The sixth season of IPL has begun with much fanfare and a glittering event.
IPL is not just known for cricket, cash and entertainment, but also for controversies. In the last five years. The cash-rich IPL has not just made players to become stars overnight, but has also uncovered various on-field verbal altercations, scandals, spot-fixing and termination of franchisees that has marred the spirit of the game.
Despite controversies around the sport, IPL has managed to successfully enter its sixth year. Even before the start of its campaign, this year's IPL has been facing major setbacks owing to issues related to Sri Lankan players.
Here is the list of top 10 controversies that happened over the past six years since its inception in 2008.
No entry for Shah Rukh Khan at Wankhede
It seems controversy and Bollywood Baadshah Shah Rukh Khan go hand in hand. The 2012 incident involving the actor in a scuffle with security staff at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai seems to haunt him even now.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) banned Shah Rukh from entering the stadium premises for five years for allegedly misbehaving with the staff, following Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) win over Mumbai Indians (MI) on 16 May, 2012.
MCA recently announced that the ban on the actor still holds and he will be not be allowed to enter the Wankhede premises for a match between KKR and MI on 7 May this year.
When the issue cropped up last year, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla had attempted to find a solution for the issue. He had said that the final decision would be taken by the BCCI. With more than a month's time left for the match, it remains to be seen if the BCCI will be able to bring an amicable solution and allow Shah Rukh to enter the stadium and support his team.
Sri Lankan Players Banned from playing in Chennai
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has refused to host Sri Lankan players in the IPL matches to be held in Chennai this year, in the wake of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. The IPL governing council had to agree upon the decision and disallow players from taking part in the Chennai matches, citing security concerns.
A total of 13 Sri Lankan players are playing in this IPL. Some of them including Mahela Jayawardane, Kumara Sangakara and Angelo Mathews are leading three different IPL teams.
Deccan Chargers Terminated
Last year, the debt-ridden Deccan Chargers (Hyderabad) team was terminated, after its owners failed to produce the ₹100-crore bank guarantee before the court. From this year onwards, a new Hyderabad team called Sun Risers will take part in the IPL. The franchise is owned by Kalanidhi Maran's Sun Group.
Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell at "Rave Party"
Pune Warriors' Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell were among several people who were detained for allegedly taking drugs at a rave party in Mumbai last year.
The cricketers as well as other detainees were let off after undergoing narcotic tests. Both the players claimed innocence saying that they were "at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Rahul, in fact, said that he would give up sports if the test results showed positive. Despite being tested positive for drug use, no harsh measures has been taken against Raul.
Meanwhile, the Special NDPS court on 25 March filed a chargesheet against the accused and gave a copy to them. South African cricketer Wayne Parnell has been mentioned as a wanted accused in the chargesheet.
Spot Fixing claims on Five Players
A TV channel carried out a sting operation that allegedly caught players accepting bribes to spot fix during the fifth season of IPL. Five players including Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, TP Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali were suspended by the BCCI following the revelation. But none of them have been proven guilty.
Sreeshanth - Harbhajan Singh "Slapgate"
Indian bowlers Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh were involved in an on-field controversy in the first IPL season in 2008.
Mumbai Indians player Harbhajan Singh slapped then Kings XI Punjab player Sreesanth when he reportedly shook hands with Bajji after Punjab's victory over MI.
Sreesanth was captured on video crying and his then fellomate VRV Singh was seen consoling him. It was later reported that Harbhajan apologized to Sreesanth in the dressing room.
Molestation case on Luke Pomersbach
Australian cricketer and then Royal Challengers Bangalore player Luke Pomersbach was arrested for allegedly molesting an American woman and severely beating her fiancé in Delhi last year.
Later, the American woman dropped all charges against the cricketer following an out-of-court settlement. Pomersbach will be playing for the Kings XI Punjab team this year.
Ganguly's ouster from KKR
Sourav Ganguly, who was leading the KKR team during the first three seasons of IPL, was ousted from the team, enraging Ganguly's fans all over India.
KKR's owner Shah Rukh was criticized for expelling Ganguly from the team. The former Indian captain played for Pune Warriors during the last IPL season, much to his fans' delight.
But Ganguly retained a poor form throughout the IPL matches and his team ended up at the bottom two after winning just four out of 16 matches. The left-handed batsman will not play for Pune this time, instead he will be the team's mentor.
Kochi Franchise terminated by BCCI
In 2011, the Kochi Tuskers franchise was terminated by the BCCI for breaching the terms of agreement. The decision was taken following the team's inability to provide a new bank guarantee for 2011.
Lalit Modi sacked as IPl chairman
Former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, who was the founder and architect of the T20 league and champions league, was sacked in 2010 after allegations about misappropriation of funds surfaced. The IPL founder currently lives in London.