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Why Were CSK and RR Banned from IPL?

Chennai Super Kings, a well-known IPL team that won the recent IPL 2023 was banned in 2015. No matter how hard it is to believe, the team experienced a suspension. The fans were devastated and disheartened. However, one more team has gone through the same phase, Rajasthan Royals. The overall success ratio of RR is not very good. CSK, on the other hand, won multiple tournament and is famous to date.

But the success has lived for a long duration. Both the teams faced downfall during and after the incident. RR lost its momentum and never won any tournament after that. The pain was the same for both teams, but one had to suffer more than the other. This article will uncover the secrets that both the teams had and what they were banned for. 

Why was CSK Banned from IPL?

Chennai Super Kings, also famous for CSK, has attracted so many fans towards it. The team played extraordinarily from the beginning of the IPL. Not only this, CSK also earned five IPL titles with its hard work and dedication. 

But the team, led by M.S. Dhoni, along with all the success and fame, has also faced some setbacks. In 2015, the franchise suffered from allegations of illegal betting and match-fixing. The real reason behind the suspension of CSK was the involvement of Gurunath Meiyappan, a top official of the team, in the betting activities during the IPL matches. The player was found guilty of spot-fixing.

Duration of CSK Suspension

The Justice Lodha Committee, a panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India, investigated the case of the CSK about spot-fixing. After a thorough inquiry, the committee found Meiyyappan guilty of engaging in illegal betting activities. 

As a result, the team had to go through a 2-year suspension and was banned from playing in the IPL. The decision was taken to maintain the integrity of IPL cricket and set a precedent.

The franchise was banned during the 2016 and 2017 IPL seasons. This step left a huge void in the CSK fans’ hearts but also emphasized the importance of fair play in the sport. Nevertheless, CSK won the title in its comeback season of 2018.

Behind the Scenes

While we all know CSK the involvement of a top official in betting, the behind-the-matter had more depth in it. It was a scenario in which the question was raised about the integrity of the team. The suspension not only affected the CSK but it was a message to all the teams and officials about the enhancement in their way of playing the game. It was an encouragement toward fair play. 

It unequivocally declared that any form of unethical practices toward the game will not be tolerated at any point. It is about maintaining the reputation of IPL and high standards in professional cricket, not just about winning the game. 

Why was RR Banned from IPL?

Another team that suffered the same situation was Rajasthan Royals, famous for RR. The incident occurred when Delhi Police arrested three cricketers – S Sreenath, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan. They were detained on the changes of alleged spot-fixing. Following this incident, Rajasthan Royals suspended the contract of the three players. 

BCCI also banned these players from playing for the team and initiated a probe to find out how deep the rot went. In the process, Chavan confessed to being a part of the spot-fixing but was then released on bail in June 2013. 

Involvement of Raj Kundra

To investigate the matter more deeply, Delhi Police called the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, Raj Kundra, for questioning. The officers backed that Kundra was a part of the illegal betting. In the later days, Kundra confessed to placing bets on his IPL team through a bookie, according to the Police. 

After the news came out, the management team of Rajasthan Royals stirred the situation and took action against Kundra. They banned Kundra from the IPL and warned him to take back his shares in the team if he were found guilty. 

The Court Steps In

In light of the illegal betting activities by Kundra, the Supreme Court of India formed a three-member panel in Oct 2013. They called it the Mukul Mudgal Committee. The panel’s main focus was to probe the allegations of betting and spot-fixing in Indian cricket. After a year of the investigation, the panel submitted the report, which was not made public. 

In 2015, another panel, Justice RM Lodha Panel was formed by the Supreme Court to probe the betting scandal of IPL teams CSK and RR. After a thorough inquiry, the panel decided to let go of Chennai Super Kings, as it was suspended by the panel citing operation rules. They didn’t take any action against Gurunath Meiyappan. 

While, on the other side, the panel decided to give a 2-year ban to Rajasthan Royals on account of being directly involved in the spot-fixing and bringing disrespect to the game. The panel also claimed that Raj Kundra’s actions were unacceptable. 

“Rajasthan Royals claims it is highly celebrated as a nursery of players. But three of its players have been accused of alleged spot-fixing. It shows that all is not well in their handling of affairs. The position of Raj Kundra with the Rajasthan Royals franchise — part owner and team official — means his actions brought the game, BCCI, and IPL into disrepute,” – the panel made this critical remark in its report.

Rejection of Kundra’s Defence

In the judgment, it was stated that Raj Kundra’s defense, asserting his status as a citizen of the United Kingdom and his purported unawareness of the illegality of betting in India, was not deemed acceptable.

“If he was truly in love with the game, he would not have engaged in betting,” Justice Lodha read from the verdict. Kundra later tweeted: “Many inaccuracies…Have requested a copy of the judgment. Obviously very shocked and disappointed…”

Outcome on the Teams

After these incidents, both the IPL teams CSK and RR were asked to pay Rs 100 crores and 70 crores in team sponsorship revenues, respectively. Along with the monetary loss, CSk and Rajasthan Royals lost their brand value.

Nevertheless, CSK came back in 2018 and won the title, making it believe they aren’t gone yet. The fans of fCSK love the team by heart even today. The two-year loss can never be fixed but can be improved by keeping in mind the safety measures for the IPL.

RR returned in 2018 but was unable to show their hard work in a matter of runs and winnings. The fans’ expectations failed when the team was unable to qualify for the playoffs in the last few seasons.

Vaishnavi Deoskar - 12 Posts

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