Why is BCCI in a hurry to conduct IPL auction?

MUMBAI(PTI): Even as the fate of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals hangs in the balance, N Srinivasan-led dispensation is going ahead with February 16 event.

The Chennai Super Kings, owned by sidelined BCCI president N Srinivasan (centre), could face termination when the new BCCI dispensation takes over
Come February 16 and suspended BCCI president N Srinivasan will display his defiance yet again by allowing the Indian Premier League player auction to be conducted.

This despite the fact that the fate of two IPL teams — Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) — embroiled in the betting and spot-fixing scandal is yet to be decided by the BCCI or, for that matter, by the three-member judicial committee headed by former chief justice of India RM Lodha.

In its January 22 order, the Supreme Court concluded that both Gurunath Meiyappan (former team principal, CSK) and Raj Kundra (co-owner, RR) had indulged in betting.

All through the hearing of the case, high-profile lawyers hired by the BCCI and Srinivasan kept requesting the two-judge special bench to “please give the Indian cricket board a chance to take action against the violators in order to keep the sanctity of its autonomy”. The apex court agreed to do so and granted the BCCI another chance to elect a new set of office-bearers in six weeks’ time. By doing so, the court wants the BCCI to prove that it is “serious about restoring the integrity of the game of cricket”.

So, what lies ahead for these two IPL teams?

The answer lies itself in the IPL’s Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials:

  1. Sub-clause (c) of clause 11.3 of the agreement says 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”.
  2. The Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee also concluded that the “franchise owner of CSK is responsible for failing to ensure Meiyappan’s failure to comply with the BCCI’s anti-corruption code, IPL operational rules and IPL regulations. Hence the franchisee’s actions are in violation of Section 4.4.1 of the IPL operational rules and clause 11.3 of the franchise agreement.”

The apex court further held that the BCCI/IPL could terminate the franchise under clause 11.3 of the franchise agreement entered into between the Board and franchise owners. So, the big question is: why is the Srinivasan camp in such a tearing hurry to go ahead with the auction before the elections?

The answer lies in Srinivasan’s responses in court. This is not the first time that Srinivasan is trying to push his luck by citing the case of cricketers. It was during the course of a hearing that dna reported how Srinivasan compared his “conflict of interest” with that of 15 other cricketers, including Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly.

The apex court rejected Srinivasan’s arguments and struck down the amendment to rule 6.2.4, thus banning any BCCI administrator to have any commercial interest in any event organised by the board.

If the IPL player auction takesplace in Bangalore on February 16, then a situation will arise where 30 or more players picked by CSK and RR will find themselves ‘teamless’ once the new dispensation takes over.

“This is Srinivasan’s game plan. He wants to garner public sympathy. CSK has top players like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin among other Team India players. Srinivasan wants to somehow save his franchise. He will do so by citing the plight of his players,” said a senior BCCI official who is also involved with the working of IPL.

However, a phone call to the Sharad Pawar camp also confirmed that “this auction should only take place after the BCCI elections”. “How can a defunct body under Srinivasan’s supervision be authorised to conduct the auction? , what else you expect from a man who has not just lost his presidency but is also going to lose his team soon,” a former BCCI top boss told dna on Tuesday.


Chennai Super Kings:

MS Dhoni, Ashish Nehra, B Aparajith, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis, Ishwar Pandey, Matt Henry, Mithun Manhas, Mohit Sharma, Pawan Negi, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Samuel Badree, Suresh Raina, Ronit More

Rajasthan Royals:

Shane Watson, Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik