The curse of the IPL

Last Updated: Sat, Apr 04, 2015 14:18 hrs

Almost every IPL team has spelt trouble for its owners. While dozens of business houses scrambled to get an IPL teams, the lucky ones proved to be unlucky in the end…

Pune Warriors India: Subrata Roy’s association with the Sahara Group began way back in the late 1970s. He saw its stunning growth from a chit fund company getting into real estate, the airline industry, entertainment media etc.

In March 2010 Sahara paid a whopping record Rs 1700 crore for PWI and in November 2010 SEBI barred Subrata from raising public money over some illegalities. Both PWI and Sahara were in for a torrid time after that.



In 2013 PWI was dissolved and in 2014 Subrata was arrested and is still in jail.

Deccan Chargers: Like Subrata, T Venkattram Reddy also had been handling the Deccan Chronicle from the 1970s, taking over from his father. Deccan Chronicle went from strength to strength under him and even held its ground versus the Times of India in Hyderabad.

Reddy bought the Deccan Chargers in 2008 and he was accused of indulging in a criminal conspiracy in 2009. The team was dissolved in 2012, the CBI filed a case against Reddy in 2013 and he was eventually arrested in 2015.

Chennai Super Kings: N Srinivasan is a powerful man and nothing generally seems to faze him. ICC Chairman. BCCI President. Managing Director of India Cements. Tamil Nadu Cricket Association President. Tamil Nadu Golf Federation President. All India Chess Federation President. He has donned so many hats in his life!


However there is only a single hat has cost him: The (direct or indirect) ownership of Chennai Super Kings. First his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested in the match-fixing scandal and then he got into trouble in the Supreme Court over conflict of interest of CSK and Indian cricket.

He is not off the hook yet.

Kochi Tuskers Kerala: This has been the most disastrous of them all. For an expensive Rs 1500 crores, KTK played just one IPL season before being dissolved. Two people fought over it and both had their careers in jeopardy.

Lalit Modi was the founder of IPL but he was ousted after this and is still trying to gain a foothold into Indian cricket. Shashi Tharoor lost his ministership at that time and is currently under investigation in the Sunanda Pushkar death case.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: The Sun TV Network was launched way back in 1993 and since then has been quite powerful both financially and politically. SH was launched in 2013 and in the very next year owner Kalanithi Maran found himself being charged by the CBI in the Aircel-Maxis case.

His brother Dayanidhi who was Telecom Minister under then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also found himself in the net.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Vijay Mallya was the high-flying owner of United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines when he launched RCB. Since then his career has seen a nosedive. Kingfisher Airlines is as good as dead and Mallya has been declared a “wilful defaulter” by a bank.

Rajasthan Royals: Raj Kundra has been involved with various businesses like trading, Bollywood financing, real estate and steel. However it has been his association with RR that has been trouble for him.

He was questioned by Delhi Police in the match-fixing case in 2013 and is not totally off the hook yet.

Kings XI Punjab: Ness Wadia is a descendant of Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah and has his hands in many companies thanks to his family business in the Wadia Group which includes Bombay Dyeing, Britannia Industries and Go Air.

He bought KXIP along with girlfriend Preity Zinta and last year she filed an assault case against Ness. Again Ness has now become embroiled with Mumbai Police thanks to this and interestingly Zinta’s career practically died when she got associated with KXIP.

Kolkata Knight Riders: While Bollywood king Shahrukh Khan was banned from Wankhede stadium over a fracas with a security guard, something more serious has come to light. The Enforcement Directorate has sent a notice over forex violation charges to the tune of Rs 100 crores. Its early days and it remains to be seen how that case pans out.

Another associate of KKR is Rose Valley and its chairman has been arrested in a new scam in West Bengal.

Post script…

That’s a good nine teams that have meant nothing but trouble for their owners. The exceptions are Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils which have by and large stayed away from controversies.

The only time Delhi Daredevil owners GMR Group were in the news in a controversy was over the cancellation of an airport in Maldives in 2012. Mumbai Indians owner Reliance Industries is also a multi-billionaire giant and the IPL is a very small part of its operations.

The author is a Bengaluru-based journalist and blogger.

He blogs at http://www.sunilrajguru.com/