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What the suspension of the two IPL teams can mean
Owners of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) can move Supreme Court: CSK and RR are mulling legal options. It is difficult to predict the outcome. But the Justice Lodha committee, which has proposed suspension of the two IPL teams for two years, was appointed by the apex court itself.
What has the SC said? In its order of 22 January, the SC said that the order of the Lodha committee would be final and binding on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the parties concerned. However, the court also added that the aggrieved parties could appeal the verdict before Justice TS Thakur’s bench that passed the original order.
Current six-team status: As things stand now, IPL is reduced to a six-team tournament. This will impact revenues of the cash-rich tournament. Official IPL broadcast rights holder Multi Screen Media (MSM) will not like this development. The BCCI will also stand to lose. An option is to make each team play against each other four times. But this will make the matches repetitive. Also, many players will have to sit out of the IPL. A six-team IPL will be the worst-case scenario.
BCCI can have two new teams: There is a provision for 10 teams. Will the now-defunct Pune and Kochi franchises return or the BCCI invite fresh bids to replace the two suspended teams? This will, in effect, mean that the IPL structure will move to 10 teams after two years. These issues will take up the bulk of the time of Sunday’s IPL governing council meeting.
Can it be a two-year tender to replace CSK and RR during the suspension period? This will not be attractive and bids will find no takers.
Cricketers free to play for others: The committee has allowed the players of CSK and RR to move to other teams. So, technically players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni can move out to any other team and after two years, return to their original fold if they so wish. But this will not be a simple process in any case, be it introducing new teams or having a six-team tournament.
Time on their side: The next IPL is in April. CSK and RR are expected to move court, and the BCCI will wait for the verdict. The board will take necessary steps after that.
Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar said, “There is at least eight months for the next IPL. I feel that is enough time for the BCCI to have two new teams. When the IPL was floated, the idea was of an eight-team tournament and not a six-team tournament. It was decided to have an eight-team tournament which will be gradually increased to 10 teams. But I feel there is enough time to get two new teams.”
BCCI weighing options: After Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha committee stripped the IPL of the two teams, the BCCI has convened an IPL governing council meeting in Mumbai on 19 July to examine all available options. Headed by Rajeev Shukla, the governing council has all other office-bearers of the BCCI on the panel. There are also 11 more members including former cricketers Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble.
BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya consulting lawyers: The 59-page order was handed to the BCCI. Soon after, the legal team came into play.
How will the suspension impact the two teams? Suspension of the two means will mean that there will be no source of income for them. While CSK has the backing of India Cements, RR will find the going tough.
Will Srinivasan quit as ICC chief after his son-in-law Meiyappan’s life ban?
Srinivasan is not going to resign. The judgment is not on me, says the former BCCI chief. “I am not associated with CSK,” he adds.
While he is ICC chairman till June next year, in September the BCCI is to take up the issue of him being a BCCI representative in ICC.
How popular were CSK and RR in terms of TV viewership?
CSK, led by Dhoni, is undoubtedly one of the most successful and most followed teams of the IPL.
As per viewership data from TAM Sports, the average TVR of CSK matches was higher than the actual average of the IPL every season from the first till the eighth season.
Similarly, out of the 10 top-rated matches, CSK in the last five editions had at least 4–6 matches each.