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10 talking points of the Indian Premier League

April 15, 2014 08:54 IST

Image: Cheerleaders in action during the IPL
Photographs: BCCI Rediff Sports League

The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League, which was plunged into uncertainty following the betting and spot-fixing scandal that hit the previous edition, is back. But, this time, only part of the tournament will be held in India.

The first leg will be staged in the United Arab Emirates because of the general elections in the country. After a couple of weeks, in May, the Twenty20 league will be played India.

Over the years, apart from cricket, the cash-rich extravaganza has hit the headlines for a variety of reasons.

We take a look at what the IPL is famous or infamous for, apart the cricket.

The Interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Sunil Gavaskar, has called for a controversy-free seventh edition of the IPL, saying that it should be remembered only for cricket.

But the lucrative league certainly cannot brush off some of the controversies of the past which put it in focus for all the wrong reasons.

On the cricketing front, the game's diehards, both in India and overseas, get a chance to watch their favourite cricketers come together not only to play but also entertain, leaving them with memories to cherish.

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The perfect mix of cricket and entertainment

Image: Deepika Padukone performs during the opening ceremony of the IPL 6
Photographs: BCCI

The IPL is a perfect mix of cricket and entertainment. Following its popularity, since it started in 2008, many call it 'cricketainment'.

Its advertising campaigns have caught the imagination of the family audience, and it is not surprising to see cricket fans doing 'Jumping Jhapak' to celebrate their team's success.

The attendance for every match is full and the atmosphere inside the stadium unbelievable.

The IPL fits to the tee with the modern work schedule, which leaves the working class with very little time span for recreation.

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Tags: IPL

A unique marriage of cricket and Bollywood

Image: Shilpa Shetty with husband Raj Kundra, the co-owners of Rajasthan Royals
Photographs: BCCI

What has boosted the IPL TRPs is the unique marriage of cricket and Bollywood.

Most of the IPL franchises are owned by Bollywood superstars, including Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla who own the Kolkata Knight Riders, while heart-throbs Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta are co-owners of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab respectively.

Seeing SRK, Preity or Shilpa celebrate and dance for every boundary scored or wicket taken by their teams is a common sight at matches and the cameras make sure they are not missed by the television audience.

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Cheerleaders add a lot of sex appeal

Image: Cheerleaders in action during IPL 6
Photographs: BCCI

Cheerleaders at matches are a major talking point. They not only add a lot of sex appeal but attract a huge number of eye balls.

Every boundary hit or every wicket taken is followed by a jig by the girls, most of whom are hired from overseas to add to the glamour quotient.

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Tags: 1

Spot-fixing tarnished IPL's image worldwide

Image: Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and Shantakumaran Sreesanth were banned by BCCI for their role in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Photographs: BCCI

The drama surrounding the spot-fixing scam in sixth edition of the tournament tarnished the league's image worldwide.

India pacer Shantakumaran Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals team mate Ankeet Chavan were banned for life for their alleged role in the scandal after the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ravi Sawani, who probed the spot-fixing scandal and submitted his report, found the duo and Ajit Chandila and Amit Singh guilty on multiple counts. 

Amit Singh, who played for Rajasthan Royals in 2012, was banned for five years for his alleged role in spot-fixing, and fellow-pacer Siddarth Trivedi for a year after being found guilty for failing to report approaches by bookies.

Royals' left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh escaped punishment in the absence of evidence against him.

Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested by Mumbai Police on charges of betting, conspiracy and cheating, as was Actor Vindoo Dara Singh for his alleged association with bookies and.

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Retired cricketers make a quick buck in the IPL

Image: Michael Hussey
Photographs: BCCI

A lot of retired cricketers, including the likes of Michael Hussey and Muttiah Muralitharan, have been a huge hit in the IPL.

The league is a good opportunity for them to make a quick buck after quitting international cricket. That's why not many are willing to let go.

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'Slapgate' rocked the IPL in 2008

Image: Shantakumaran Sreesanth is comforted by VRV after being slapped by Harbhajan Singh in the 2008 edition.

Sreesanth was earlier involved in a controversial incident in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008.

Mumbai Indians off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was banned from playing in the remained of the tournament that season after he pleaded guilty to slapping Sreesanth, who was then playing for Kings XI Punjab, at the end of their match.

The temperamental bowler was also fined 100 per cent of his match fee for the game.

Sreesanth was let-off with a warning that his "aggression on the field will in future be taken seriously".

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Shah Rukh banned from Wankhede stadium for abusing MCA officials

Image: Shah Rukh Khan
Photographs: BCCI

In 2012, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan got into an ugly spat with Mumbai Cricket Association officials at the end of the match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, at the Wankhede stadium, in Mumbai.

According to MCA officials, Shah Rukh, who came to the Wankhede stadium at the end of the match, first got into a fight with security personnel and when the MCA staff intervened he allegedly abused and threatened them as well.

'Shah Rukh came totally drunk and he misbehaved with the officials,' Ravi Sawant, who was the MCA treasurer then, had said following the fracas.

Khan was handed a five-year ban from entering the Wankhede Stadium by the Mumbai Cricket Association.

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IPL chief Modi suspended in 2010

Image: Lalit Modi with Shilpa Shetty
Photographs: IPL/Getty Images

Controversy's favourite child, commended and condemned in equal measure, former IPL chief Lalit Modi rose meteorically, but his fall was no less spectacular. He was booted out of the very empire he created.

Modi was suspended in 2010 as IPL commissioner for alleged financial irregularities while being at the helm of the cash-rich league from 2008 to 2010.

'While we rejoice and celebrate the great success of IPL Season 3, the alleged acts of individual misdemeanors of Mr Lalit K Modi, chairman IPL and vice-president BCCI, have brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself,' read a statement from BCCI president Shashank Manohar, announcing that Board secretary N Srinivasan issued a show cause notice to Modi and suspended him from the Board, IPL, the Working Committee and other committees.

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Ganguly, Lara got the snub in 2011

Image: Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly, captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, during the toss at a match.
Photographs: IPL/Getty Images

Cricket fans were left stunned when Sourav Ganguly, one of India's greatest captains, and West Indies batting great Brian Lara were not picked by any of the franchises during the IPL Players' Auction in 2011.

Ganguly quit international cricket in 2008, but played in all the three editions of the Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders, whom he also captained in 2008 and 2010.

But the Shah Rukh-owned outfit chose to ignore the left-hander who enjoys a cult status at home in Kolkata, also the base city of the team.

The then IPL chairman Chirayu Amin had said the matter was not in hands of the organizers and choice left with the owners. 

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Gayle does it 'Gangnam' style

Image: Chris Gayle celebrates taking a wicket
Photographs: BCCI

Like his towering sixes, what was also became a hit with Indian fans was Chris Gayle's style of celebration.

Yes, the Gangnam style, made popular by South Korean musician Psy.

The tall West Indian has achieved somewhat of a legendary status in India courtesy his batting exploits for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Last year he slammed a world-record 175 from 66 balls, hitting 13 fours and 17 sixes, against the now-defunct Pune Warriors India.

Will fans see some more magic from Gayle this year too?