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Putting it in words

ESPNcricinfo staff
The quotes from nine seasons of the IPL that caused laughter, embarrassment and controversy

Adam Gilchrist had to get used to the idea that an IPL team could purchase him like he was a commodity © BCCI

"There was a little element of feeling like a cow."

Getting auctioned for US$700,000 before the 2008 IPL got Adam Gilchrist in touch with his bovine side. When the IPL began, the concept of players being bought and sold was completely new to cricket. Any misgivings Gilchrist had about the auction process didn't affect his game, though. He went on to lead Deccan Chargers to victory in the 2009 season.

"This is not cricket. This is the greatest divide between the rich and the poor. With that kind of money, you could have built another cement factory."

Jaswant Singh, then leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had this to say about the IPL in 2008 during a session of the house. For some, the IPL was a welcome show of financial muscle by Indian cricket, but for others, the idea of a developing country hosting such an extravagant event was abhorrent. That sentiment still exists in some form today. Just last season, games were shifted out of drought-stricken Maharashtra to ensure water was not wasted on maintaining the grounds.

"Violence between players? Scantily clad cheerleaders? Toss in a rant by Charles Barkley and three minutes of commercials for every 45 seconds of actual game time and cricket may finally be ready for a mainstream American audience."

This excerpt from a Los Angeles Times article in 2008 predicted the IPL could help cricket appeal to new markets. The IPL was modelled on American sports leagues, but nine years on, cricket is still trying to make serious inroads in the American market.

"I don't mind really ... except she really did seem to be doing her job very well when I was out. She didn't have to look so pleased."

Jacques Kallis was supportive of his sister Janine performing as a cheerleader in the 2009 IPL, but wasn't too happy when it was his wicket she was celebrating. Janine, a dancer and physiotherapist, was part of Chennai Super Kings' cheerleading squad in 2008 and Delhi Daredevils' in 2009. When Kallis' Royal Challengers Bangalore faced both sides, she was obligated to cheer her brother's misfortune. Janine told an Indian newspaper that Kallis had ribbed her later on Facebook, saying if she ever danced like that again when he got out, he would hit her in the shin with a cricket bat.

Gurunath Meiyappan was a bit too close to Chennai Super Kings' players for people to buy that he was simply "enthusiastic" © AFP

"How can you take this tournament seriously now? All the money in the world, and they can't get a dog off the pitch. Imagine if it started relieving itself on a good length."

The Guardian's Rob Smyth wondered on over-by-over commentary why a pitch invasion by a dog during a 2009 IPL match couldn't be dealt with quickly. This tongue-in-cheek jab sat alongside more forceful criticisms of the IPL by sections of the English press that did not look kindly upon the tournament.

"I know who the favourite son is now. Dad actually said he was keen on me and I didn't even get one bid off him."

Australia batsman Shaun Marsh reacted with humour after his father, Geoff, then coach of Pune Warriors, bid only for younger brother Mitchell at the auction ahead of the 2011 IPL. Geoff was in the invidious position of having his sons available in the auction while he was advising a franchise on which players to buy.

"He would go [for the matches]... he was enthusiastic."

After then BCCI president N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested for betting on IPL games in 2013, Srinivasan insisted Meiyappan was not a part of the Chennai Super Kings franchise but only a mere cricket enthusiast, despite tons of evidence to the contrary. Meiyappan had been seen sitting in the Super Kings dugout, wearing an official team badge and at IPL auctions. There were also quotes from other Super Kings players and staff confirming Meiyappan was an integral part of the franchise. Srinivasan's statements were seen as a dishonest attempt to protect the Super Kings from being tainted by Meiyappan's arrest and were among the many reasons for the loud appeals for him to step down from the BCCI. The Super Kings were suspended after the 2015 IPL. Srinivasan, though not a part of the BCCI, is still active in cricket administration.

Piyush Chawla scored the winnings runs in the final of the 2014 edition © BCCI

"Life is all about taking the right decision. Seeing Gayle bat today, I think I took the right decision of being a wicketkeeper."

This quote from MS Dhoni summed up Chris Gayle's innings of 175 not out off 66 balls for Royal Challengers Bangalore against the Pune Warriors in 2013. Dhoni was not even playing in the game, but Gayle's knock sent shivers down the spine of every player in the tournament. He had reached his 100 in 30 balls and, for a while, it seemed possible that he might do the unthinkable and get a double-century in the IPL.

"I don't want to sound politically incorrect, but what will they do if I enter? Shoot me?"

Shah Rukh Khan, co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, said before the 2013 IPL that he was ready to defy the Mumbai Cricket Association's ban on him entering the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. In 2012, Khan had been involved in a scuffle with security personnel at the Wankhede and had subsequently been accused of being drunk and abusing officials. Khan claimed he had reacted angrily because the security guards were manhandling his children and their friends. In 2015, the ban was lifted, and in 2016 the Mumbai police said that their investigation had revealed no cognizable offence committed by Khan.

"One four and the whole world now knows that Piyush Chawla can bat."

Piyush Chawla hit the winning boundary for Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2014 IPL final and was not shy about celebrating it. In 10 games prior to the final, Chawla had scored a grand total of 18 runs, but his 13 not out in the final saw his team over the line.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pinch-Hitter_Night-watchman on April 3, 2017, 18:48 GMT

    If possible would like to amend the last quote "One four and the whole world now knows that Piyush Chawla still plays cricket." Just kidding, have been a big supporter of him since his U-19 days (2004 Bangladesh), but the boy seems to have given up on Indian cricket completely, didn't even play a quarter of this season's domestic cricket for UP. Remember Dravid had warned about something like that might happen if domestic setup isn't taken care of. Harbhajan too turned up for Limited over games only, specifically right before IPL. Well, that does seem to be the case now, but the blame does lie with the board as well on certain counts and not just the players.

  • Desiboi80 on April 2, 2017, 14:04 GMT

    Rizwan1435 - or is it possible that Gayle has aged since that 2013 inning and is also out of form now? Scores also depend on the pitches and ground size. PSL on average haven't seen many high scoring games.

  • .ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP4. on April 2, 2017, 13:29 GMT

    @Rizwan1435 on April 2, 2017, 10:52 GMT

    Thank you for teaching me something new.

    Oh, all the bowlers in IPL are Indian bowlers! What a revelation, old man. You deserve at least a cupcake, since you may never earn a cup.

  • Rizwan1435 on April 2, 2017, 10:52 GMT

    @nivalink ha! the league where batsmen like gayle smash 100 of 30 balls against some of the worst bowlers in the world. just look at his performance in the 2 seasons in PSL and you will know the difference in quality of the local players who know how to keep a so called 'universe boss' within his limits and compare it with the performance of the indian bowlers against whom Gayle has smashed every batting record. It is surely entertaining but quality I am afraid is worse than the PSL and even the BBL.

  • Nivalink on April 2, 2017, 9:01 GMT

    IPL is no 1 T20 league in the world despite all the scams and razzmatazz. Its so because of sheer quality of cricket. There are detractors who would disagree but anyone who has played cricket can tell you hitting a six like Gayle does is pure magic.

  • ALLROUNDCRICKET on March 31, 2017, 7:10 GMT

    Hah! And now the English who dissed the IPL no end are going to clone it. Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery.

  • Siva_Bala75 on March 31, 2017, 1:43 GMT

    Brilliant collection! Thank you ESPNCricinfo!!

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