BCCI Buys Six More Weeks For IPL Teams; Constitutes Working Group To Study Lodha Committee Verdict

19/07/2015 5:36 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Rajasthan Royals' Rahul Dravid bats during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai, India, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo)

The BCCI constituted a working group on Sunday to study the Lodha Committee verdict and give its recommendations to the BCCI's working committee after six weeks. This decision was taken after an hour-long meeting of the IPL governing council in Mumbai today. Names of the members of this working group are expected to be made public tomorrow.

The BCCI board said in an official statement that they would follow Justice R M Lodha committee's verdict on the IPL betting scandal in total.

"BCCI respects the verdict of the Lodha Commission and will abide by their decisions, in toto. The members recognised that there is an urgent need to understand the impact of this decision and the wider ramifications for BCCI in detail, so as to uphold the paramountcy of the game in our country," according to the statement.

"The IPL governing council hence authorised the Chairman, Shri Rajeev Shukla, to constitute a working group which will study this verdict, in consultation with all our key advisors and explore all the possible measures to be adopted, with an objective to protect the interests of all the stakeholders involved."

The much-awaited results of the governing council meeting were seen as a ploy to buy time, with reports of a tug-of-war within the group on the fate of the two teams hit by the scandal — Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Read: IPL Will Come Back Stronger With 8 Teams, Says Former Chairman Rajeev Shukla

Sunday's meeting was to decide whether the two teams will be suspended from the IPL for two years, and what were the other implications of the verdict.

Now, this decision seems to have been delayed by at least six weeks, after which the recommendations forwarded to the IPL governing council, which in turn will deliberate and share their views with the BCCI working committee.

"House has entrusted me with responsibility to make a small group that will take 6 weeks to submit a report as to how we implement the order and way forward for IPL," said IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla. "How to conduct IPL, how many teams and all stakeholders CAC members, sponsors, broadcasters, state associations, legal experts that report will come to the governing council and it will go working committee which will take decision."

He said that all stakeholders were of the opinion that the "show must go on".

"I reiterate that IPL 9 will be bigger and greater," he said.

Read: IPL Scam: A 3-Step Plan For The BCCI

Shukla, however, refused to reveal the details of today's meeting and took a jibe at former BCCI President Shashank Manohar for demanding that CSK and RR be terminated.

"We cannot divulge the deliberations of the meeting. A sub-group has been constituted which will recommend what needs to be done.

"A Supreme Court-appointed committee has deliberated on it (the IPL scandal) and after it has given its verdict, I don't think there is scope for anybody else to comment," he said.

BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya skipped the meeting as he is indisposed, while Ajay Shirke, Ravi Shastri and Jyotiraditya Scindia joined through video-conferencing.

The meeting was result of the turmoil triggered by the Justice Lodha committee verdict.

Star-studded Chennai Super Kings, two-time IPL champions, and inaugural edition winners Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the T20 League for two years as punishment for betting activities of their key officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra during the 2013 season.

Meiyappan, the former Team Principal of CSK, and Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, were suspended for life for indulging in betting and bringing the IPL and the game into disrepute.

Read: Call Made From Dubai To Pakistan Two Years Back Was The Beginning Of CSK And Rajasthan Royals' End

Justice Lodha Committee was constituted by the Supreme Court in January this year with its terms of reference being to announce the quantum of punishment against Meiyappan, Kundra and the two franchisees -- India Cements Ltd, owner of CSK and Jaipur IPL, owners of Rajasthan Royals.

Justice Lodha has said that the BCCI was free to terminate the indicted franchises.

Lodha's clarification came in the wake of some confusion over the committee's proposal, specifically over the extent to which the BCCI can act against the two franchises as follow-up to the committee's decision.

Clause 11.3 (c) of the BCCI-IPL franchise agreement says the agreement can be terminated if "the Franchise, any Franchise Group Company and/or any owner acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the League, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the Franchise, the team (or any other team in the League) and/or the game of cricket."

(with PTI inputs)

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