Over the last ten years, the whole global cricket scene has been massively shaken up by the brashness and glamour of the Indian Premier League, the world’s biggest Twenty20 cricket tournament. Held annually in April and May since 2008, the IPL features a mix of young up-and-coming locals, established Indian players and international cricketing megastars such as AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. Each of the league’s eight city team franchises supplements their home-grown playing staff by signing up star “icon players”, whose services are auctioned off via a series of sealed bids – records were broken in 2015 when Delhi Daredevils picked up master-blasting batsman Yuvraj Singh for a cool US$2.4 million.
With such staggering sums of money changing hands, it’s perhaps no surprise that the IPL has become as well known for its off-field controversies and financial irregularities as for the action and drama on the pitch. In 2013, three Rajasthan Royals players were arrested for spot-fixing and in 2015 both the Royals and Chennai Super Kings were booted out of the league for two years following revelations of match-fixing.