Cricket is a game that promotes sportsmanship on a broader level. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), one of the world’s most famous T20 leagues, the concept of the “Spirit of Cricket” is emphasized as a way to maintain good manners and ethics during competition. Despite the emphasis on sportsmanship, there have been instances of fights and controversies in the history of the IPL.
Although IPL has remained a successful and popular league, showcasing the best of cricket and promoting India’s welcoming, cricket-loving nature, it is not always easy to maintain in the heat of the moment, especially in a high-stakes competition like the IPL. In this article, we will take a look at some high-voltage fights in IPL history.
Top 5 fights in IPL
IPL 2013: Gautam Gambhir vs Virat Kohli
During the IPL 2013 season, a fight occurred between the captains of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teams, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, respectively. The two players had previously been teammates on the Indian National Cricket team, and both represented domestic teams from Delhi and the north.
In a match between KKR and RCB, tensions rose when Pradeep’s economy struggled against Kohli’s boundary-hitting. In the following over, Balaji caught Kohli out, leading to celebrations from the KKR bowlers. However, something one of the bowlers said upset Kohli, and instead of returning to the pavilion, he confronted the bowler with a verbal outburst. Gambhir joined in to support his bowlers, leading to a physical altercation between the two captains. Both players were found to have violated the Level 1 offense for using abusive language or extreme verbal or gestural expressions.
IPL 2011: Munaf Patel vs Amit Mishra
During a match between the Mumbai Indians and the Deccan Chargers in the IPL, a heated argument broke out between teammates Munaf Patel and Amit Mishra. Despite having previously played together for the Indian cricket team, the two found themselves at odds in the IPL.
The altercation began when Mishra, playing for the Chargers, hit consecutive boundaries against Patel, the bowler for the Mumbai team. Patel’s failed attempts to get Mishra out seemed to anger him, and the argument quickly escalated from verbal abuse to physical. The umpires eventually had to intervene to stop the fight.
IPL 2008: Harbhajan Singh vs S Sreesanth
During a match between the Mumbai Indians and the Kings XI Punjab in the inaugural edition of the IPL, a clash occurred between teammates Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth. The Mumbai team had lost the match, and Sreesanth reportedly mocked Singh, who was already upset about the defeat. This led Singh to slap Sreesanth hard, although the incident was not widely circulated on video. Sreesanth’s tearful reaction, however, was widely televised.
IPL 2013: Shane Watson vs Kieron Pollard
During a match against the Rajasthan Royals, Pollard was involved in an altercation with Australian batsman Shane Watson. Pollard was highly agitated and continuously exchanged angry words with Watson from the fifth to the tenth over. Even after Watson was dismissed, Pollard’s aggressive behaviour continued in the dugout. Watson also retaliated with his own choice of words and the situation became heated. In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, the captain of the RR instructed Watson to go to the dressing room to resolve the matter.
IPL 2014: Kieron Pollard vs Mitchell Starc
In the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, an altercation occurred during the 27th match between the RCB and the MI at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The RCB had won the toss and chosen to bowl first. At one point, the Mumbai Indians had scored 133/4. During this time, Mitchell Starc bowled a bouncer to Kieron Pollard, and the two players exchanged words. Pollard signalled for Starc to bowl again, but when Starc continued to bowl in a threatening manner, Pollard threw his bat at him in anger. The umpires, Rohit Sharma and Chris Gayle, had to intervene to calm the situation.