Today we discuss the IPL fixing saga which dented the T20 league tournament’s repute. Match Fixing and Spot Fixing has been a menace that has engulfed the world sport for too long now. It has been prevalent in all forms of sports, an occurrence that has accelerated in recent times due to the legalization of betting in sports. However, the world of cricket, a sport that has been worshipped in a country like India has had major upsets regarding betting and spot-fixing.
Although cricketers here have been worshipped as deities, it has been evident in quite a few cases that when there has been a dispute regarding the player’s integrity and honesty, people have stood in protest and haven’t taken much time to dethrone the player from the pedestal that they made for him.
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The Indian Premier League, the flagship T20 Tournament is no new controversy. Since its inception, it has not only received immense popularity and has been a marvelous prospect of an uncountable amount of monetary trading, it has also been criticized from many quarters due to its equal amount of focus on the glitz and glamour associated with the game.
In 2013 however, IPL faced its biggest crisis to date when three Indian Cricketers- Shanthakumaran Nair Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankit Chavan- were arrested on the charges of spot-fixing. They were alleged to have accepted bribes and underperformed in some of the most crucial matches of the tournament. Sreesanth was a part of Chennai Super Kings, who till then was a champion team and the most consistent in the tournament as well. Chandila and Ankit Chavan were a part of Rajasthan Royals, the inaugural champions in 2008.
Once the investigation began many new names started cropping up in the entire fiasco. The names that came up from the Chennai Super Kings camp were Bindu Dara Singh, the son of legendary Indian Wrestler Dara Singh, an ardent supporter of Chennai Super Kings and Gurunath Meiyappan, the son in law of N. Srinivasan the BCCI chief then and the owner of India Cements.
On the other hand, the owner of Rajasthan Royals, Raj Kundra, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband was also involved in the entire incident. The matters were delegated into the hands of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). The two regulatory bodies started making investigations and the case was then transferred to the Supreme Court.
A high profile ruling was made by Rajendra Mal Lodha, the then Chief Justice of Supreme Court, who passed the verdict holding the above-mentioned persons as accused. The cricketers involved in the incident were banned from playing cricket for life. The administrators whose name had cropped up in the incident were given penalties and were detained in police custody for a considerable period.
The most punitive step that was taken however was banning both Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from IPL for two years. CSK who enjoyed cult popularity especially due to the presence of MS Dhoni who has always been a symbol of excellence in Indian cricket was deeply saddened and hurt after this incident. The same was the case for Rahul Dravid, a man who was synonymous with integrity and honesty in the world of sports when the Rajasthan team under his tutelage was found to be guilty.
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Dravid completely dissociated himself from the team, while Dhoni left Chennai Super Kings. A makeshift arrangement was made to induct two new teams in the IPL for 2 years when the Rising Pune Supergiant funded by Sanjeev Goenka, the owner of Ceat Tyres and CESC group, and Gujarat Lions became part of the IPL. Dhoni went on to become the face of Rising Pune Supergiant for 2 seasons. Established Stalwarts of CSK like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo went on to play for Gujarat Lions.
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