IPL Governing Council meet: BCCI buys time to fine-tune case for axing Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings
MUMBAI: The Indian Premier League’s governing council on Sunday decided to form a working group to study the Justice Lodha committee report and submit its findings to the BCCI working committee in six weeks. BCCI’s working committee will take a final call in September, when its annual general meeting is also scheduled.
Sources say Maharashtra Cricket Association president Ajay Shirke, who has been asking for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals’ termination, is likely to be part of the group along with Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association president Jyotiraditya Scindia. In 2013, Scindia had given then BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale (also MPCA secretary) the go ahead to resign from the board in the wake of spot-fixing allegations and N Srinivasan’s refusal to step aside as board president.
If Shirke and Scindia are included in the group, there is a likelihood that its findings will certainly tilt towards sacking of the franchises.
It is learned that Shirke once again raised the issue of termination in Sunday’s GC meeting. BCCI lawyer Ushanath Banerjee, a confidant of current president Jagmohan Dalmiya, is of the view that all implications have to be first understood before coming to a decision.
In the last five years, the BCCI has terminated contracts with five IPL franchises, of which three have won arbitration cases and are free to play. Terminating franchises and allowing them to go to court and initiate arbitrations once again “would lead to an anarchy-like situation” within the BCCI, a source in the know of developments said. The six weeks will give the BCCI time to read the fine-print of the Lodha committee report and also the franchise agreements. Clause 11.3 (c) of the BCCI-IPL franchise agreement says the agreement can be terminated if “the Franchise, any Franchise Group Company andor any owner acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the League, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the Franchise, the team (or any other team in the League) and or the game of cricket”.
On the basis of Clause 11.3 (c) alone, the BCCI is well within its right to terminate the franchises. While Justice Lodha committee’s report is final and binding on the board, the two franchises will be free to challenge the decision if terminated. Sources told TOI that in Sunday’s meeting, members weren’t divided over opinions except for two members in particular who batted for the franchises, citing player interests.