The Indian Premier League (IPL) which was founded in 2008 took the cricketing world by storm. The league format allowed millions of dollars to be traded as international cricket players from around the world were bought and sold each year by their respective franchises.
The league has been riddled with a number of corruption allegations ranging from spot fixing to match fixing. The corruption charges starts right up at the top with N Srinivasan, former BCCI Chairman, Sundar Raman, who is the IPL chief operating officer (COO), Lalit Modi, the man initially responsible for launching the IP, Gurunath Meiyappan once listed as part owner of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Raj Kundra, part owner of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and husband to Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not do a proper job in investigating the IPL corruption allegations and it needed the Supreme Court of India to intervene. The court asked BCCI Chairman N Srinivasan to step aside and allow an independent inquiry to take place over the alleged corruption charges.
The investigation was spearheaded by former chief justice of India, RM Lodha and the final results were submitted after months of investigation. The Lodha report concluded that Gurunath Meiyappan (CSK) and Raj Kundra (RR) have tarnished the image of the game knowingly, and had brought cricket into disrepute. As a result, Meiyappan and Kundra received a lifetime ban and cannot be involved in Indian cricket in any form.
Cricket analysts and enthusiasts in India expected both these individuals to be punished but what caught them off-guard was the ban that the Lodha report imposed on the CSK and RR franchises. The report stated that the owners of the team had violated the terms and conditions governing the IPL and as a result both teams would receive a 2 year ban preventing them from taking part in the 2016 and 2017 IPL seasons.
In a statement, RM Lodha, said “The proved misconduct by the officials of CSK and Rajasthan Royals have damaged the faith of the public in IPL, BCCI and the game of cricket, so much so that any untoward incident in any game is now attributed to corruption in cricket. In India, cricket is not any other game or sporting activity; it is passion for millions. It is really hard to measure the harm caused by these acts. Jaipur IPL claims it is highly celebrated as a nursery of players. But three of its players were arrested and charged with spot-fixing. The committee can also take notice of the fact that there has been allegations of approach to one of its players for corrupt practices in 2015 IPL season as well.”
The CSK franchise is the most popular team in the IPL as it is captained by India’s ODI and T20 captain MS Dhoni. Both CSK and RR have won the IPL trophy in the past and have a wide fan following in the country. The decision to ban these two franchises received mixed opinions in India as some fans believed that it was okay to ban the owners but not right to ban the teams and all of its players.