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Indian Premier League

When a young Ravindra Jadeja copped a one-year ban for negotiating his IPL contract

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Termed as a “superstar in the making” by Shane Warne after Rajasthan Royals’ victorious campaign in the first edition of the Indian Premier League, Ravindra Jadeja did not get a chance to display his skills in the 2010 edition of the competition after being banned for breaching tournament guidelines.

Jadeja was bought by Rajasthan Royals in 2008 from the under-19 category after playing a pivotal role in India’s U19 World Cup-winning campaign in 2008 in Malaysia. The all-rounder had displayed his mettle in the T20 league, scoring 430 runs in the first two editions of the tournament, including making 135 runs at a strike rate of 131.06 in the first season to help his team to the title. His skills not only prompted RR leader Warne to complement Jadeja’s potential but also ensured that he made his India debut in 2009, playing his first white-ball international match against Sri Lanka.

However, ahead of the 2010 season, it emerged that Jadeja had breached the players’ guidelines for indulging in ‘anti-team activities’, following which he was slapped with a one-year ban.

What actually transpired

A complaint was lodged against Jadeja after he was found to be violating the IPL rules and negotiating with the other franchises for higher pay. The cricketer, who had been bought for USD 30,000 in 2008, was found bargaining with other teams despite being contracted with RR after the 2009 season.

According to reports, the Royals had wanted to sign Jadeja till the end of 2010, but the cricketer agreed to play with them till 2009. After the end of the second season, Jadeja started looking for better deals, which went against the code of conduct — he could have only done so only if the Royals had let the player go first.

A statement by the IPL’s Governing Council revealed that Jadeja met Mumbai Indians representatives, sending them his contract documents for inspections, while also receiving documents by the MI franchise, using them for ‘representational purposes’.

After deliberations with the IPL Governing Council and the President of the BCCI, Jadeja was handed a one-year ban, with commissioner Lalit Modi saying, “It has come to our notice that he was trying to violate all the franchisee and IPL rules. He tried to bargain about his fees with his team. Such indiscipline cannot be tolerated.”

“The player guidelines laid out by the Governing Council of the IPL are sacrosanct and all players will need to strictly adhere to the same. We will not tolerate any player playing games or blackmailing any teams or the IPL/BCCI in any manner.”

“The ban was on account of Ravindra Jadeja not signing the renewal contract with the Rajasthan Royals and attempting, instead to negotiate a larger financial contract with some of the other IPL franchises. Thus, resulting in a serious non-adherence to the IPL player guidelines.” the IPL had said in a statement.

Mumbai Indians were also reprimanded for having tried to approach the player, with the review committee, led by Arun Jaitley, filing the report.

The after-effects

The ban did not really have any adverse effect on Jadeja’s India career, as he was picked for the T20 World Cup in West Indies in 2010 despite his absence from the IPL that year. He did not have the best outing though, scoring just nine runs in four matches, while picking up two wickets.

His below-par performance meant that he was sidelined from the T20I set-up for around 18 months, with his next appearance being in October 2011. He was, however, a part of the Kochi Tuskers side in 2011, with the franchise buying him for USD 950,000. The following year, after Tusker’s termination, Jadeja went into the player auction pool and was bought by Chennai Super Kings for USD 2 million to become the year’s most expensive player.

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