The Indian Premier League (IPL) conundrum continues to take a toll on the future of the players of the two suspended franchises, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Reports suggest the IPL Governing Council (GC) and the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) Working Group have zeroed down to two options to decide on the future of CSK and RR:
1. Invite tenders for two new IPL teams for two years during the absence of CSK and RR.
2. Invite tenders for two new teams for 10 years and have 10 teams in IPL from 2018, when CSK and RR return to action.
"The recommendations were given at the GC and the Working Committee will take a decision. It's all confidential and chairman Rajiv Shukla will brief the media tomorrow," former India captain and a member of the Working Group, Sourav Ganguly, told reporters in Kolkata on Thursday.
The IPL GC and BCCI Working Group are set to meet on Friday evening in Kolkata to consider either of the two options before taking a call on the suspended franchises' future for two years.
These two options have their respective drawbacks. The Board will find it difficult to get investors who would be willing to buy these teams for two years. Secondly, if CSK and RR remain suspended, they will have to put all the players from these two franchises up for auction.
A committee lead by Justice RM Lodha suspended CSK and RR from the cash-rich tournament for the next two years on 14 July this year after investigating charges of spot-fixing during IPL 2013. Subsequently, the former owners of CSK (Gurunath Meiyappan) and RR (Raj Kundra) were also suspended from any kind of cricketing activity for life.
After the verdict was announced, the BCCI formed a four-member Working Group consisting of IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and former captain Sourav Ganguly to study the 59-page Lodha Committee report and submit its recommendations in six weeks.
In a span of a little more than a month, the Working Group has considered several options and has finally placed two of them in front of the GC. The GC is likely to take a call on the future of CSK and RR after the meeting in Kolkata on Friday.