The IPL is one of the most competitive domestic T20 league in the world. With the game changing with the unfailing volatility of an ocean current, the tournament has had more than a fair share of ugly altercations. The pressure of performance often accentuates player’s egos leading to an exchange of verbal volley which more often than not crosses the line of acceptance.
With IPL 11 round the corner, here’s a look at the four ugliest altercations between players in the IPL.
#4 Shane Warne and Sourav Ganguly, IPL 2008
The very first edition of the IPL saw two legends of the game at crossroads. KKR were competing against Rajasthan Royals when Ganguly was thought to have been caught by Graeme Smith at deep mid-wicket. Not fully convinced by the exclusivity of the catch, Ganguly illegitimately asked the umpires to refer to the third umpire and when Asad Rauf could not offer a decisive mandate, an infuriated Shane Warne just blew his top.
Ganguly eventually departed but the Aussie carried off the spat off the field when he expressed his disappointment toward Ganguly in the post-match presser. Both Ganguly and Warne were sanctioned 10 percent of their match fees. The on-field umpire was not spared either as Pratap Kumar was handed a one-match suspension on grounds of referring a decision without substantial reason.
#3 Kieron Pollard & Mitchel Starc, IPL 2014
That Kieron Pollard has a genetic dislike towards the Australians was testified to the hilt when an ugly altercation ensued between Mitchell Starc and the West Indian batsman. Following his altercation with Shane Watson in the preceding season, the matter escalated to magnanimous effects during the seventh edition of the IPL.
It was the 17th over of the Mumbai Indians innings when Starc bowled a vicious bouncer that flew over the West Indian. The Aussie let out his tongue to mock Pollard to which the West Indian responded with a send-off.
The matter escalated in the very next ball when Starc continued with his delivery despite Pollard having swayed out of the way. A visibly infuriated Pollard ran towards Starc and threw his bat towards the bowler. Pollard romped towards the umpire about Starc’s conduct that led to such antics.
#2 Virat Kohli & Gautam Gambhir, IPL 2012
An altercation that got the better of two supremely talented and highly competitive cricketers: Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, has to be one of the most unfortunate incidents in the history of the IPL.
It was the 2012 IPL when Kolkata Knight Riders locked horns with the Royal Challengers Banglore. Virat Kohli had just hit Pradeep Sangwan for two consecutive 6s and in an attempt to make it three in a row, he perished. KKR was elated to see the back of Kohli, however, the exuberant celebrations didn’t bode well with the RCB skipper as he stormed into the KKR team with a handful of a mouthful tow which Gambhir responded with gusto even leading to an ugly confrontation.
Both the players were charged with Level 1 offense for using obscene language and inappropriate gestures.
#1 Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth, IPL 2008
One incident that involved actual physical contact took center stage in the inaugural edition of the IPL.
The incident happened after Kings XI Punjab had won their match against the Mumbai Indians. It is believed that Shreesanth allegedly needled Harbhajan about the loss to which the latter responded with a slap across the face of the fast bowler. Though the actual footage was never aired on screen, the incident created a ruckus in the cricketing fraternity and judicial probe ensued to resolve the issue.