There are faces which become, or make an event, so popular that they start getting identified with that event. Indian Premier League, too, over the years has its share of celebrities and entrepreneurs who were identified with the league.
Now, in spite of disappearing from the scene for various reasons they find a mention and shake up memories each IPL season.
Indian Premier League is a place known for its riches, glam and appeal from various influential, powerful, widely known celebrities and personalities.
Some of them were instrumental in bringing IPL to the world stage as the top professional sports league, some brought disgrace to the league through myriad scams and controversies and others who went on to become a face of the IPL and a brand image to reckon among the cricket fans in India.
InsideSport.co has compiled 5 such names that are not the part of the annually held biggest cricket extravaganza anymore. The might be out of sight, but certainly not out of mind:
The Indian Premier League was the brainchild of Lalit Modi. The scion of the leading Indian business family was impressed by the humungous profits earned by American Professional Sports Leagues. He was once compared to the likes of Don King, owner of the famous boxing promotion company and Bernie Ecclestone, former chief executive and promoter of Formula 1.
On April 24th, a day after the IPL 2010 final, he was suspended by BCCI on 22 charges, including bypassing the IPL governing council while taking decisions, not following proper processes, bid rigging of IPL franchisees, awarding contracts to his friends, accepting kickbacks on a broadcast deal, selling IPL franchises to members of his family, betting and money laundering.
The first chairman and commissioner of IPL is now living in Exile in London since the time Enforcement Directorate (ED) had launched investigations against him for alleged financial irregularities. He was charged with various counts including Money laundering and violation of the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management (FEMA) Act.
Also known as the ‘King of Good Times’ because of his extravagant lifestyle, Vijay Mallya is among the league of economic offenders who fled to a foreign land. The liquor baron and the owner of Kingfisher brand purchased the Bengaluru team for $111.6 million during the franchisee bid at the inception of the league. This was the second highest bid for a team, next only to Reliance Industries’ bid of $111.9 million for the Mumbai Indians.
He was regular at RCB matches along with his son Siddarth Mallya. Like Modi, Mallya fled to London in March 2016 after defaulting on loans worth ₹9,000 crore ($1.4 billion) by a consortium of 17 Indian banks. Mallya has allegedly routed funds to gain 100% or a partial stake in about 40 companies across the world.
Several agencies including the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation are investigating Mallya for charges including financial fraud and money laundering.
Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty Kundra
Married since 2009, the Punjabi businessman and model cum Bollywood actress had invested in the Rajasthan Royal team of the IPL in 2009, allegedly using illegal funds routed through an offshore company based in Mauritius. The couple, primarily Shilpa Shetty, gave a big boost to the franchisee’s brand image through merchandising and media exposure, as well as attracting lucrative sponsorship deals.
Kundra was questioned by Delhi Police in June 2013 in relation to IPL season 6 spot-fixing case when he admitted that he had bet on his own team and lost huge amounts in doing so. In July 2015, the Supreme Court, appointed Lodha Panel imposed a life ban from cricket matches on him leading to his ouster from IPL along with his wife.
Narayanaswami Srinivasan is an Indian business, former and first chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and former BCCI President. The Chennai Super Kings was bought by India Cements for $91 million, making Srinivasan the de-facto owner of the franchisee as he was the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the company. This led to a case against him on the grounds of conflict of interest under BCCI regulation, Clause 6.2.4., and the matter is still pending in the Supreme Court. The clause was subject to controversy after it was tweaked in the IPL’s inaugural season to favour BCCI office bearers.
N.Srinivasan’s son-in-law and CSK team principal Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested by Mumbai Police in 2013 in the IPL spot-fixing scam for his involvement in heavy betting and trading inside information to bookies.
After massive national outrage, Srinivasan had to step aside on 2 June 2013 and appointed Jagmohan Dalmiya as the interim president of BCCI.
The Chennai franchisee was transferred to a separate entity named Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd., after the Supreme Court struck down the controversial amendment to the BCCI constitution’s clause 6.2.4 that allowed board officials to have a commercial interest in the IPL and the Champions League T20 on January 22, 2015.
Navjot Singh Sidhu
The former Indian cricketer, politician, TV personality, and cricket commentator was one of the popular faces of IPL before 2017 season. Sidhu is known for his quirky commentary filled with humour, poetry and catchy one-liners. Currently, the Minister of Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Museums of Punjab State, Sidhu is missed in the IPL broadcast as his “employer” for the IPL commentary, Sony Pictures India Network had lost league’s media rights to Star India in a whopping ₹16,347.5 crore rupees bid.