The Chennai Super Kings, the Chennai franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has moved the Madras High Court on Thursday against the proposed ban of the Supreme Court appointed committee headed by RM Lodha. Seeking a stay of the order passed by Lodha Committee on July 14, the franchise prayed the court to allow them to participate in the IPL matches.
If the ban order is implemented, the petition cited that the entire set of players of CSK who have bonded over the period of eight years could be lost including M S Dhoni, ‘the most iconic captain.’
“CSK fans will not be able to bear to see their beloved players put up for auctions for other teams. Unless an order interim stay of the impugned proceedings is granted, the effect of punishment would be to destroy all that CSK meant to the public for ever,” said the petition, adding that the ban of CSK would cause ‘irretrievable injustice” and “the damage would be irreparable.”
The Lodha Committee had probed the corruption scandal that erupted two years ago, in which Meiyappan, son-in-law of ICC chairman N Srinivasan and Kundra, a former Rajasthan co-owner, had been found guilty of illegal betting.
The petition said Srinivasan’s son-in-law getting involved in controversy and therefore magnifying the scandal is something which the BCCI has to answer. “The CSK today is in its own way an institution nurturing cricket at the state level just as much as the BCCI claims to be doing at the national level. The committee has lost sight of the fact that the franchise cannot be punished in this manner for the short coming in the functioning of BCCI,” said the petition.
Reasons behind the order has no rational basis or factual basis. It was neither fair nor reasonable, it said. Indeed, the order, said the petition, has to be set aside for the sole reason that instead of punishing the perpetrators, it is the franchisee, the fans of CSK, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association which hosts the game, the players, executives employed for CSK, coaches and trainers and other support staff, who have all suffered capital punishment. It said Meiyappan was a mere ‘Team Official’ like many others too assumed that position with an accreditation badge to access the ground and witness the match as a guest of the franchise. The petition said Meiyappan was not having any official role in the team or in the BCCI at that time.
“Yes, CSK have filed a petition before the honourable chief justice of the Madras high court, challenging the Lodha committee order of suspending the franchise. As per the Supreme Court verdict, the Lodha committee order is final and binding on the BCCI but the aggrieved parties have the option to take legal recourse. The petition has been accepted and the case will be heard tomorrow,” CSK official Rajan told The Indian Express.
The RM Lodha committee, however, has suspended the owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years. Asked about this, Rajan said: “It’s the same thing. If the owner is suspended, then the team, too, cannot play under the CSK banner. Our logic is that why must the whole team suffer for the alleged wrongdoings of one individual who has long been removed from the set-up?”
Rajan claimed that they’ve no intention to jeopardise the BCCI’s work process. The cricket board has formed a four-member working group to decide the future course of action in the wake of the Lodha committee verdict. “This has nothing to do with the working group. They’re basically trying to figure out how to run the IPL successfully from next year onwards.”
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