10 Top Fight Moments in IPL Matches

Estimated read time 5 min read

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is known for its electrifying cricket matches and star-studded teams. But over the years, it has also witnessed some ugly on-field confrontations and altercations between players. Emotions and tempers sometimes run high on the cricketing field resulting in less than sportsman-like behaviour. Let’s look at 10 such controversial fight in ipl cricket match that crossed the line and became infamous:

  1. Harbhajan Singh vs Sreesanth (2008)

This infamous incident from the inaugural edition of IPL has to top any list of on-field controversies. In a match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, Harbhajan Singh, the Mumbai captain, was seen slapping young Punjab bowler S. Sreesanth after exchanging words with him. It was alleged that Sreesanth had used offensive language against Harbhajan that provoked him to physically assault Sreesanth. The BCCI acted tough and banned Harbhajan from the remainder of that IPL edition. This ‘Slapgate’ set an ugly precedent and highlighted the need for restraint by players even in high-pressure games.

  1. Gautam Gambhir vs Shane Watson (2009)

Delhi Daredevils opener Gautam Gambhir and Rajasthan Royals’ star all-rounder Shane Watson were engaged in a heated exchange in 2009 after Watson was dismissed. Replays showed Gambhir elbowing Watson while completing a run, which enraged the Australian. Watson aggressively shoved Gambhir away as both players traded verbal volleys before being separated by teammates. The match referees fined both Gambhir and Watson for their actions.

  1. Praveen Kumar vs Luke Pomersbach (2012)

This notorious off-field fight occurred during the 2012 season. Kings XI Punjab bowler Praveen Kumar allegedly accosted Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Luke Pomersbach at a party, accusing him of misbehaving with his fiancee. Enraged Praveen then assaulted Luke outside the hotel as retribution. However, Luke was also charged with assaulting a team manager during the scuffle. Praveen was briefly arrested but released on bail later. This was one of the ugliest off-field incidents in IPL.

  1. Rohit Sharma vs Zaheer Khan (2013) 

In 2013 a major controversy erupted in the Mumbai Indians dressing room when senior pro Zaheer Khan allegedly abused fellow player Rohit Sharma over his captaincy. This led to a heated exchange where an enraged Rohit reportedly threw a chair towards Zaheer. Both Indian cricketers later downplayed the incident as a minor tiff. But rumours suggested their altercation adversely affected the team environment.

  1. Kieron Pollard vs Mitchell Starc (2014)

During an IPL match in 2014, Mumbai Indians’ hard-hitting all-rounder Kieron Pollard and Hyderabad’s pacer Mitchell Starc were involved in a verbal altercation that almost turned physical. Pollard took offense to Starc’s aggressive body language and verbal volleys after dismissing him. The umpires had to intervene to separate them before things got ugly. Starc had also been involved in another confrontation with Pollard the previous year.

  1. Manish Pandey vs Mitchell Johnson (2016) 

In 2016 during a tense IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants, an apparently harmless incident almost sparked a brawl. RPS batsman Manish Pandey took offense to something said by MI fast bowler Mitchell Johnson while completing a tight single. Pandey made aggressive gestures towards Johnson, bumping into his shoulder. An angry Johnson shoved Pandey’s shoulder before teammates intervened. Both players received fines.

  1. Virat Kohli vs Gautam Gambhir (2016)

Two Indian skippers were involved in this heated IPL confrontation in 2016. After Virat Kohli was given not out via DRS, much to KKR’s dismay, Gambhir and Kohli engaged in an ugly war of words. Both were seen shouting aggressively and making obscene gestures at each other before being separated by teammates. Being national teammates, this incident shocked fans. The duo was later reprimanded and fined.

  1. Kieron Pollard vs Krunal Pandya (2017) 

Another controversial Kieron Pollard incident occurred in 2017 when he got into a confrontation with Mumbai Indians teammate Krunal Pandya. After Pollard was dismissed, he angrily brushed roughly past Pandya while leaving the crease. Krunal took exception and shoved Pollard aggressively before others stepped in. Yet another ugly Pollard fight moment in IPL.

  1. Shane Watson vs Wriddhiman Saha (2017)

A confrontation between RCB’s Shane Watson and KXIP’s Wriddhiman Saha occurred during a high-pressure match in 2017. Watson angrily punched the ad hoardings in frustration after Saha dropped his catch. Mistakenly thinking that punch was directed at him, Saha reacted aggressively. He needed to be restrained from going after Watson before others calmed him down explaining it was just Watson’s frustration.

  1. Ishant Sharma vs Faf du Plessis (2013)

In a high-stakes IPL 2013 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings, a controversial incident occurred between pacer Ishant Sharma and opener Faf du Plessis. Ishant was bowling to Faf and got frustrated after being hit for a six over long-on by the aggressive Proteas batsman. As Faf completed the shot, Ishant didn’t appreciate his aggressive celebration style. In the heat of the moment, Ishant made physical contact with Faf’s shoulder as the batsman crossed him while taking the run. He also exchanged some verbal volleys about Faf’s over-the-top celebration. 

After cooling down, Ishant realized his behaviour was unacceptable in the sport’s spirit. He later apologized and explained it was just emotions getting the better of him in the heat of an intensely competitive match. He commendably took responsibility for his actions. For his part, Faf accepted Ishant’s apology and was graceful enough to move on without making an issue of it. The CSK team management also played a key role in defusing the situation amicably. 


While such heated confrontations have been relatively rare in IPL’s 15-year history, some episodes have crossed the line of acceptable behaviour. Emotions understandably run high even in league cricket with so much at stake. But physical violence and abuse have no place on the sporting field. To their credit, the cricket boards have come down hard on players who crossed the line with fines, bans and disciplinary action. One hope these shameful fight scene in cricket match are not repeated as IPL aims to showcase the best of cricket. Players must set good examples, especially for young fans, through sporting behaviour.

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