As Lalit Modi welcomed the Justice Lodha committee’s verdict and Mumbai Cricket Association president Sharad Pawar asked the BCCI to call an emergency meeting, the board’s top brass in Kolkata was 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. There was also this faint hope that CSK and RR will be able to get a stay on this order from the Supreme Court once they appeal.
If the BCCI wants the CSK and RR players to play IPL 9, they have to arrange for an auction. “It will cause a lot of hassles. The other franchises have already spent their share of money at the February auctions,” said a senior BCCI official.
“But we have to first see how the decisions are interpreted. I think both franchises will challenge the order. Which means either the players would carry on playing for their respective franchises (if the owners are successful in getting a stay on the order) or find new teams. Let’s wait,” he said.
Another problem is concerning a few players 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.
Finding new owners could be simpler. 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 instalment 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.
Ajay Shirke, the governing council member of the Indian Premier League, tore into his teammates for not standing up against the wrongdoings in the BCCI which resulted in the scathing judgment that has put the Indian Premier League’s future in jeopardy.
“There is no room to mourn. When it (IPL betting and fixing scandal) happened they all rallied around one person, even though it was clearly a lost cause,” Shirke told HT from Lisbon.
Shirke was the BCCI treasurer in 2013 when the IPL betting scandal came to light and the role of CSK’s Gurunath Meiyappan was exposed. Along with the then secretary Sanjay Jagdale, Shrike resigned from the BCCI post resulting in a fall out with president N Srinivasan. The Supreme Court has also 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.
“The second part of the judgment is what worries me more — the verdict on the administrative and constitutional changes. I hope it doesn’t jeopardise the autonomy of the BCCI,” said Shirke.