The IPL Mess

IPL player auction likely to be postponed again

Nagraj Gollapudi

December 5, 2010

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

Preity Zinta, Lalit Modi and Shilpa Shetty address the media, Mumbai, January 22, 2010
Preity Zinta, Lalit Modi and Shilpa Shetty are all involved in court cases against the BCCI © AFP
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The IPL player auction could be deferred by another couple of months because of the ongoing legal dispute between the BCCI and the two expelled franchises, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. If that happens, the auction, which has already been moved from November to January 8 and 9 because of the uncertainty surrounding the status of these two franchises, as well as the Kochi franchise, could now wind up clashing with the World Cup, which begins in the sub-continent on February 18.

"I don't think the auction will happen before March," a top IPL official told ESPNcricinfo. Since the BCCI is not close to reconciling with either of the franchises, the official believes that whichever party receives an adverse judgement will definitely approach a higher court to defend itself. "This is going to be a long drawn-out battle - if the court favours the BCCI, then the other side will go to the Supreme Court and vice-versa. The whole thing is sub-judice. Whatever happens in the High Court, one party will go to the Supreme Court."

On October 10, the board had terminated both Rajasthan and Punjab over disputed ownership rights, and the failure to report the change of control in the shareholding pattern to the IPL governing council. Both franchises eventually approached the Bombay High Court, and subsequently opted for arbitration.

The board selected Justice BN Srikrishna as the judge in both arbitration cases, and his interim judgement in the case of Rajasthan caught the BCCI unawares. After having heard both parties for three days, the judge said that "prima facie" the Indian board was aware of the change of the control in the ownership structure at Rajasthan and their defence was "too facile to cut ice." He imposed a stay on Rajasthan's expulsion and instructed the IPL to allow them to exercise all their rights under the franchise agreement.

Before Punjab's case could be heard the next day, Srikrishna announced that he had been the legal counsel of the Wadia Group 35 years ago, and withdrew from the case as Ness Wadia is one of the co-owners of the Punjab team. The board then approached the Bombay High Court seeking relief from the stay on Rajasthan's removal, with the matter likely to come before the court this week.

According to the IPL official, any High Court order concerning the two franchises was unlikely to take place before December 15 at the earliest. "And if the party goes to Supreme Court, it will have to wait as the court will be closed for winter vacation." The court will re-open in the first week of January and he said, "Only if the case is dismissed prima facie, then the matter ends. Otherwise it is most likely to extend to February at least."

While there was no discussion in the meeting about the next steps to be taken in the run-up to IPL 4, members of the governing council were aware of the urgency of the issue. Asked if there was any danger of the IPL not happening he denied the possibility, saying, "The IPL will definitely happen, regardless of [the auction clashing with] the World Cup."

The franchises seem to have anticipated such a development. "If the BCCI does not compromise and sticks to eight teams [instead of 10] then this is bound to get stretched and it will affect the auction dates," one franchise official said, adding that they could only watch and hope something positive works out soon.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by   on (December 11, 2010, 9:47 GMT)

IPL 4 NOT HAPPENING IS IN BEST INTREST OF TEAM INDIA.WORLD CUP ENDS ON APRIL 2 AND IPL WAS SAID TO BE STARTING ON APRIL 8 THAT WAY TOO SMALL GAP IN FIRST INSTANCE AND WE HAVE TEST AND ODI TOUR OF WEST INDIES TO FOLLOW WHICH IS STILL NOT FINALIZE BECAUSE OF IPL.ONCE IPL DATES ARE ANNOUNCED THEY WILL SEE HOW MUCH IPL HAS ERODED SPACE FOR WEST INDIES TOUR BECAUSE WE HAVE ENGLAND TOUR FINALIZE STARTING JULY 24 WEST INDIES TOUR BY INDIA SHOULD BEGIN AROUND MAY 15-20 TO COVER SCHEDULED 4 TEST AND 5 ODI. I DOUBT IF PLAYERS WILL BE ABLE TO COPE THAT.I THINK IF IPL HAPPENS THEN TEST WILL BE SLASHED TO 2 TEST AND ODI'S KEPT AS IT IS TO 5.BUT THAT ISN'T GOOD THING FOR INDIA.

Posted by aroopmc on (December 7, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

you think Lalith Modi can help ... ha ha !!

Posted by cricket_for_all on (December 6, 2010, 21:18 GMT)

@sonjjay; You made a very good point. The IPL is just money matter not cricket. We are going to have a big world cup events soon. If the IPL continue for another 5 years India will not have any test players after Sachin, Dravid and mighty Laxman (He is one of my favorite batsmen in the world- of course not against Sri Lanka - Please!!).

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 6, 2010, 21:05 GMT)

i have a feeling IPL should be run by a corporation on behalf of BCCI. In that way there is no politics. N srinivasan going after Lalit modi because he did n't like him.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2010, 12:46 GMT)

Poor Kapil Dev might enjoy these wrong happenings in BCCI and IPL. BCCI deserves this because of the way they treated Kapil Dev and ICL.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2010, 11:04 GMT)

Shakib Al Hasan became the most higest paid player in IPL4

Posted by   on (December 6, 2010, 7:11 GMT)

Expect Kieron Pollard to become the higest paid player in IPL 2011. Followed by Umar Akmal (if Pakistani players are allowed) & Afridi. Ricky Pointing will be the first ever player to actually pay a club to include him.

I like Yuvi and wouldl like to see Punjab back in IPL.

Posted by Rezaul on (December 6, 2010, 7:03 GMT)

Some points: BCCI knew the share pattern of KXIP and RR from 2008 and they kept quiet until October 2010 hen they terminated both of the franchises without any notice. The question is if their share pattern or something else as wrong then why didnt BCCI take action earlier. Next thing is Kpchi Franchise changed their share pattern after auction. And BCCI accepted that without any issue. So, this is also going to work in favor of RR and KXIP. So, definitely we are going to see 10 teams in IPL 4. Come on BCCI, take the ice breaking step being the father organisation in Indian cricket.

Posted by Raj_pandian on (December 6, 2010, 6:21 GMT)

super-innocent: Each franchise can retain 4 players (3 domestic +1 foreign player)

Posted by Madhu1411 on (December 6, 2010, 6:13 GMT)

the teams might be selected on the day of their matches I guess... IPL should be separated from BCCI, only then it will be a success... Cricket fans have already lost interest in IPL. It is going to be a big flop this time and I wish so...

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