Indian Premier League side Deccan Chargers has been expelled from the tournament, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Saturday, despite a last-ditch effort by the team owners to pull it back from the brink.
The BCCI said the termination of the franchise stands after Deccan Chronicle Holdings, owners of the team, failed to meet a Friday deadline to submit $19 million as guarantee money.
The BCCI now is free to decide whether to float a new tender to replace the IPL franchise belonging to the financially strapped Deccan Chronicle, a media company, unless the team's owners opt to take the case to a higher court.
The BCCI, which owns the popular IPL tournament, had terminated the Chargers last month over a series of violations including non-payment of player's fees, but the decision was challenged by the team owners in the Bombay High Court.
The court appointed an arbitrator to hear the dispute and also asked the owners to pay up the guarantee money as a pre-condition of remaining in the tournament.
The Deccan Chronicle, which bought the team for $107 million before the inaugural IPL in 2008, announced Friday it had agreed to sell the franchise to a Mumbai-based real estate company.
The owners did not reveal how much the deal was worth but local media reports put the figure at around $190 million.
But the Deccan Chronicle still failed to pay the guarantee money by the stipulated time and the court refused to extend the payment deadline.
The franchise again approached the arbitrator who passed a "status quo order" late on Friday.
The BCCI appealed the arbitrator's order on Saturday and the court ruled in favour of the BCCI.
"The Honourable High Court was pleased to stay the order of the arbitrator after hearing both the parties. Thus, the termination of DC (Deccan Chargers) franchise stands," BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a statement.
Among the leading players signed up by the franchise are Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka, South African fast bowler Dale Steyn and Australian batsman Cameron White.
The Chargers won the tournament in 2009 but finished second-last this season.
There was no immediate comment from the Deccan Chronicle, which has been facing a cash crunch due to large loans taken out by the media group.