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December 18, 2010
The fourth season of the IPL is set to go ahead with 10 teams and 74 matches as originally planned. ESPNcricinfo has learnt the BCCI is not likely to move the Supreme Court after it lost High Court appeals against the stay orders granted to the termination of Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. The decision also means that the player auction should go ahead as previously scheduled on January 8 and 9.
The news comes in three days after a division bench of the Bombay High Court dismissed the BCCI's appeal against the court's interim order staying the termination of the Punjab franchise. It is learnt that the BCCI didn't want to make an "ego issue" out of the dispute by prolonging the legal fight against what the court called an "erroneous and flawed" decision to terminate the franchise.
The BCCI's acceptance of the court's verdict seems to have ended an air of uncertainty around the player auction, and the tournament itself.
In October the BCCI had expelled Punjab and Rajasthan, holding the franchises guilty for violating the franchise agreement on three counts, including changes of ownership that went unreported to the board. With the Kochi franchise also mired in an ownership wrangle, it had seemed then that the 2011 IPL would not have even eight teams, the number of teams that participated in the first three seasons. The dispute between Kochi's owners, however, was settled and the franchise was cleared for the IPL earlier this month.
The 2011 season will begin five days after the World Cup, which ends on April 2. The IPL's governing council had originally announced the format for the season in September, and had also set down rules for player retention.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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