Controversies dog IPL, but attendance up

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NEW DELHI (AP) -- Bribery and molestation, star tantrums and rave parties, yet growing crowds -- this year's Indian Premier League is proving there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Full stadiums have been a welcome sight after sparse attendance last year due to a post-World Cup hangover. Refreshed and ready for cricket, fans also have been digesting news of a string of off-field controversies.

Just as fans were raving about a number of close games came a TV sting operation that showed IPL players agreeing to spot fixing and raising murmurs about those close finishes being possibly contrived.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India suspended five uncapped players for either agreeing to spot-fixing or negotiating their contracts with IPL franchises, which is not allowed.