The Indian Premier League was thrown into turmoil on Tuesday when a Supreme Court-appointed panel suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals after officials were found guilty of betting on matches.
The panel also banned N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royal’s owner Raj Kundra for life from cricket-related activities.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India said it would respect the verdict and pledged to clean up cricket.
Here is what is likely to happen to the next edition of the T20 tournament after the justice RM Lodha committee’s verdict on the spot-fixing and betting scandal:
1) Suspension of CSK and RR will reduce the 2016 IPL to six teams, which won’t be financially viable.
2) The BCCI’s top brass in Kolkata is gearing up for a governing council meeting on Sunday to discuss two options — either call for fresh auctions for the 45-odd players or find new owners for the two suspended teams.
3) The tournament will also run into problems as contracts with the broadcaster, title sponsors and teams promise more matches.
4) BCCI may induct two new franchises, ensuring an eight-team event. But only two years are left for the current TV rights and ownership contracts to run out, which can complicate matters.
5) The Jindal Group has shown interest in buying an IPL team with troubled Royal Challengers Bangalore in its sights. Chennai-based MRF is also said to be keen on buying a team.
6) Kochi Tuskers Kerala have won arbitration against their termination by the BCCI and are reportedly more keen to return to IPL rather than collect a hefty compensation.
7) Indian Cements Ltd, the owner of CSK, is planning to move the Supreme Court against the order of the committee suspending the team. A relief from the court will change how things play out in the future.
8) If the players from the suspended teams were to move to new teams, another problem could arise regarding a few cricketers whose salary details are not on public record. Nobody knows how much MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina or Dwayne Bravo get paid by CSK. To decide on a base price for them could spark another legal issue.
9) Finding new owners could be simple. Hyderabad was bought by Deccan Chronicle for $107m (Rs 677 crore) in 2008. In 2012, the same franchise was sold for Rs 425 crore (approx $80m) to Chennai-based Sun TV for the next five years at Rs 85.5 crore (approx $16m) per year. It worked out to almost double the amount Chargers were supposed to pay BCCI for the second installment of five years before the franchise landed in choppy waters. The problem here though is the new owners will automatically inherit the legal liabilities of the tainted franchises. How to untangle that is the BCCI’s prerogative.
10) The Supreme Court has turned its attention on the running of the board and ordered a check on whether it needs to be monitored. Somehow, the board had so far successfully resisted all attempts to have government interference in its matters, but that could change.
(With inputs from Somshuvra Laha and Sanjjeev K Samyal)