New Delhi: The tenth edition of the much-fancied Indian Premier League (IPL) is just days away and all the teams are gearing up to perform at their respective optimum levels. The cash-rich league is often regarded as the best T20 club competition in the world, where players from every country want to take part in.
However, there have been some instances in the last decade where the good game being played on the pitch has been overshadowed by controversies off it.
Here are few such incidents that rocked the Gentleman's game and changed the face of Indian cricket forever.
1) The IPL Spot-Fixing Scandal
The biggest and the worst Indian Premier scandal broke out in 2013 and it changed the face of Indian cricket forever.
It all started with the arrest of bookies but the later on the arrest of actor Vindoo Dara Singh in relation to booking on IPL matches simply proved to be the game changer. The involvement of Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan, who were team owners, with betting was established.
Three Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by the Delhi Police for allegedly meeting with the bookies. The judiciary intervened and then BCCI president N Srinivasan had to step down as it was his son-in-law, Meiyappan, who was also involved in the scandal.
Justice Mukul Mudgal panel was formed by the Supreme Court for investigating the whole matter and the panel submitted its report to the Justice Lodha Panel in 2014. In July 2015, the Lodha Panel gave a landmark verdict by suspending both Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL for two years.
2) The Bhajji-Sree Slapgate
The visuals of then Kings XI Punjab pacer S Sreesanth crying his heart out inside the stadium was played several times on all the news channels during the first edition of the league in 2008. After registering a 66 runs victory over Mumbai Indians in a group stage match in Mohali, Punjab star Sreesanth said something to Harbhajan, which the India spinner found offensive and the latter allegedly slapped him.
However, later Harbhajan went to Sreesanth's dressing room and it was reported that he went inside to apologise to the pacer and had a long chat with him. The BCCI managed to broker peace between the two players but the entire episode left a sour taste in the very first season of the league.
3) The Sacking of IPL Czar Lalit Modi
The Indian Premier League was Lalit Modi's brain-child and it could be argued that the worldwide success of the IPL is because of him. However, Modi was shown the door from the helm of the league in an unceremonious manner after the end of the third edition of the league in 2010.
In an unprecedented show of strength, the BCCI sent out an official mail about Lalit Modi's sacking after he had just finished reading out the closing speech of the 2010 IPL on the night of the final.
Lalit Modi was accused of financial impropriety, rigging bidding deals, offering bribes, betting and money laundering.
“While we rejoice and celebrate the great success of the IPL season, the alleged acts of individual misdemeanours of Mr Lalit K Modi have brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself," then BCCI president Shashank Manohar was quoted as saying after Modi was sacked.
However, Lalit Modi still maintains that he was not part of any wrongdoings and currently lives in the United kingdom because he claims he fear for his life in India.
4) When Rahul & Parnell Decided to Rave!
Pune Warriors teammates Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell - along with 42 others - were caught by the Mumbai Police for consumption of recreational drugs during a rave party at a plush hotel in Juhu in 2012.
Both Parnell and Rahul claimed to have not taken any drugs, but positive blood samples shattered those claims by the cricketers.
However, the duo did find support in the BCCI as big wigs like N Srivasan said they shouldn't be handed harsh punishments as they did not take any kind of performance enhancing drugs.
5) The Luke Pomersbach Scandal
Australian star Luke Pomersbach was arrested by the Delhi Police during the 2012 edition of the league for allegedly molesting a woman. The American Indian woman alleged that Pomersbach stormed into her room without her consent and even beat her fiancee, who tried to stop the 27-year-old.
However, the case was settled by both parties outside the court and the charges against Pomersbach were subsequently dropped.