The BCCI has decided not to scrap Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) from IPL. The franchises will remain suspended as per the Lodha committee recommendation, while the BCCI will invite bids for two new teams for the next two seasons only.
It implies that the cricket board doesn’t want to increase the number of franchises from eight.
“The Justice Lodha committee interim report will be implemented fully… Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals remain suspended for two years. The BCCI will float tenders and invite bids for two new teams to replace CSK & RR in the Indian Premier League for 2016 and 2017,” said the release.
The modalities are still to be worked out, including whether the CSK and RR players would be loaned out or a fresh auction would be called.
The board also announced award of IPL sponsorship rights to Vivo Mobiles for the next two seasons. This follows PepsiCo’s withdrawal as the title sponsor of the tournament. The Indian Express was the first to report, on October 9, that PepsiCo had sent a notice to the BCCI expressing its intention to withdraw from the IPL as title sponsor because of the controversy surrounding the spot-fixing case. This was despite the beverage giant paying Rs 396 crore ($71.77 million) for the period 2013-2017.
The BCCI on Sunday officially announced the termination of Pepsi sponsorship after its working committee meeting in Mumbai. “The IPL title sponsorship right has been assigned to M/S Vivo mobiles. Vivo is to give the bank guarantee in 10 days,” said the board release.
A senior BCCI official said they have “amicably” settled the matter with PepsiCo. Explaining why tenders were not invited before selecting Vivo Mobiles, BCCI marketing committee head Chetan Desai said, “It was the sponsor’s decision to pull the plug, and because the termination happened mid-term, we are allowed to bring in a new sponsor without inviting tenders. The sponsorship amount had to be identical or more with the old deal, and the requirement was met.”
Talking about the bids for two new teams, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said, “Whichever bidder is interested in buying a team for two years will get it. Then we’ll see what to do, whether we should make it a 10-team tournament or what. I’m very confident we will get bidders for the two teams.”
Shukla also said players’ interests would be protected. “We will ensure that they (CSK and RR players) do not lose anything.”
The meeting, chaired by new president Shashank Manohar, also sought to address the conflict of interest issue. The BCCI has already asked office-bearers of its affiliated units to sign a ‘no conflict of interest’ declaration. According to reports, at least four state associations haven’t signed it yet, seeking clarifications on several issues. The matter has been forwarded to the Annual General Meeting (AGM), to be held in Mumbai on November 9. The cricket board intends to bring everyone associated with the organisation, including former and current players, in the loop.
Apart from IPL-related matters, the BCCI took the decision to revive the National Cricket Academy as a “centre of excellence”. The press release said this was a matter of top priority. Meanwhile, it is learnt that Manohar put forward a proposal to do away with the president’s veto power in team selection. The matter would be discussed at the AGM.