided the most ugly moments of the T20 fifth season.

Ambati Rayudu got involved in a spat with Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler Harshal Patel and was fined 100% of his match fee.
 
Rohit Sharma crossed the line last week when he kicked the stumps in frustration after MI's loss.

MI's biggest problem was the temperamental Munaf Patel. The hot-headed pacer is proving to be a captain's nightmare, time and again blowing his top and getting into altercations with umpires and opponents.

* The pitch controversy (2012)
More than the pitch it was a pinch controversy on April 11! The 27-run defeat to Mumbai Indians was too much for the Rajasthan Royals' wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami.

Chasing a mammoth 198, RR was bowled out for 170 with 2 balls to spare and Goswami blamed it on the curator.

He didn't mince words to blame the Wankhede Stadium’s ground staff for his team's defeat adding that the track was changed without informing his team.

* Kochi Tuskers team terminated (2012)

As if the banning of players, team owners and official was not enough, the T20 League in 2011 got rid of a franchise - Kochi Tuskers Kerala - to end its one-year stint which also saw a minister quitting the union cabinet after allegations of his involvement in the side's entry into the league.

* Deccan Chargers terminated (2012)

Last year, the debt-ridden Deccan Chargers (Hyderabad) team was terminated, after its owners failed to produce the 100-crore bank guarantee before the court.

This year saw a new Hyderabad team called Sun Risers take part in the T20 League, owned by Kalanidhi Maran's Sun Group.

(Inputs from agencies)


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