What happens to CSK, Royals? Board officials to meet over IPL future
The IPL GC is expected to delve deep into the finer points of the strong judgment issued by the Lodha Committee.
The IPL Governing Council will meet here on Sunday afternoon in order to find ways to extricate itself from the mess following the decision of the Supreme Court-appointed three-member Lodha committee to suspend champion teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from taking part in the IPL for the next two years.
The three Justices simply followed the IPL Code of Conduct — Anti-Corruption Code and the Operational Rules — to eject the two teams from the league and slap a life ban on owners Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra on betting charges found to be true by the Mukul Mudgal Committee.
The BCCI has realised that the IPL brand has taken a massive hit and that upon its swift and earnest response lies the chance to regain the confidence of the millions of cricket fans and, of course, the other stakeholders. With the teams now reduced to six — for 2016 and 2017 — its first objective would be to protect the players and other stakeholders’ interests and weigh the options available for giving shape to two more teams.
The ideal way forward would be to follow the Invitation To Tender (ITT) process and thereafter frame modalities for an open auction of players. With the first tranche of the league (10 years) approaching in two years, the BCCI will be lucky to get on board two franchisees just for two seasons and at a price it expects.
There have been speculations that the BCCI may run the two affected teams. “I don’t know from where this idea came up. It’s a stupid call to take. The BCCI has always taken the ITT route and that’s the only way,” said a BCCI office-bearer.
A former BCCI president said, “There is a conflict of interest case here. Moreover, the BCCI should not be seen to be helping the two owners by running the teams for two seasons and returning them on a platter afterwards.” The contentious matter of CSK’s valuation may also crop up at the meeting. Maharashtra’s Ajay Shirke and MPCA’s Jyotiraditya Scindia were in the forefront of raising this issue at the last two GC meetings after India Cements Limited demerged the franchise to a new company called CSK Limited and valued it at Rs. 5 lakh.
The BCCI’s legal consultants Amarchand & Mangaldas and a retired Supreme Court judge are reported to have given an opinion in favour of the franchise; but the BCCI has referred the matter to another legal expert. Sourav Ganguly is likely to attend the meeting and Ravi Shastri will use the video conference facility from London.