Fake IPL Player incident during IPL 2009: The controversial blog ended up sending back two Indian players from South Africa.
The second season of the Indian Premier League in 2009 was the first time when the cash-rich league was played outside India due to the General Elections in the country. Till date, it is also the shortest (day-wise) IPL season as it was completed in 37 days.
Played across eight venues namely Durban, Centurion, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Kimberley and Bloemfontein, IPL 2009 trophy was lifted by Deccan Chargers under the leadership of captain Adam Gilchrist and coach Darren Lehmann.
Kolkata Knight Riders, who ended the inaugural season at the sixth position on the points table, slipped to the bottom of the points table in 2009 with only three wins in 14 matches.
In what was arguably the most controversial season for KKR, things didn’t work for them from the word go especially regarding off the field matters. While it all started with coach John Buchanan announcing “split captaincy” ahead of the season, things further took a hit in the form of a “Fake IPL Player”.
Fake IPL Player incident during IPL 2009
Named “Fake IPL Player”, a blog allured maximum limelight when it was speculated that a reserve Kolkata player is the mind behind the same. The blogger used to mostly show the franchise and the players in a bad space.
Apart from giving disapproving nicknames to players, support staff and the owners such as “Krishan Kanhaiya”, “Bunty Aur Babli”, “Prince Charles of Patiala” etc., the blogger also “pretended” to leak team-related information before matches.
The blogger posted a disclaimer saying “All characters appearing in this work [blog] are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and unintentional” to avoid any legal action but the repercussions of the same were aplenty.
When one of the predictions came true, the link of the blog was shared by ESPNcricinfo which further intrigued both the franchise and the viewers back home regarding the authenticity of the blog.
The conjecture regarding the incident increased manifold times to the extent that Knight Riders had to send batsman Aakash Chopra and all-rounder Sanjay Bangar back home for it was supposed that one of the two players were operating the blog. Rumours were rife that usage of laptops among other KKR players had been banned.
Chopra, who had published his first book titled ‘Beyond The Blues: A First-class Season Like No Other’ months before IPL 2009, received further scrutiny as him being an author made people think that he could have been the “Fake IPL Player”.
While the management termed the blog as “poison pen writing of the dirtiest variety”, co-owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan slammed the blogger by calling him “sick” and “pervert”. “Whoever is out there is obviously very sick, perverted and has far too little information or insight to successfully pretend to be part of us,” Khan said in a statement.
Who was the Fake IPL Player?
Having received unprecedented public interest throughout the season, the blogger eventually revealed himself in front of the world before the season concluded. However, he didn’t came out in public at first.
The 434-second video posted by him on YouTube contained a silhouette of him disclosing why he did what he did. Watch the full video below:
Intended at solving the mystery, the video added to the same as people were still unaware about who the “fake IPL player” was. It was clear to a large extent that it wasn’t any one out of Chopra or Bangar but him claiming to be an “insider” still encompassed a riddle worth solving.
Having released his first book titled ‘The Gamechangers’ just around IPL 2020, it was in August 2010 that Anupam Mukerji revealed himself in front of the public on television and newspapers. Watch a video of him delivering an INKtalk where he opens up on the details of the “Fake IPL Player”.
Mukerji, who has launched several cricket-related ventures since then, successfully ran one of the biggest controversies of the biggest T20 league around the world.