The popular but troubled Indian Premier League (IPL) will take place next year notwithstanding the suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, but the Champions League was Wednesday scrapped for lack of fan interest.
“You should rest assured that IPL 9 will take place and there would not be any problem as far as BCCI is concerned,” IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla told reporters after a meeting with BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Shukla did not elaborate on the format of the tournament after the suspension of the two teams which will take the number of teams in the League to six. He said BCCI is likely to form a panel which would deliberate upon the way forward.
“After the verdict of the Justice Lodha Commission we are in the process of consultation. I had a meeting with president Jagmohan Dalmiya and I’m in talks with the secretary Mr Anurag Thakur also. We will analyse and study the entire report at the Governing Council on July 19 and there it may be decided to form a group to study the report and how it can be implemented.
“We will discuss all the options in the Government Council so please wait. Let’s first study and analyse the report. The President has made it very clear that we respect the judicial verdict so the process of implementation is on,” Shukla said.
Meanwhile, the Governing Council of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) On Wednesday decided to discontinue the tournament with immediate effect. “The Governing Council of the CLT20, comprising representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket Australia (CA) made the decision unanimously,” a media release said. “As such the 2015 CLT20 scheduled for September and October will not go ahead as planned,” said the release.
While the scrapping of the CLT20 was always on cards due to the poor response it generated, the Lodha Committee report was like a last straw for the CLT20 Governing Council after Chennai Super Kings, who are defending champions as well as one of the competitors after finishing runners-up were suspended for two years.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha Committee banned Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years and suspended two of their owners for life from any cricketing activities for bringing the game to disrepute on account of their betting activities during the 2013 season.
Stung by the Lodha Committee order, BCCI was now working out a contingency plan to ensure that the high-profile league remains an eight-team affair. The officials have already started informal discussion on the way forward before the IPL Governing Council meets for an emergency session in Mumbai on Sunday.
The BCCI is keen to ensure that the cash-rich league remains an eight-team tournament as its contract with the broadcasters, Multi Screen Media, envisages a 60-match schedule. “We have started discussions on the way forward. We have studied the Justice Lodha committee report, the Governing Council will discuss all aspects of this verdict and decide the future course of action,” a top BCCI official told PTI.
The official said that the Board could possibly explore two options to ensure that the IPL remains an eight-team event. “The BCCI can run the two teams for two years and the original owners can come back after the ban period is over. The other option is to invite fresh bids for two new teams since many corporates have expressed an interest in buying an IPL team,” he said.
The problem that BCCI might face if it invites bids for two new teams is that it could increase the number of teams to 10 after CSK and RR complete their ban period. Drawing up a home and away basis schedule for 10 teams could drag the league well beyond its stipulated window of about six weeks.
There are few members of the BCCI who are keen to invite fresh bids since it will generate more money for the league. BCCI running two teams may not be economically viable since the entire cost of managing the team and playing the players their salaries will have to be borne by the Board.