With the IPL, there is simply no way controversies can be far behind. That’s the case with the 2012 edition too. A round up of some of them…
Munaf Patel was fined after he threw the ball down and argued with the umpire over a dismissal that was not given in an MI-DC match. Munaf bowled Kumar Sangakkara, but the ball ricocheted off the wicket-keeper and hit the stumps again, leading to some confusion.
While Munaf eventually got his way, his over-the-top aggression did not go down well with the IPL authorities.
Captain Harbhajan Singh also got into the act and had his own argument with the umpires and got duly fined in the process. Dale Steyn and Sourav Ganguly also received warnings. The former was warned for gesturing at a batsman who got out and the latter for a breach in clothing regulations.
Many years back, during the shooting of Rab Ne Banadi Jodi, it was alleged that superstar Shahrukh Khan smoked on the premises of a No Smoking Sikh college in Amritsar. He got into trouble for that and is at it again.
SRK was found smoking publicly at Sawai Man Singh Stadium during a match with his KKR team and Rajasthan Royals. A complaint was filed in the local magistrate’s court in that regard.
Chinnaswamy Stadium got into a tiff with civic authorities and as a result the local body refused to clear its trash. Garbage was piled up as corporators got less passes than they asked for. The stadium also saw a small fire thanks to a short circuit in an advertising hoarding. That led to a minor delay in the start of the RCB-KKR match.
With cricket in India can illegal betting be far behind? Five people were also arrested in Bangalore in this regard. In Delhi, a gang involved with marketing black IPL tickets was busted.
Before the beginning of IPL5, Kiwi all-rounder Chris Cairns sued former IPL chief Lalit Modi and won 90,000 UK pounds in damages from an England court. Through a 2010 Twitter status message, Modi had accused Cairns of being involved in match-fixing in the rebel Indian Cricket League in 2008.
Just forget about your worries…
The IPL is a welcome annual event for many where all troubles are left behind and it’s just fun and fiesta time.
First among that is Royal Challengers Bangalore. Owner Vijay Mallya is facing severe financial problems across his group and Kingfisher staff had even called on RCB players to boycott IPL itself since they had not been paid their dues.
But RCB won their inaugural match and all seemed right with the world.
Then there’s also Pune Warriors India whose owners Sahara had a huge spat with the BCCI over sponsorship but have since patched up. Pune are missing the services of star player Yuvraj Singh, who is still recovering from cancer.
But the Yuvraj has been replaced by the Maharaj in the form of Sourav Ganguly.
The only team which has nothing to cheer about is the Kochi Tuskers who have been kicked out of IPL 2012. They had approached the courts without much success.
For the Indian players too…
How much difference one year can make! On April 2, 2011, the Indian players were on top of the world with the annexation of the ODI World Cup. Last year’s IPL was played on a high and this year’s is being played on a low.
Not only have we been thrashed 0-8 in Tests on foreign soil, but we failed to make it to the finals of both the CB Series and Asia Cup.
The players also haven’t had it good. MS Dhoni’s national captaincy is under a cloud. Sachin Tendulkar laboured for a year to get his 100th international century which itself happened to be a laboured one in a losing cause.
Rahul Dravid has retired. Yuvraj is recovering from cancer. Virender Sehwag found himself out of the national team. Gautam Gambhir had indifferent Test form and Suresh Raina has been neither here nor there. Yusuf Pathan failed to capitalize on the start IPL gave him and cement his place in the team.
Most of the bowlers have been in and out of the national team too.
So most of the players also get a chance to forget about the last year (which is easily an annus horibilis for them) and just enjoy the IPL.
Club over country
In IPL 2011, the man of the series was Chris Gayle who was the highest scorer with 608 runs and he also had 8 wickets to boot. The highest wicket-taker was Lasith Malinga with 28. Both, it seems, have chosen club over country.
The last Test that Malinga played was in 2010 and he announced his retirement after a spat with the Lankan board. Gayle’s dispute with his own board runs even further and he has not played an international match for over a year now.
It has been a sad sight to see a man who has scored two Test triple centuries play even the likes of the Bangladesh Premier League and not don the colours for West Indies.
The author is a Bengaluru-based journalist and blogger.
He blogs at http://sunilrajguru.com/