Inside CSK camp: Flickering hope and a long wait for key BCCI meet

  • Sanjeev K Samyal, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2015 10:54 IST
Chennai Super Kings, seen here with the 2014 CLT20 trophy, have been one of the most successful T20 teams. They won’t be seen for two years. (Ajay Aggarwal / HT File)

It could well be a case of the lion and goat drinking water together. That is how the Chennai Super Kings camp hopes things will turn out in their equation with the current Indian cricket board regime. Dealt a crippling blow by the Supreme Court-appointed panel, the Chennai franchise officials are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the IPL governing council (GC) meeting set for Sunday. Despite the differences, CSK is optimistic the GC will come up with an arrangement that will help them get through the two-year suspension with limited damage.

“At the moment, the thinking is to wait for the announcement from the IPL GC meeting and then decide whether to appeal,” a source close to the CSK camp said.

“It is up to the likes of Jagmohan Dalmiya, Anurag Thakur and Shashank Manohar. Most of the things would have been decided before the meeting. It will be mainly about waiting for the announcement. All doors are not closed on CSK.”

Read: Katju slams Lodha panel, says SC can't 'outsource' powers

Political equations

N Srinivasan and Thakur had a public fallout recently, but the former had backed Dalmiya’s candidature for the president’s post in the last election, though he didn’t have much choice. Srinivasan still has supporters in key positions in the board, which will do everything to safeguard its cash cow. “IPL is a product which has caught the imagination of the whole world; BCCI will do everything to protect it. Along with TV rights, IPL is board’s main source of revenue,” the source added.

There are options to maintain an eight-team tournament. “Some other owner can run it, have a different name but wear the same colours (CSK and RR) is one.”

They are also optimistic the other six franchises won’t object to any arrangement the Board comes up with. “All teams are aware it could happen to anybody, the misdemeanor of one individual could land the team in trouble.”

Though publicly ICC chairman Srinivasan has declared he has cut all ties with CSK, his camp nervously awaits his return from London. The verdict has left them shaken and it’s basically about limiting their losses.

Apart from the financial hit, they are worried about losing a set team. CSK had been brilliant in making their buys right from the start when they successfully bid for MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey and then each season went on building their core team. “It will be difficult losing all players and then building a team from scratch after two years. In the auction, we could have retained 4-5 players of our core group,” he bemoaned.

Amid the confusion, IPL chairperson Rajiov Shukla told reporters IPL 9 will take place, but he did not elaborate on the format of the tournament.

"...There would not be any problem as far as BCCI is concerned," he said after a meeting with BCCI president Dalmiya.

He said BCCI is likely to form a panel which would deliberate on the way forward.

"We will analyse and study the entire report at the governing council on July 19 and there it may be decided to form a group to study the report and how it can be implemented.

Down to Rs 300cr

The JSW Group is divided over the proposal to acquire an IPL team following the latest developments. But one section sees an opportunity to build the brand at a lower price. “While recent developments are worrying, there is no denying the fact that IPL is a fantastic brand and can help build our brand too,” said a source, who asked not to be identified.

It is learnt that IPL team valuations have fallen sharply after the Lodha panel order. The JSW Group is keen to acquire RCB and dropping valuations is likely to push current owners Diageo to sell. “There is now the possibility of the valuation (of RCB) coming down to slightly more than Rs 300 crore, which is a very good opportunity,” the source said. It was above Rs 500 crore till about two months back.


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