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Knights made their mark with stunning final win

Abu Dhabi: Spot-fixing raised its ugly head during the 2012 Indian Premier League (IPL) season — while a number of other off-the-field incidents gave a tournament a lot of negative publicity.

In a TV sting operation, five players were caught on tape talking about manipulating matches by bowling no-balls at a designated stage of the match. Only a couple of them named had played in the tournament, but IPL and BCCI immediately imposed bans on all to do some damage control.

Pune Warriors cricketer Monish Mishra, who was suspended by the Indian cricket board pending inquiry, later accepted the statements he made during the sting operation conducted by the TV channel and said he did it casually “to develop his value”.

Besides Mishra, the other players caught in the sting operation were T.P. Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab), Shalabh Shrivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali (Himachal Pradesh).

Bollywood superstar and Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan also landed on sticky wicket that season and was banned from entering Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium for five years after a row with the Mumbai Cricket Association staff during an IPL match.

Khan defended his actions, saying he became angry after the security ‘manhandled’ children accompanying him. MCA, however, stayed behind their staff and Khan was slapped with the ban.

Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach was also arrested on molestation and assault charges, by a senior Delhi Police official, a couple of days later. The 27-year-old was alleged to have molested a woman and physically attacked her male friend in a city hotel during a party after Pomersbach’s Bangalore team had beaten Delhi Daredevils in an IPL match.

Mumbai police also busted a high-profile rave party at a plush hotel in Juhu and rounded up 96 participants, including two IPL players — Rahul Sharma and South African Wayne Parnell of Deccan Chargers — who were also detained and questioned.

The season also saw IPL teams being reduced from 10 to nine as the franchise of Kochi Tuskers Kerala was terminated by the BCCI for breaching its terms of agreement.

The opening ceremony of the 2012 season was simply spectacular with performances by some of the big names in Bollywood — Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Salman Khan, Prabhu Deva, Colonial Cousins, and the international sensation Katy Perry. Reigning champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) seemed to have continued from where they had left in the 2011 season and they were very much in line to complete a hat-trick of titles until they met Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final.

Stealing the show in the finals was little-known Manvinder Bisla as KKR successfully chased down a record 190 — highest successful run-chase in IPL history against CSK. The previous highest had been 188 by KKR in 2009, and Kings XI Punjab in 2011. Bisla’s 89 off 48 balls was the second-highest score by a batsman in an IPL final next only to Murali Vijay’s 52-ball 95 in the 2011 final.