The standoff between BCCI and the Supreme Court over the implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations have caused apprehension in some quarters over the smooth conduct of the Board’s events, especially their big money spinner, the Indian Premier League (IPL).
A workshop of the franchises was scheduled for January 10 but it looks doubtful now. However, the IPL team officials HT spoke to, are unfazed by the standoff between the BCCI and Supreme Court.
“No way they will take a chance with the IPL. It’s not only a great revenue earner for the BCCI but also the compensation will be huge in case it is not held,” remarked an IPL team official. “We had successfully shifted the tournament in a month’s time to South Africa in 2009. Here we have ample time.”
It’s a tournament which had to make a lot of last-minute scheduling changes. Even last year, some of the matches had to be shifted out of venues in Maharashtra, on the court’s order, and played in Andhra.
The glamorous T20 tournament, which draws talent from all over the world, starts in April. As of now, there has been no activity of the teams and senior BCCI officials had warned how preparations had been affected.
“Once the administrator (to oversee the SC-ordered administrative reforms in the BCCI) is appointed by January 19, among the first things he will do is appoint an IPL in-charge; it will kick-start everything.
“The only thing BCCI has to conduct is the auction and this time it is not a big one. Unless the England players are part of it, it is going to be a dull event. As it is, the auction is scheduled for February. The tournament as such is completely handled by IMG,” said the official.
It’s the only tournament where the BCCI is not directly involved and every aspect is handled by the respective teams --- from hiring the grounds to organising matches at their respective venues.
“The IPL is well-oiled machine. It is not being held for the first year, this will be the 10th edition,” said a Board insider.
It is learnt that officials who have been disqualified by the SC order are planning to host an unofficial meeting in Bangalore this weekend. Among those expected to attend are Anurag Thakur, Ajay Shirke, N Srinivasan and Brijesh Patel.
“It’s a bloodbath, almost 85 per cent people in cricket administration are out. We will have to sit and think what can be done,” said a former state cricket association official.