IPL news December 1, 2010

Arbitrator in BCCI, Punjab case stands down

The arbitrator in the case between the BCCI and the Kings XI Punjab, justice BN Srikrishna, has withdrawn from the case after disclosing to both parties that he represented the Wadia Group, part owners of the Punjab franchise, in many of their cases in the past.

"I disclosed to the BCCI today that I was defence counsel for the Wadia Group," Srikrishna told ESPNcricinfo. "They said I couldn't continue, I said that was fine with me."

The news came a day after Srikrishna delivered an interim order in another case involving the BCCI, granting a stay on the expulsion of Rajasthan Royals. He said today's development would not have any bearing on the Rajasthan case. "I will carry on because my association with the Wadias in the past does not concern that case."

Srikrishna was scheduled to begin hearing the Punjab case today, with the hearing set to last three days with provisions for a reserve day. But the board's objection - made before the day's proceedings started - stalled it.

The irony is that Srikrishna was the BCCI's own choice as arbitrator when both the issues went to arbitration. BCCI president Shashank Manohar told ESPNcricinfo that "he was chosen as we have all our faith in him."

Manohar said they would be challenging Srikrishna's order staying the Rajasthan Royals termination in the Bombay High Court tomorrow, but said there was a possibility to include more teams in the fourth IPL.

"Honestly speaking, we have nothing against any teams or any of the franchises," Manohar said. "We have just acted based on the advice we have taken from our lawyers over certain matters."

The BCCI chief said the board was "not at all worried" about the turn of events in the IPL arbitration cases. "We will work it out ... even if there are eight teams or ten teams in the next IPL, that's fine. If we get an order from the court tomorrow that we cannot terminate the teams and they will have to be included in the IPL, that will happen."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo, Sharda Ugra is senior editor at Cricinfo