There are moments in life which determine how the next few years will unfold. In the case of the BCCI we are at such a moment. Call it a crossroad, call it an opportunity, call it judgement day -- it is upon us.
The BCCI, Board of Control for Cricket in India, aka, The Old Boys Club of Cricket in India has always managed to run itself the way it wanted. The media could say whatever they liked and fans could scream but the boys of the club didn't bat an eyelid. Things changed (presumably) this week as a committee that had been appointed by the Supreme Court of India came down heavily on the Board's most valuable asset -- the IPL.
Don't let the multiple headlines, million scenarios and scores of opinions confuse you. The decisions that need to be made by the so called custodians of the game of cricket in India are as simple as it gets. There is no real complication involved.
As per 11.3 of the IPL rules a franchise may be terminated if "the franchisee, any franchisee group company and/or any owners acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the league, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the franchisee, the team (or any other team in the league) and/or the game of cricket".
Using their own rules the action to be taken is as follows: Terminate the agreements with India Cements and Jaipur IPL, the owners of the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
"Most likely closed door deals will be struck and we will wait for appeals, matters will be delayed and for all we know N Srinivasan will be made captain of India in place of Virat Kohli."
They do not need to wait for an appeal, another ruling or anything. It is clear that the reputation of these teams has been tarnished. So Raj Kundra, Gurunath Meiyappan and India Cements can do whatever they want in terms of appealing. However, the reputation of the leauge has already been adversely affected so I am sorry guys, you may appeal and who knows, you may win, but you don't own these teams anymore. We've just had about enough of you.
Auction the two teams in the following manner. Potential buyers can bid for the Chennai or Rajasthan teams. The teams will remain in those two cities. The players who are contracted with the current team come as part of the package. Take it or leave it. This is similar to when the franchise in Hyderabad was terminated and the Deccan Chargers became the Hyderabad Sunrisers. The Sunrisers retained 20 players.
Such a set-up serves two purposes.
a) It protects the players who are already contracted to these two teams. The Lodha committee has already said it is not the players' fault.
b) The IPL does not lose out on the efforts that have been put in to build team loyalty and a fan base in these two regions. Ownership may change but the teams remain. It is good for the league and good for the fans.
N Srinivasan can no longer be India's representative to the ICC. Even though the Mudgal report found him not guilty of any wrongdoing on an individual basis, he must be removed. He is the MD of India Cements and hence must take some responsibility. Besides, the various conflicts over the years makes this a good opportunity for the BCCI to get rid of a man who has run cricket like it is his own private game.
There is probably one percent of our population that believes that the BCCI is going to do this. Most likely closed door deals will be struck and we will wait for appeals, matters will be delayed and for all we know N Srinivasan will be made captain of India in place of Virat Kohli.
The only difference this time around is that the decision has been made by the Supreme Court and its appointed committee. Even the BCCI must be a bit concerned about this.
Swift and positive decisions will restore faith that the interests of the game are priority number one.
The usual delays and tactics leave things the way they are.
Your move Mr Dalmiya.
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