The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the most popular and successful professional Twenty20 cricket leagues in the world. Since its inception in 2008, it has been a tournament that has been enjoyed by fans all over the world. However, despite its popularity and success, there have been some allegations and rumors that some IPL matches are fixed or scripted. This is a serious charge and if proven true, would have far-reaching consequences for the sport of cricket and the credibility of the IPL as a professional league. In this blog post, we will try to answer the question: Is IPL scripted?
What are the allegations of match-fixing or scripting in the IPL?
The allegations of match-fixing or scripting in the IPL are based on various claims made by different sources, ranging from individual players to entire matches being fixed. Some of the common allegations are:
- Some players are involved in illegal activities such as spot-fixing, where they deliberately perform poorly or make mistakes in certain situations to influence the outcome of the match or a specific event.
- Some teams are involved in fixing matches, where they agree to lose or win by a certain margin or score to benefit themselves or other parties.
- Some matches are scripted, where the outcome and the events of the match are predetermined by the organizers or other parties to create drama and excitement for the viewers.
These allegations have arisen due to various reasons, such as:
- The high stakes involved in the tournament and the money that is at stake for players, teams, and the league itself.
- The involvement of various stakeholders such as sponsors, broadcasters, bookmakers, and gamblers who may have vested interests in the outcome of the matches.
- The suspicious behavior of some players or teams during some matches, such as dropping catches, missing run-outs, playing rash shots, bowling no-balls, etc.
- The unexpected results of some matches, where underdogs defeat favorites or where teams chase down huge targets or defend low scores.
What is the evidence for or against these allegations?
The evidence for or against these allegations is not conclusive or definitive. There have been various investigations and inquiries conducted by different authorities and agencies to probe into these allegations. Some of the evidence that has been presented for or against these allegations are:
- The confessions of some players who have admitted to being involved in spot-fixing or match-fixing. For example, in 2013, three players from Rajasthan Royals (Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan) were arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly spot-fixing in some IPL matches. They were later banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
- The testimonies of some players who have denied being involved in any form of corruption or illegal activities. For example, in 2019, former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya was banned for two years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for failing to cooperate with an anti-corruption investigation. He later claimed that he was innocent and that he had never fixed any match in his career.
- The reports of some committees that have investigated these allegations and given their findings and recommendations. For example, in 2014, a committee headed by former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha was appointed by the Supreme Court of India to look into the 2013 IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal. The committee found that two teams (Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals) were involved in betting and recommended their suspension for two years.
- The analysis of some experts who have studied these allegations and given their opinions and insights. For example, in 2020, a study by researchers from IIT Kharagpur and IIM Bangalore claimed that there was no evidence of match-fixing or scripting in IPL matches based on statistical methods. The study used data from 636 IPL matches played between 2008 and 2018 and found that there was no significant deviation from expected outcomes.
The conclusion is that there is no clear answer to whether IPL is scripted or not. There have been rumors and allegations of match-fixing or scripting in IPL matches, but there is no concrete evidence to support these claims. The BCCI has taken these allegations seriously and has taken various measures to prevent match-fixing or scripting from occurring in IPL matches. The IPL is a professional cricket league that is watched by millions of fans all over the world, and it is important that it is protected from any form of corruption or illegal activities. Therefore, we can say that IPL is not scripted, but it is a real and competitive league where anything can happen on any given day.