Justice Lodha Committee has suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years from the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Similar actions have also been taken against Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, as both have been banned from all cricket matches for life. Meiyappan and Kundra were found guilty of involving in betting (which breached the BCCI's Anti-Corruption Code) by the Lodha panel.
The franchises did not take any legal action against these two respective owners nor did they bring the issue to the board. Therefore, two of the most popular teams of IPL have been suspended.
In that case, IPL will have to be played with the remaining six teams. If that be the case, then there will be less number of matches and the tournament that goes on for over a month will be cut short. IPL has one of the highest viewership ratings in the world.
According to the former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, the board should consider three options. They are as follows:
- The players will be re-auctioned for IPL 2016.
- The players will be transferred to the other teams for two years.
- The players will give IPL 2016 and 2017 a miss.
As pointed out by Justice Lodha, there is a fourth option for BCCI: to choose whether CSK and RR be bought by another franchise.
Also, a number of questions will now arise in the minds of the fans. Firstly, if the board decides to continue with the pompous tournament with six teams and also re-auction the players from both CSK and RR, then how will these six teams fit in all these players when they already have a certain number of players in their squads?
Secondly, if the players skip these two editions of IPL, will the players be paid without playing a single game?
Thirdly, will Kochi Tuskers make their way back into the tournament after five years? The Kerala-based franchise has recently shown interest in playing in the next season of IPL. It was terminated from the IPL in 2011 for an alleged breach of contract. Later they took the case to arbitration which was ruled in favour of the franchise. As a result BCCI was asked to pay a whopping compensation of ₹550 crore.
Both CSK and RR have a number of star players in their squads. Will the fans get to see the players like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson and Tim Southee in action for the next two seasons of the IPL? The ball is currently in BCCI's court and they will have to take a decision ahead of the next season.
Justice Lodha has clearly mentioned that nothing is bigger than the game while financial issues related to the teams and players are not important at this moment. However, the panel did not mention anything about the six players whose names were mentioned in a sealed envelope and submitted to the Supreme Court earlier.