It was a time when the English Premier League (Football) was considered as the most prestigious domestic league that had the several big names from the football world, but now, EPL has got a rival league from the Gentlemen’s game, the Indian Premier League. It was in 2007 when Zee Network came out with an idea of starting a league type tournament called the Indian Cricket League. The ICL got the backing of world cup winning Indian captain Kapil Dev, Kiran More and many more former cricketers inspite of BCCI refusing to accept it as an official league. Due to the adamant stand by the BCCI, International Cricket Council too failed to approve the ICL and that earned the league the name “Rebel League”. It was also announced that the players involved in the ICL will be banned from playing for their country in the future. Even then the league attracted lots of players and fans towards it. It was also the time when India were crowned as champions of the 2007 ICC World T20 in South Africa and the Twenty20 version started to attract many people towards it.
Soon the BCCI in co-operation with Lalit Modi came out with an idea of launching India’s official T20 league called the Indian Premier League. Since it was the official league of the BCCI, the ICC too gave its green signal. It was said that the Indian Premier League will be a franchise based league and tenders will be opened for the franchisees to get the bragging rights for the eight teams. Eight cities won the bid in the tender and those cities include Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur and Chandigarh (Mohali).
Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Group bought the Mumbai franchise for a whopping USD 111.9 Million and names the team as Mumbai Indians. They were closely followed by the Bangalore franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore , which was owned by Vijay Mallya led UB Group for a price of USD 111.6 Million. Hyderabad’s franchise owned by the Deccan Chronicle Holdings are termed as Deccan Chargers and were their value at the auctions was USD 106 Million. The Chennai franchise is owned by the BCCI bigwig N. Srinivasan’s India Cements private limited for a price of USD 91 Million followed by GMR group’s Delhi franchise for USD 81 Million and the teams were known to the fans as Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils respectively. The trio of Priety Zinta, Ness Wadia and Mohit Burman formed the Chandigarh franchise for USD 76 Million and the team is represented as Kings XI Punjab. Shah Rukh Khan’s alliance with Jay Mehta and Juhi Chawla led to the formation of Kolkata franchise named Kolkata Knight Riders for USD 75.09 Million. Emerging Media (joined by Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra in the second season) won the rights to own Rajasthan Royals for a partly low USD 76 Million.
The owners also acquired the services of players to represent their team through the auctions in which Indian skipper MS Dhoni attracted the highest bid by any player as the Chennai franchise bought him for USD 1.5 Million. The tournament kicked off in April 2008 and Kolkata Knight Riders’ Brendon McCullam set the stage on fire straight away by scoring a thunderous 158 against RCB in the inaugural match. Shane Warne led Rajasthan Royals won the tournament defeating the Chennai Super Kings in the finals.
Due to the parliamentary elections, the second season of the Indian Premier League bandwagon moved to the rainbow nation of South Africa and received a good response from the South African fans as well. Adam Gilchrist led Deccan Chargers defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the finals to lift the trophy.
The third season returned to India and was broadcasted live on YouTube and in 3D across movie halls in India. Chennai Super Kings defeated Mumbai Indians in the finals to win their first title. Lalit Modi was ousted by BCCI as the so-called Commissioner of IPL.
Two new teams made the cut for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League. Subarata Roy owned Sahara Group bought the Pune franchise, Pune Warriors India for USD 370 Million and Kochi Cricket Private Limited bought the Kochi franchise for USD 333 million and was named as Kochi Tuskers Kerala.However, the bid around the Kochi franchise turned controversial resulting in the resignation of minister, Shashi Tharoor from the Central Government and investigations by various departments of the Government of India into the financial dealings of IPL and the other existing franchises. Later, Lalit Modi was also removed from IPL chairmanship by the BCCI for his involvement in the rigging of the tenders of the Koch franchise. On 5 December 2010, it was confirmed that Kochi will take part in the fourth season of the Indian Premier League. Chennai Super Kings won their second consecutive title after defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore by 58 runs in the final.
Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab had their franchises terminated for breaching ownership rules and Kochi franchise was also issued a warning to resolve all their ownership disputes. Months later Kings XI and Royals were finally allowed to take part in the 2011 edition after a court ruling and the Kochi was expelled from the IPL.
The fifth edition saw the Kolkata Knight Riders winning the tournament by defeating Chennai Super Kings in the finals. Midway through the tournament, five players including TP Sudhindra, Monish Mishra and Amit Sharma were caught on a sting operation carried on by a local news channel India TV in relation to the Spot-Fixing.
The sixth edition saw a bagful of controversies and the Indian Premier League started to lose its sheen. The Deccan Chargers franchise having been terminated by the IPL governing council, had their spot taken by Sun Networks for a price of USD 157 Million and the name too was changed to Sunrisers Hyderabad. Controversy hit IPL again with 3 players (Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and Sreesanth) arrested by the Mumbai police on 16 May on charges of spot-fixing. CSK team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan was also arrested on charges of spot-fixing and alleged links to bookies during IPL 6. Pune franchisee owner Sahara Group (owner of Pune Warriors India) decided to pull out of IPL. This decision was taken after Sahara failed to pay IPL dues. Mumbai Indians won their maiden title defeating the Chennai Super Kings in the finals.
The seventh edition will be held outside India to avoid adding to the existing security demands for the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections and UAE, Bangladesh will host the first two phases of the tournament as the final phase is cleared to take part in India. The Spot-Fixing case had a huge impact and the supreme court of India has ordered to suspend Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from taking part in the seventh edition of Indian Premier League and the decision was later called off by the court.
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