For some, May 15th 2013 will go down in infamy as one of the darkest day in the history of the IPL. For that was the day that Delhi police arrested three bowlers with the Rajasthan Royals – S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan – and charged them with spot-fixing. In the aftermath, the scandal widened to include Indian film and TV actor Vindu Dara Singh and the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings, Gurunath Maiyappan, who was the son-in-law of the BCCI president at the time, N. Sreenivasan., who came under suspicion of cheating and fraud.
Later it even engulfed Indian team captain MS Dhoni and off-spinner Harbahajan Singh who were blamed for instigating the arrests in the first place.
The three bowlers were suspended by the IPL with immediate effect, although two years later, they were cleared of all charges by the Patiala High Court. However, barely six months later, Chandila was banned for life from all forms of cricketing activity by the BCCI.
Sreesanth, meanwhile, originally confessed, but then claimed that he had been forced to incriminate himself, and that he was drunk at the time of his arrest. He too was banned for life by the BCCI, a decision upheld by the Kerala High Court in 2017, although that was lifted by the Supreme Court in March last year.
In connection with the case, a number of bookies were subsequently arrested for their alleged involvement in fixing matches, not only in the IPL, but more broadly in Indian cricket and the Bangladesh Premier League.
Srinivasan was ordered to step down from his role by the Supreme Court who described him continuing in office as “nauseating”.
Dhoni and Singh were dragged into the affair by Sreesanth’s father, who claimed that the Indian captain was trying to stop his son playing for his country, accusing the pair of trying to ruin his son’s career. Those allegations were later retracted.
However, the whole affair has left a stain on the IPL and Indian cricket that has never been fully eradicated.