The Indian Premier League, which is renowned as the most profitable cricket tournament globally, has been embroiled in a string of scandals. The latest development occurred in November, when law enforcement authorities, who are looking into allegations of betting corruption, took steps to interrogate the chief executive of a prominent team participating in the tournament.

In custody are three players and 11 bookmakers, one of whom is S Sreesanth, a renowned international cricketer from India. They are currently facing allegations of engaging in “spot fixing,” an illicit practice that involves prearranging certain aspects of cricket matches, usually for the advantage of unlawful gambling syndicates.

Mumbai police officials made their way to the southern city of Chennai to serve a summons to Gurunath Meiyappan, the chief of the Chennai Super Kings team, regarding suspected connections with an individual apprehended during the investigation.

A representative for the Chennai Super Kings chose not to provide a statement, but this development brings the police investigation one step closer to the core of the IPL’s senior management. It is worth noting that the Chennai team is under the control of N Srinivasan, a prominent figure in both business and cricket, who also happens to be Mr. Meiyappan’s father-in-law.

Mr. Srinivasan is also the leader of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the organization responsible for overseeing the tournament and the overall development of Indian cricket.

Lalit Modi, a businessperson who oversaw the IPL in its initial stages before departing due to a dispute with the league’s proprietors, urged Mr. Srinivasan to step down due to the ongoing inquiry.

“[Mr] Srinivasan and his family must step down without delay,” Mr Modi tweeted on Wednesday.

The inquiry into online betting is one of the most severe issues to have impacted the already scandal-ridden 10-week yearly cricket competition. This tournament, which commenced in 2008, has gained notoriety for its tumultuous administration and profitable funding.

The recent controversy unfolded as law enforcement apprehended the trio of athletes after conducting a string of inquiries into illicit online gambling networks. These networks purportedly offered substantial sums of money to the players, with the intention of influencing their performance negatively at specific predetermined instances throughout the games.

According to a statement issued by his legal representative, Mr. Sreesanth, who made an appearance in a New Delhi court earlier this week, firmly denies any involvement in spot-fixing and asserts that he has consistently played cricket with utmost integrity and sportsmanship.

In the words of Ayaz Menon, a cricket writer and commentator based in Mumbai, the recent development has caused significant harm, especially due to the involvement of an international player, marking a first in this context. There is a growing concern that additional accusations may surface and further arrests could be made in the near future.

Ever since its inception in 2008, the IPL has revolutionized the world of online betting, infusing it with a perfect blend of Bollywood charm and substantial financial prowess. This includes a groundbreaking $1.6 billion broadcasting contract with Sony and a recent sponsorship deal worth $74 million with the renowned beverage conglomerate, Pepsi.

However, the tournament has also faced numerous challenges in terms of governance and ethics. This includes past accusations of gambling and corruption, as well as conflicts within the management and intense financial disputes between the league’s owners and teams.

The most recent dispute arose when one of the IPL’s primary sponsors declared its decision to withdraw from the league due to a dispute regarding royalty payments. Consequently, this action resulted in the dissolution of one of the IPL’s nine teams.

Sahara, a financially burdened real estate conglomerate, announced that it will discontinue its sponsorship of the Pune Warriors franchise, the team it invested a substantial $350 million to establish just two years ago. Later this year, it also intends to terminate its sponsorship of the Indian national cricket team.

Some of the other scandals

Learn about Additional Betting Scandals That Made Waves

Unfortunately, the history of cricket in India knows many other betting scandals. Let us consider some of them.

Hansie Cronje

In the year 2000, a significant cricket scandal unfolded, marking one of the most prominent instances of match-fixing in the sport’s history. The Delhi Police made a startling revelation, announcing that they had intercepted incriminating discussions between Sanjay Chawla and Hansie Cronje. Cronje, a well-known and accomplished South African cricket player, was adored by his fans.

Nonetheless, his reputation became polarizing due to his connection with Sanjay Chawla. Sanjay was recognized as a renowned player in the Indian online betting circuit. During his initial denial of any involvement in match-fixing, Cronje became emotional, shedding tears. However, when he faced cross-examination, his demeanor changed.

Ultimately, Hansie Cronje received a lifelong prohibition from participating in cricket matches. Furthermore, there were speculations surrounding Cronje’s demise, suggesting foul play leading up to his fatal plane accident in 2002.

2000 Controversy Regarding Match Fixing

In 1998, Manoj Prabhakar, an Indian cricketer, sounded the alarm. The BCCI received alarming information that led to one of the most significant match-fixing scandals in the history of cricket. Jadeja alleged that they made an effort to bribe him with a payment of Rs 25 lakh from a fellow player.

He put in a strong attempt to compensate for Manoj’s below-average performance against Pakistan in 1994. The inquiry uncovered that Prabhakar was accusing Kapil Dev. Following a thorough investigation conducted by the authorities in 2000, prominent cricket players and officials, namely Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma, faced severe consequences as they were handed a complete prohibition. According to the authorities, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Jadeja, and Ajay Sharma were allegedly linked to individuals involved in online betting.

Pakistan’s Trouble with the No-Ball Rule

In 2010, an undercover investigation conducted by News of the World revealed that certain members of the Pakistani national cricket team were involved in a scandal. They were found to have accepted bribes from bookmaker Mazhar Majeed in return for deliberately playing no-balls during matches.

The ICC has made a ruling on Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir, finding them guilty and imposing suspensions ranging from five to ten years.

In the year 2011, they were additionally charged with plotting to deliberately execute no-ball plays during Test matches, resulting in prison sentences spanning from 6 to 32 months.

Fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League

A prominent league in a nation where cricket is revered as a sacred practice is bound to find itself entangled in one of the most notorious match-fixing controversies in the realm of the sport. Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan, and S. Sreesanth, three cricket players associated with the Rajasthan Royals team, faced charges from the Delhi Police for their alleged participation in spot-fixing activities during the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League.

A total of 23 individuals, comprising bookmakers, actors, and co-owners such as Vindu Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan, came under scrutiny by law enforcement authorities due to their involvement in betting and various illicit undertakings. The police have also accused them of having connections to Chhota Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim, two infamous underworld personalities.

Due to insufficient evidence and a lack of collaboration among law enforcement agencies, multiple individuals, such as Sreesanth and Chavan, were set free.