To encourage cricketers to adopt fair game-play practices during the IPL, a unique award is given to the team that displays the best on-field conduct and fairness to uphold the spirit of the game of cricket.
The Fair Play Award has been a key honor since the inaugural season of the IPL. Over the course of the tournament, all participating teams collect points in every match they play.
Upon the conclusion of each game, the match officials grant points to the teams on the basis of their sportsmanship spirit and other factors.
A franchise is eligible to be granted a maximum of 10 points per game. Four out of 10 points are given on upholding the spirit of the game.
The remaining six points are awarded on the basis of respect towards the opposition, the umpires as well as the laws of cricket.
Notably, the Chennai Super Kings have won the Fair Play Award six times despite missing two seasons due to a ban. The next best on the list are Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians, who have won it twice each.
Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Lions are the other teams to have won the award in the past.
As the last leg of the countdown to IPL 2021 begins, we look at the list of Fair Play Award winners over the 13-year history of the cash-rich league.
IPL 2008 - Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings started the inaugural IPL season as underdogs. However, the team made it to the IPL finals on the back of some brilliant performances throughout the season.
Even though they lost the final to the Rajasthan Royals, CSK were adjudged the winners of the Fair Play Award.
Led by MS Dhoni, the CSK franchise exhibited the highest quality of conduct and sportsmanship during IPL 2008.
IPL 2009 - Kings XI Punjab (Now Punjab Kings)
The Punjab team was led by Yuvraj Singh in the 2009 edition of the IPL. Even though the team finished fifth in the points table and failed to qualify for the semi-finals, they finished first in the Fair Play Award points table, and consequently bagged the prestigious award.
IPL 2010 - Chennai Super Kings
The Chennai Super Kings came close to getting their hands on the trophy in IPL 2008, but had to settle for just the Fair Play Award.
However, in IPL 2010, CSK ensured that they went a step further to win the Fair Play Award as well as the IPL Trophy by defeating the Mumbai Indians in the final.
IPL 2011 - Chennai Super Kings
This period seemed like the golden era of MS Dhoni. Right after lifting the 2011 Cricket World Cup, Dhoni led CSK to another IPL title the same year. CSK defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore on the night of the final.
The Chennai outfit also went on to win the Fair Play Award for the second consecutive time and the third time overall.
IPL 2012 - Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals team was led by Rahul Dravid in the 2012 edition of the IPL. Even though they finished seventh in the points table, the Rajasthan Royals received all their losses with grace.
The team was not involved in a single argument or controversy throughout the course of IPL 2012, and were clear favorites to win the Fair Play Award that season.
IPL 2013 - Chennai Super Kings
In IPL 2013, CSK bagged their fourth Fair Play Award. Finishing at the top of the league-stage points table, the MS Dhoni-led team made it to yet another IPL final.
However, they lost out to the Mumbai Indians. CSK, however, managed to win the Fair Play Award yet again for upholding the spirit of the game.
IPL 2014 - Chennai Super Kings
By the seventh season of the IPL, the Chennai Super Kings had become the torchbearers of on-field conduct.
CSK crashed out of IPL 2014 in the Qualifier stage, but still managed to remain on top of the Fair Play Award points table and bagged the award for the fifth time in IPL history.
IPL 2015 - Chennai Super Kings
In IPL 2015, Chennai Super Kings made it a hat-trick of Fair Play Award wins as they won the award for a record sixth time in the history of the league.
Even after finishing on top of the league stage points table, CSK succumbed to the Mumbai Indians for the second time in an IPL final. Despite that, the Chennai team withheld the spirit of the game and deservingly bagged the Fair Play Award.
IPL 2016 - Sunrisers Hyderabad
IPL 2016 was a dream season for the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise. After qualifying for the play-offs in third place in the points table, SRH had to win three games in a row to clinch the IPL title.
The Orange Army not only won three games on the trot to win the IPL title, but also bagged the Fair Play Award that season.
IPL 2017 - Gujarat Lions
The now defunct Gujarat Lions franchise won the Fair Play award in the 2017 edition of the IPL. With players like Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and Brendon McCullum, the team was always calm and composed on and off the field.
In a praiseworthy incident, Suresh Raina was seen comforting young Rishabh Pant of the opposition team after he missed out on a well-deserved century.
IPL 2018 - Mumbai Indians
IPL 2018 was a slight blip for the Mumbai Indians as they failed to qualify for the play-offs. Nevertheless, the team bagged their maiden Fair Play Award for upholding the spirit of the gentleman's game.
IPL 2019 - Sunrisers Hyderabad
IPL 2019 saw Sunrisers Hyderabad's David Warner return to cricketing action following a one-year ban due to the ball tampering saga. Upon his return, Warner looked like a changed player, with a high level of composure.
His influence spread across the team, and SRH ended up winning the Fair Play Award in addition to making it to the playoffs in IPL 2019.
IPL 2020 - Mumbai Indians
The 2020 edition of the IPL turned out to be a near-perfect season for the Mumbai Indians. After comfortably finishing first in the league-stage points table, the Mumbai franchise won the IPL crown for the fifth time.
Not only that, the team also won the Fair Play Award for exhibiting calmness and great sportsmanship spirit during the course of the tournament.