The Indian Premier League completed a successful decade last year. In its glorious journey of 10 years, the cash-rich tournament has seen a fair share of controversies.
These controversies are not just restricted to conflicts between players like Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, or Harbhajan Singh and S. Sreesanth, but also owners of the IPL teams, who have been involved in a few controversies for various reasons.
Here we recall 5 such IPL owners who were embroiled in controversies in the tournament.
#1 Ness Wadia – IPL 2009
The incident happened during the second edition of the tournament held in South Africa. Co-owners of Kings XI Punjab, Ness Wadia and Mohit Burman were beaten up black and blue after it was reported that Mohit kept poking a lady spectator with a flagpole.
It was later learnt that the lady was the daughter-in-law of Ajay Gupta, owner of the Sahara Group. The police and private security staff of Sahara group thrashed the two co-owners in the VIP box. Later, the then-IPL chairman Lalit Modi sorted out the matter between both the parties.
Wadia was involved in another similar controversy when his ex-girlfriend Preity Zinta accused him of molesting her. In a letter to Mumbai Police Commissioner, the Kings owner alleged that Wadia was violent with her and would even lock her up in rooms.
#2 N Srinivasan – IPL 2013
The former BCCI president N. Srinivasan was involved in a shameful controversy when he was the owner of the two-time champions Chennai Super Kings.
Reports suggested that before the IPL 2009 auctions, the ousted president had asked the then-commissioner of the IPL Lalit Modi to remove Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera from CSK so that English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff could be picked in the team, which was what happened eventually.
However, when things between Srinivasan and Modi went south in 2013, and after Modi was ousted by Srinivasan himself, he divulged information to the media on the secret behind Perera’s exclusion.
#3 Shah Rukh Khan’s anger at Wankhede – IPL 2015
The fifth edition of the IPL unveiled a side of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan not many had seen outside of his movies. The KKR co-owner walked to the ground after his franchise beat the Mumbai Indians in a league game, and what transpired thereafter was seen as an ugly incident by many.
SRK’s daughter was seen playing with her friends on the ground when a policeman asked her to get off the ground since the game was over. A furious SRK went on an indecent verbal clash with the authorities and was eventually banned for 5 years from entering the ground by the Maharashtra Cricket Association.
#4 Raj Kundra – IPL 2013
The former owner of Rajasthan Royals, one of the two franchises that were banned for two years, Raj Kundra was questioned by Delhi police over the allegations of betting during IPL matches. After hours of interrogation, the husband of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty finally confessed to have bet on IPL matches, including those in which his own franchise played.
Subsequently, he was suspended from the team management. The allegations on him were initially made by a bookmaker named Umesh Goenka, who was a witness to the 2013 shameful spot-fixing scandal of the tournament. The matter, however, was soon forgotten and dusted.
#5 Siddharth Mallya and Deepika Padukone’s public display of love – IPL 2011
In a country that is not too welcoming towards couples exhibiting their love in public, the then-best friends Deepika Padukone and Siddharth Mallya’s kiss during a game at the Eden Gardens did not go down well with many. Young Mallya gave a full-mouthed kiss to actress Padukone openly after RCB beat KKR in a game at the cricketing fortress.
The Bollywood diva was seen kissing him back with equal passion, while the cameramen at the venue grabbed their most sensational picture of the match. This did not go down well with many, who opined that public display of affection should not be a part of IPL, which is watched by families together and not just youngsters.