AS the R M Lodha panel passed its order on suspending the IPL’s Chennai and Rajasthan franchisees for two years, top BCCI officials were busy on a conference call to decide on the next step to be taken.
The BCCI is mulling various options, including running the two franchises under its own banner, which means the two teams playing in the IPL will be monitored by the Indian board. The board will pay players’ fees and take care of other day-to-day matters.
“It will be a franchise under the BCCI banner and we will take care of everything. These two teams will not have to pay the annual franchise fees to the board. We will take care of the teams, like in case of the Rajasthan Cricket Association,” a top BCCI official told The Indian Express.
A few years ago, the BCCI has adopted the RCA which had been suspended after former IPL chief Lalit Modi was elected as president.
The BCCI has called for an IPL Governing Council on July 19 at their headquarters in Mumbai where its legal advisor Usha Nath Banerjee will address members on the details of the Lodha Committee order.
Another option that the BCCI is looking at is to give the Kochi franchise the option to return to the IPL. This will help BCCI save Rs 550 crore after its arbitration with the franchise went in favour of the defunct IPL team.
“The BCCI can ask Kochi if they want an IPL team. If they agree, we can have one team under the BCCI banner and another under the franchise,” sources said.
Many BCCI members said they were anguished and angry at how one man’s stubbornness led the board to this situation.
Maharashtra Cricket Association president and former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke, without naming former chief N Srinivasan, said that the BCCI had brought this judgment upon itself. Shirke was the first to resign after the IPL spot-fixing scandal came to light.
In a text message to The Indian Express, Shirke said, “This is a judgment that BCCI brought upon itself. When people or bodies believe that they are bigger than the game or they are above law this is what happens.”
Meanwhile, IPL COO Sundar Raman said that the BCCI will decide the future course of action after its meeting.
Asked if he would quit following the committee’s verdict, he said: “As the Lodha committee observed while passing the order, the investigation with regards to me has been delayed due to a change in investigating officer… the new officer Mr (Vivek) Priyadarshi hasn’t yet submitted his report. So I will wait for the verdict.”