A day of reckoning for IPL Governing Council
Mumbai: The Indian premier League Governing Council headed by Rajiv Shukla will have its task cutout when they meet here on Sunday to discuss the aftermath of the two-year suspension on two-time champions Chennai Super Kings and inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals. The Supreme Court-appointed three-member Lodha Committee also imposed life ban from cricket on Gurunath Meiyappan the former Team Principal of CSK and Raj Kundra co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday for indulging in betting and bringing the IPL and the game into disrepute.
The suspension of two well-known franchises who comprise several top Indian cricketers, including current limited over national skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has thrown IPL future in jeopardy. Following Lodha Committee order BCCI also scrapped less popular Champions League Twenty20, as both CSK and RR were part of it. But Shukla denied that the Lodha Committee order had on any bearing on their CLT20 decision.
Shukla put up a brave face that IPL will be continue to be played with eight teams but BCCI will be in desperate situation to salvage the cash-rich league. The sponsors are concerned and the brand value is taking a hit and BCCI will have to restore their faith and keep the commercial moolah flowing.
BCCI who are left with less choice than to honour the verdict has limited options available. Their most viable option is to terminate the two franchises and go for a fresh auction to cover two bases — find the new teams, as well as deal with the bench strength of the two suspended squads, CSK and RR.
Pune and Kochi teams can also be revived especially Kochi after a court-appointed arbitrator has asked the BCCI to pay Kochi Tuskers Kerala compensation of approximately '550 crore for terminating the franchise agreement in September 2011. While the IPL governing council is considering an appeal against the order, the owners of the Kochi franchise are believed to be seeking re-entry into the league as opposed to a cash award.But Sunday’s meeting is unlikely to produce any decision and will most likely just take stock of the prevailing crisis. CSK and RR are likely to make their mind of challenging the ban after the meeting.