Controversies involving the Indian Premier League

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has found itself in the middle of many conflicts with various cricket boards around the world as a result of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The main point of contention was that signed players should always be available to their country for international tours, even if it overlaps with the IPL season. To address this, the BCCI officially requested that the International Cricket Council (ICC) to institute a time period in the International Future Tours Program, solely for the IPL season. This request was not granted at a subsequent meeting held by the ICC.[1]

Conflicts with the England and Wales Cricket Board[edit]

Because the inaugural IPL season coincided with the County Championship season as well as New Zealand's tour of England, the ECB and county cricket clubs raised their concerns to the BCCI over players. The ECB made it abundantly clear that they would not sign No Objection Certificates for players—a prerequisite for playing in the IPL. Chairmen of the county clubs also made it clear that players contracted to them were required to fulfill their commitment to their county. As a result of this, Dimitri Mascarenhas was the only English player to have signed with the IPL for the 2008 season.[2]

A result of the ECB's concerns about players joining the IPL, was a proposed radical response of creating their own Twenty20 tournament that would be similar in structure to the IPL. The league – titled the Twenty20 English Premier League — would feature 21 teams in three groups of seven and would occur towards the end of the summer season.[3] The ECB enlisted the aid of Texas billionaire Allen Stanford to launch the proposed league.[4] Stanford was the brains behind the successful Stanford 20/20, a tournament that has run twice in the West Indies. On 17 February 2009, when news of the fraud investigation against Stanford became public, the ECB and WICB withdrew from talks with Stanford on sponsorship.[5][6] On 20 February the ECB announced it has severed its ties with Stanford and cancelled all contracts with him.[7]

Controversy about tax exemption[edit]

A controversy was triggered when the Centre gave away potential revenue of 45 crore by granting exemption to International Cricket Council (ICC) on the revenue generated from the recently concluded World Cup Cricket Tournament.[8] In connection the PIL filed by Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai seeking a direction to the Maharashtra government and the Income Tax Department to recover entertainment tax from IPL. He also asked the petitioner to make Sharad Pawar a party if he wanted to make allegations against him as he headed the apex cricketing body two years ago.[9]

In August 2011, the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Tuesday that the Income Tax Department is probing allegations of financial irregularities and "criminal activities" against some of the franchisees in the Indian Premier League (IPL)[10]

In June 2011, the Chennai High Court said it "could not appreciate" the tax exemption to the Indian Premier League and sought a response from Tamil Nadu government on the issue. The PIL filed by Vasan, alias Sakthi Vasan, had contended that the matches conducted by the IPL "are for the entertainment of the public.He submitted that the tickets for the IPL matches were being sold at exorbitant rates and the higher range of tickets are purchased by the rich and the affluent. The petitioner said the Income Tax Department was the authority for regulating the tariff for entertainment, which he said would include the IPL matches, but the department failed to regulate the (IPL) tariff.[11]

Media restrictions[edit]

Initially the IPL enforced strict guidelines to media covering matches, consistent with their desire to use the same model sports leagues in North America use in regards to media coverage. Notable guidelines imposed included the restriction to use images taken during the event unless purchased from, owned by Live Current Media Inc (who won the rights to such images) and the prohibition of live coverage from the cricket grounds. Media agencies also had to agree to upload all images taken at IPL matches to the official website. This was deemed unacceptable by print media around the world. Upon the threat of boycott, the IPL eased up on several of the restrictions.[12] On 15 April 2008 a revised set of guidelines offering major concessions to the print media and agencies was issued by the IPL and accepted by the Indian Newspaper Society.[13]

Conflict with Cricket Club of India[edit]

As per IPL rules, the winner of the previous competition decides the venue for the finals.[14] In 2009, the reigning Champions, Deccan Chargers chose the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.[14] However, a dispute regarding use of the pavilion meant that no IPL matches could be held there. The members of the Cricket Club of India that owns the stadium have the sole right to the pavilion on match days, whereas the IPL required the pavilion for its sponsors.[15] The members were offered free seats in the stands, however the club rejected the offer, stating that members could not be moved out of the pavilion.[14][16][17]

Suspension of Lalit Modi[edit]

On 25 April 2010, the BCCI suspended Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, for "alleged acts of individual misdemeanours". The suspension notice was served on him by Rajeev Shukla, BCCI vice-president, and N Srinivasan, the board secretary, sending an e-mail to the same effect. It followed a day of negotiations with interlocutors attempting to persuade Modi to resign but pre-empted a potential flashpoint at a scheduled IPL governing council meeting, which Modi had said he would attend. Modi was officially barred from participating in the affairs of the Board, the IPL and any other committee of the BCCI.[18]

Chirayu Amin, an industrialist and head of the Baroda Cricket Association, was named interim chairman of the IPL by the BCCI, following Lalit Modi's suspension.[19] According to BCCI, many important documents were missing from the IPL and BCCI offices. "Many of the records are missing. The IT is asking for documents. We don't have them. We have asked BCCI CAO Prof Ratnakar Shetty to look into the missing records and papers," said BCCI president Shashank Manohar.[20]

Molestation charges on Luke Pomersbach[edit]

Amidst the 2012 edition US citizen Zohal Hamid accused Royal Challengers Bangalore player Luke Pomersbach for molesting her . Although after much controversy she dropped the charges against him.[21]

2012 spot-fixing case[edit]

On 14 May 2012, an Indian news channel India TV aired a sting operation which accused 5 players involved in spot fixing. Reacting to the news, Indian Premier League president Rajiv Shukla immediately suspended the 5 uncapped players. The five players were, TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav, Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali, Delhi cricketer .[22] However, the report went on to claim that none of the famous cricketers were found guilty. On the reliability of the report, Rajat Sharma, the editor-in-chief of news channel India TV quoted that the channel had no doubts about the authenticity of the sting operation and prepared to go to court.[23]

Mohnish Mishra who was part of Pune Warriors India team for the season, admitted to have said that franchises pay black money, in a sting operation. Mishra was caught on tape saying that franchisees paid them black money and that he had received 15 million (US$230,000) from the later, among which 12 million (US$190,000) was black money.[24] He was also suspended from his team.[25]

2013 spot-fixing and betting case[edit]

On 16 May 2013, 3 players of Rajasthan Royals were arrested by Delhi Police on charges of spot fixing. The three players were Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan & Ajit Chandila .[26] All three Players were suspended by BCCI until the inquiry in case is completed by the police.[27] Fresh details emerged later.[28]

On 24 May 2013, Gurunath Meiyappan, a top official of the Chennai Super Kings franchise and son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan was arrested in Mumbai by Mumbai Crime Branch in connection with illegal betting. [29][30]

On 25 March 2014 Supreme Court of India told N. Srinivasan to step down from his position on his own as BCCI president in order to ensure a fair investigation, else it would pass verdict asking him to step down.[31]

Pune Warriors withdrawal[edit]

On 21 May 2013, the IPL franchise Pune Warriors India (PWI) announced its withdrawal from IPL. PWI had failed to pay the full franchise fee for the 2013 year. With the BCCI en-cashing the bank guarantee, the Sahara group, which owns the franchise, decided to pull out of the league, which was at the time rocked by the spot-fixing scandal.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ICC approval for IPL, no backing for ICL". IndiaTimes Cricket/PTI. 
  2. ^ "Dimitri Mascarenhas signs for Indian Premier League". 
  3. ^ "Lord's and The Oval may host IPL exhibition games". Cricinfo. 29 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  4. ^ "ECB set to accept big-money match". BBC News. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  5. ^ "US tycoon charged over $8bn fraud". BBC News. 17 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "Cricket: ECB suspend talks with Stanford over fraud accusation". AFP. 17 February 2009. 
  7. ^ England and Wales Cricket Board ends contract with Allen Stanford, Associated Press, 20 February 2009
  8. ^ Tax exemptions for rich costs govt Rs 4.6L cr
  9. ^ Make Pawar party in IPL tax exemption case: Bombay HC
  10. ^ Govt agencies probing irregularities in IPL, franchisees
  11. ^ Cannot appreciate tax exemption to IPL: Madras HC
  12. ^ "Modi climbs down on IPL media guidelines issue". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 13 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  13. ^ "IPL sorts out issues with media". The Times of India. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  14. ^ a b c "Jaipur could lose its IPL matches". Cricinfo. 16 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  15. ^ "Where should Mumbai Indians hold its IPL Matches?". Cricket 360. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  16. ^ Thomas, Shibu (15 February 2009). "CCI members oppose restricted access proposal". Times of India. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  17. ^ "ATN gains Canadian broadcast rights of IPL". rsp. 
  18. ^ BCCI suspends Lalit Modi.
  19. ^ Chirayu Amin named IPL interim chairman.
  20. ^ Lalit Modi to fight suspension, calls it illegal: Report. The Hindustan Times
  21. ^ [1].India Today
  22. ^ CricketCountry Staff (15 May 2012). "BCCI suspends five players accused in spot-fixing". Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  23. ^ FP Staff (15 May 2012). "IPL spot-fixing scandal: channel stands by sting operation". Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  24. ^ CricketNDTV (15 May 2012). "IPL spot-fixing: Mohnish Mishra admits and aplogises". NDTV. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  25. ^ PTI (15 May 2012). "Spot-fixing in IPL: Tainted cricketer Mohnish Mishra apologises, Pune suspends him". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  26. ^ NDTV Correspondent (16 May 2013). "Sreesanth, two other Rajasthan Royals' players arrested for spot-fixing". Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  27. ^ ESPNcricinfo staff (16 May 2013). "Three Royals players detained by police, suspended by BCCI". Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  28. ^ Please see the article 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing case for full details.
  29. ^ "CSK’s Meiyappan arrested". The Hindu. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  30. ^ "Gurunath Meiyappan arrested in Mumbai". ESPN Cricinfo. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  31. ^ "SC asks Srinivasan to step down as BCCI chief". The Hindu. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  32. ^ "Pune Warriors withdraw from the IPL". New Delhi: The Hindu. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 

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