The IPL has always been a cash rich league with money pouring in from all quarters. IPL 2012 has it all, cash, cricket, cheerleaders and controversies ranging from fixinggate to rave parties to molestgate. The scandals have gathered such a lot of media sound bite that cricket is mentioned as an aside. The two-month long extravaganza has given the cricketers ample opportunities to rake in the âmoolahâ and create a collage of controversies. Like the proverbial snow ball, the controversies got larger as the tournament progressed. It started with minor skirmishes and abuses and took a more sinister turn holding its trend with the rising mercury levels.
April 8, 2012: Badshah ‘smoked’ out
Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan on April 8 was served with a notice of smoking in public during the match against Rajasthan royals. This was not the first time the Bollywood King has been in trouble with the authorities over his smoking in public and this time around the authorities were in no mood to relent and a case was registered. The actor was asked to be present for the hearing on May 26. After hearing both the sides, magistrate Shilpa Sameer posted the matter for June 21.
April 18, 2012: Not Very Pretty Preity
The entire controversy started in the 14th over of the Kings XI Punjab’s innings. Brett Lee was the bowler and Shaun Marsh the batsman. Marsh under edged a delivery from the speedster and the Knight Rider’s wicket-keeper claimed a catch but TV replays showed that it was a bump-ball. A visibly upset Peity Zinta stormed into the stadium forgetting that not all stories have a fairy-tale ending and that bollywood histrionics are not always appreciated on a cricket field. She had an argument with the on-field umpires regarding the decision and the Kings XI captain Adam Gilchrist had to step in to broker peace.
April 30, 2012: BCCI chief’s son jailed for Mumbai pub brawl
The Cornell educated Business Graduate, Ashwin better known as the son of BCCI president N. Srinivasan showed off the boorishness of the rich and powerful. On April 30, Ashwin(40) along with his friend Avi Krishnamurthy (35) visited the Escobar pub in the outskirts of Bandra. The duo conversed and consumed alcohol worth Rs. 30,000 and when the pub refused to serve alcohol beyond the permitted time of 1:30 am, Ashwin got angry and picked up a brawl.
The cops arrived and Ashwin was heard telling them that he could buy both the pub and the cops if he chose to and allegedly punched a constable when he was ordered to pay up and leave. The police promptly arrested the duo and were jailed. The following day DCP Pratap Digaonkar booked the duo under the relevant sections of the IPC and following which the duo secured bail. Ashwin’s bill was later cleared by N. Srinivasan.
May 14, 2102: Spot-Fixing and Black Money
India TV on May 14, 2012 aired a sting operation and five players, T.P. Sudindhra from Deccan Chargers, Mohnish Mishra part of the Pune Warriors, Shalabh Srivastava, Amit Yadav part of the Kings XI Punjab contingent and a Delhi based cricketer Abhinav Bali were accused of trying to spot-fix matches. Mishra also claimed that he had received Rs 1.5 crore from the franchise and Rs. 1.2 crore was payed in black. He was immediately suspended from the team and Rajiv Shulka suspended all the players pending investigation.
May 16, 2012: Badshah of Bollywood become “Bad”-shah of Bollywood
This incident happened after the match between the Mumbai Indian Vs Kolkota Knight Riders. Till this point only players were behaving badly, not wanting to be left out of the action, King Khan showed he could better them all. Vikas Dalvi, a security guard of Wankhede Stadium, stopped Khan and company from invading the playing field after the match got over and this peeved the Badshah of Bollywood. Heated words were exchanged and it eventually led Shah-Rukh Khan from being banned from the Wankhede stadium for the next 5 years.
SRK defended himself stating that the officials scuffled with him as he came to pick up his children from the field.
May 17, 2012: The Molestgate Scandal
Chris Gayle had scored his third IPL ton and the RCB players attended a party hosted by team director Siddharth Mallya. The party was hosted at the ITC Maurya Hotel and a US citizen Zohal Hameed accused Luke Pomersbach of molesting and brutally attacking her Fiance, in a party following the match with Delhi Daredevils on May 17th 2012. She had also accused of players trying to threaten her to with-draw her complaint. The CCTV footage shows the RCB player Appanna accompanying Pomersbach to the victims room to try and sort out the matter. Pomersbach was subsequently arrested and produced before a magistrate in Delhi.
If this were not enough Siddharth Mallya created a controversy of his own by accusing the victim of improper conduct and questioning her character. Later the entire matter was sorted out-of-court with no “monitory” settlement according to Mallya jr.
May 20, 2012:Rave-party Scandal
Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell (Pune Warriors) were arrested in Juhu, Mumbai on May 20 at a rave party. The cricketers were released on bond following a medical test, the organiser of the party Vijay Handa was also arrested. Police found 110 gm of cocaine, Ecstasy, Charas and MMDA from the premises. The players claimed that they had not taken any drugs and were not aware that drugs were being served in the party. Rahul Sharma in typical Bollywood style also took an oath of not playing any cricket if he tested positive while Parnell took a more philosophical route and claimed that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
IPL 2012, winding down on May 27th, has already been in the news for all the wrong reasons, from bad player and owner behavior, to spot-fixing and molestation and then to top it off drugs and rave parties. The long list of scandals piling on has dented the cash-rich tournament. The season 5 of IPL has been one of the most entertaining one on-field but is clearly making more news off the field and for all the wrong reasons.