The top brass of the Indian cricket board got into a huddle after the Supreme Court appointed Justice RM Lodha committee banned Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years from the cash-rich IPL besides imposing life suspensions on their tainted officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra.
The IPL Governing Council members will soon be meeting to discuss the implications and the road ahead after the verdict by the Lodha committee.
“We were having some informal discussions once the verdict was announced. An emergent meeting is on the cards where the members will be apprised of the situation and the road ahead will be only chalked out after our legal team goes through entire contents of the copy of the verdict,” a senior BCCI functionary and IPL Governing Council member said.
However, the three primary points that have emerged from the discussions between the senior functionaries are that of whether new companies will be allowed to bid for two vacant slots, whether all players or only the CSK and RR players will be going into auctions and also the case of the de-merger of the CSK from its parent company India Cements Limited.
“Since during our last GC meeting, we have forwarded the matter of CSK’s de-merger and share valuation issue to the Working Committee, who will be taking legal opinion, we have to wait for it. Now current owners of CSK and Royals may be in a mood to sell their franchises to new owners but there are a few problems,” another GC member explained the current situation.
“The moment CSK or RR is sold off in its current state to a new owner, the existing legal liabilities will then be burden of the new owner. Plus both franchises have lost goodwill. In this existing scenario can they be sold off or new buyers will be interested?” he questioned.
“Since Lodha committee has stated that the BCCI needs to look at it, we must be very careful about it and also keep the legal implications in mind,” he said.
The last crucial point is the case of new bids being invited by the BCCI to again make it an eight-team league but the case of Players’ Auction is then closely related to the issue.
“There are two options related to this matter. The BCCI invites tender for fresh bidding of two new IPL franchises. Since around 45-odd players from these two franchises will become free due to the verdict, a mini auction is held and the two new franchises are allowed to pick from the existing pool of players.
“But then the new owners might oppose the idea of getting to select players from a restricted pool. In that case, it needs to be decided whether a fresh auction may be called having all the players from all the teams back in the auction pool,” said the source.
A fresh auction was supposed to be held before the 2017 IPL but current situation may drive BCCI to have one before the scheduled time.
The other aspect will be Srinivasan’s fate as BCCI representative in ICC. While the issue is supposed to come up in September, the verdict will certainly make BCCI mandarins have a rethink on having him as their representative.
But Srinivasan still enjoys a fair bit of support inside the BCCI which might make it difficult for the Thakur faction to remove his candidature as the BCCI representative in ICC. Srinivasan’s ICC chairmanship is scheduled to end in June, next year.
CSK and Royals officials were unavailable for any comments.