Rajasthan Royals and their lodestar Shane Warne would both be back for the next edition of the IPL. Rajasthan Royals’ two-years suspension ends on July 14 and the franchise has already begun preparing for next season. It is learnt that they are in talks with their first captain who led them to a special triumph in the inaugural IPL season, and Warne will be back as coach-cum-mentor for next season.
On July 15, 2015, two well-known franchises of IPL, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, were suspended from the cash-rich cricket league for two years after their key officials were found guilty of illegal betting in a probe conducted by a Supreme Court panel. They also suspended Royals co-owner Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan of CSK from all cricket-related activities for life. “Disrepute has been brought to cricket, the BCCI, and the IPL to such an extent that there are doubts abound in the public whether the game is clean or not,” said former chief justice RM Lodha, who headed the panel.
With the two-year suspension set to end this month, the franchises have been planning their comeback. The Indian Express understands that Royals’ owners had contacted Warne to be part of the IPL especially after Rahul Dravid chose to coach India Under-19 and A teams for the next two years. Those who have played under Warne already rate him highly; the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan came in the limelight while playing in his captaincy. Earlier this year, during the IPL, Warne had relived the first year with Royals.
“It was one of the best things I have ever experienced as a cricketer over 20 years of playing. It was the most satisfying and rewarding achievement. We had a wonderful squad. A mixture of good senior players, younger players, something we all cherished for a long time.”
RR, CSK to pay franchise fees
Meanwhile, CSK and RR will have to pay IPL franchise fees for next two years once they make their return in IPL. The BCCI last year had decided to waive off the annual IPL franchise fees for CSK and RR while they serve their two-year suspension. This came after the two franchises had moved court for arbitration over being asked to pay the participation fee for the ninth and tenth IPL editions despite them being suspended from participating by the Supreme Court. However, the board decided to settle the issue and the first installments that CSK and RR had paid under protest were returned to them. All the franchises, barring Pune and Rajkot, are required to pay one-tenth of their bid amounts over a 10-year period from 2008. Since CSK and RR were suspended for their own officials’ misdemeanor, the BCCI had contended that they will have to pay the participation fees before the franchises decided to move court.
However, now once they return, these franchises will have to pay their participation fees. It means CSK and the Royals will have to shell out Rs 73 crore and Rs 56 crore respectively for next two seasons of IPL.