news Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 05:30
The Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha committee's zero tolerance message is believed by many to be a beginning to cleanse cricket and especially the Indian Premier League (IPL). Though it was initially believed that the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals have been suspended for two years, a closer look at the Lodha committee verdict reveals otherwise.   What will happen to the two teams? The two-year-ban is for the “franchisees” India Cements Limited (ICL) and Jaipur IPL (JIPL), the parent companies of the two teams and not for the CSK and the RR, which are the “franchises”. This is according to the committee’s verdict, a copy of which exists with TNM.  Here is what the SC's committee had to say with regard to both: "Having regard to the findings recorded by the Hon'ble Supreme Court  and on taking into consideration all relevant facts and circumstances as noted and discussed above, the Committee proposes to impose sanction on ICL (Franchisee) under Section 6,rule 4.2(c) of the Operational Rules by suspending it from the League for a period of two years. We order accordingly. The period of suspension shall commence from the date of this order." "On consideration of all relevant aspects of the matter, the Committee imposes sanction on JIPL (Franchisee) under Section 6, rule 4.2(c) of the Operational Rules by suspending it from the League for a period of two years. The period of suspension shall commence from the date of this order." So, according to the verdict, it is up to the team owners to decide if they would like to sit-out the two-year ban, or sell their stake in the respective franchises and move on. A report in The Indian Express mentions that the verdict has shaken up the BCCI’s top brass who are already charting a course for the future. There are two vacant CSK-RR-shaped slots in the IPL scheme of things now. So, what next? BCCI officials are reportedly figuring out whether new companies will be allowed to bid for the franchises.  Another issue is one of the de-merger of CSK from its parent company India Cements Limited.  The bidding for the two franchises though may not be so easy after all. “Both franchises have lost goodwill. In this existing scenario can they be sold off or new buyers will be interested?” asks a BCCI functionary to the IE.   What will happen to the players? Questions also remain on the status of the players, whether all the players or only players from the two franchises will be up for bidding. If CSK and RR are not taken up new owners, the players who are now with the two teams, can be re-auctioned and moved to other teams. Will Srinivasan be forced to step down? This is one man who has brazened it out multiple times in the past. This time too his response to the Lodha committee verdict has been anything less than nonchalant. He has staunchly denied that he had anything to do with the controversy and rubbished the demands for his resignation. A life ban for his son-in-law who was managing a team run by his own company. If that wasn't implicating enough, we wonder what will make N Srinivasan resign from ICC? Who is really getting affected? The ones responsible for spreading the muck are already jumping ship and selling their stake in the franchises, so who have the headlines affected really? Certainly not the owners, but legions of fans of the two teams and several dedicated professionals working behind the scenes to ensure a good game of cricket on the field. Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra have been banned for life from cricket-related activities.  What a shame. What a loss. While greed can be attributed to both, Meiyappan, the son-in-law of N Srinivasan, has been particularly evasive.The man who was called a “fan” by none other than CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was called a de-facto owner of the CSK by the SC, who had declared him guilty of betting. “Difficult to accept he has passion for the game,” said Justice Lodha at the press-conference. The other cricket buff, married to Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, has already sold his 11.7% stake in the franchise in February. The owners are backing out, but those getting short-changed in the process are cricket fans, the players of both teams and a lot of the backroom staff who have contributed to the success of these franchises. The players will particularly feel very hard done by, as their IPL future is up in the air currently. While it may not affect the established stars as much, youngsters like the upcoming Sanju Samson get to showcase their skills on a national platform far too less. Let us also not forget that the Royals and the Kings were the finalists for the first IPL season.  Back then, few had expected the unfancied team from Rajasthan featuring the blonde maverick Shane Warne to lift the trophy. The Kings also went on a rampage thereafter, winning two titles and appearing in three other finals in the next seven years. Sadly, we may not see the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson turn out in their gold and blue jerseys again, as entire teams’ may suffer due to the proven indiscretions and avariciousness of a few. “I don’t think there is an instance anywhere in the world of a team being banned because of the owners,” says sports-analyst Sumanth Raman, to The News Minute. Raman adds that the BCCI could have stepped and taken action against Meiyappan and Kundra when the SC declared them guilty. The point he tries to make is that if the BCCI had taken action earlier, this entire controversy would not have snowballed into the complex tangle of issues it has become now. And while some fans remain hopeful, despair exists in equal measure:   My team CSK come back, I am waiting — Ramesh.M (@rameshafc) July 14, 2015 Csk :-( Just I Supported Csk In IPL For ske of #Dhoni !! #love you Dhoni ....Good Bye #IPL :'( — ßђąгątђ ąńúгuç (@jalsa999) July 14, 2015 You can't even imagine IPL without CSK. — Vetri Raina (@Vetri_23) July 14, 2015 WtF!!!!! No ipl fr me wd no #csk!!!! Dhoni shld only be in csk!!!!! — ❤BADTAMEEZ DIL❤ (@sklovesserials) July 14, 2015