Indian Premier League 2011 February 4, 2011

IPL window shuts on Ganguly


The IPL governing council has denied franchises permission to sign the three unsold Indian players from the auction after some of the teams objected to the proposal, putting an end to any chances former India captain, Sourav Ganguly, had of playing in IPL 4. The governing council, also, in a questionable decision, allowed Manish Pandey to sign with the Pune Warriors, but banned him for four matches for breaching the IPL's rules concerning the signing of uncapped players.

It is understood that the Kochi franchise wanted to buy Ganguly, and had sought permission from the BCCI since IPL rules did not permit unsold players to be signed. Subsequently, the BCCI sent a letter to the ten franchises asking if they would have any objections to the unsold players being made available again. Mehul Shah, one of the co-owners at Kochi, had claimed the franchise had not approached the IPL to sign Ganguly, but one of the governing council members, speaking to ESPNcricinfo, said it had. "Kochi were interested in him as a player."

Incidentally, three franchises - Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore - objected to bringing back the unsold players into the league, thus putting to rest any possibility of Ganguly's return. But it was Pandey's case that was deliberated by the governing council members for a significant part of three-hour long meeting.

Pandey, the most sought-after uncapped domestic player, attracted attention after the IPL got a complaint from his former owners Bangalore, who alleged that the player's agent was involved in discussions with rival teams and demanding more money than the rules allow. The uncapped players have been placed in fixed price brackets by the IPL - those players who made their first-class debut in the last two years will be paid Rs 10 lakhs ($22,000); those in the field for two to five years would get Rs 20 lakhs ($44,000) and those with more than five years' experience Rs 30 lakhs ($66,000).

But, according to an IPL official, despite the lengthy discussions, the governing council could not conclusively ascertain if Pandey or his agent had committed any violations. "It (the allegation) could not be established," the source revealed. So, instead the IPL decided to allow Pandey, India's first centurion in the league, to play but with the rider that he sit out of the first four games.

The IPL also "rejected" Mumbai Indians' charge (expressed in a letter to the BCCI last week) that a last-minute change in the auction procedure had compromised the "level-playing field" for all franchises. But in a statement released after the meeting today, the IPL said "the auction was transparent and fair" in response. It stated the procedure was the same as all the previous IPL auctions and that representatives of all the franchisees had signed the briefing note accepting the rules, including India Win Sports Private Limited, the company that owns the Mumbai Indians.

"The Mumbai case was discussed in great detail but their complaint was rejected. Their protest about not following auction rules does not hold water now because before the auction everybody submitted a signed letter," the source said. According to him, Mumbai were indirectly trying to suggest that N Srinivisan, who is the owner of Chennai Super Kings, and a member of the governing council, was privy to everything during the auction and was influencing the buying of players which left other teams at a disadvantage. "Mumbai will be provided with a detailed reply," the source said.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Parashu on February 7, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Ganguly's emotionally charged fan-club needs to see things a bit more objectively. Despite a phenomenal record as national Test- and ODI-leader, Ganguly's IPL record has been less than impressive: as a KKR captain in 2008 and 2010 editions, all he could do was take KKR to third from bottom in the league! What's worse, when he had no captaincy pressure, not only did he not put best performance, KKR slided to the first from bottom--wonder if there's a conspiracy theory at work here!! Ganguly supporters will do a great job persuading "Dada" to take up a more construttive and impactful role in Indian Cricket at large--without appearing in field, of course!!!

  • Sudeep on February 7, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Simple, this is beyond cricket. One also needs to look at and think about the person in context and Ganguly is not just about any other cricketer.

    Folks, there is a need to refrain from referring to comments made by others as 'stupid'.

    MI, RCB and RR bashing is because they objected to Kochi picking Ganguly. Kochi may have gone back and evaluated and realized that they made a mistake or missed an opportunity. Ganguly would have been asset to building the team for Kochi on- and off- the ground, much as the way he helped build Indian team from 2001 onwards, the results of which are being reaped for the past few years. However, MI, RCB and RR had other ideas, and they threw the spanner. That's sad. They need to learnto respect the heros.

    Additionally, Ganguly's batting performance was far better than many others and he has taken some spectacular catches as well. The reasons for him to have continued playing far outweighs some that probably go against him.

  • P on February 6, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    If Kochi wanted, they could have bid for Ganguly in the first round or on re-bid. But it is funny that 3 franchises raised objection. They didn't think Dada will add value, now what is their problem if some other team is willing to try, or are they regretting they didn't bid. Strange.

  • ganesh on February 6, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    Some people are making some really stupid comments here... Why are u bashing RR,MI and RCB here? If Kochi really wanted Ganguly then they should have bought him in the auction... Thats the rule... If IPL starts ignoring these rules then it leads to chaos... Next some other team comes up and say they need Lara,gayle etc and this goes on making the auction that was held a joke...

  • pramod on February 6, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    ipl is not whole cricket , ganguli can play other formats also . its time 2 show wat u r capable of .

  • Keshav on February 5, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    We all know ganguly was a great player..but not now...IPL is a business... No one want to put money on a old horse.. He was pathetic fielder....presently no worth as a bowler... and not a strong batsman as he was... so why any franchisee will pick him... Kumble understood the situation... Ganguly didn't... so he is getting insulted..

  • Sudeep on February 5, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    Someone commented, Ganguly would have been a liability. The person needs to understand and follow cricket little more and figure out whats happening and refrain from making comments based on heresay.

    Anyway, Saurav should now challenge and remove Dalmiya, take charge of CAB and make way into the BCCI towards dislodging Sharad Pawar.

  • Sudeep on February 5, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    Well, it's sad but what can one do? File a PIL on behalf of the fans! MI, RCK and RR should be asked why should they have problems in Dada playing for Kochi. Let them contest Kochi if they want Dada. Else they should keep shut. The rules are wierd indeed. Should people like Kumble, who is critical to all RCB decision making not intervene here. Is it that RCB has objected to Dada getting picked for Kochi and Kumble did not know about this stance? Little hard to digest. Without a shadow of doubt, the reasons are beyond cricket.

    Poor Pandety ... got a raw deal. He is far better than many of the capped players. Simply because he hasn't been picked for the national team as yet makes him worth only Rs. 20 Lac while his contemporaries with lesser skills or abilities get over 50 times more than what he gets. There shoudl be some sense in it.

  • TAMJID on February 5, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    manish should have been ban for the entire season, ravindra jadeja had to sit out the entire ipl 3 for the same reason. So what he is the first Indian centurian, he is still very young and he doesnt have a national cap. this is an integreti issue, if we dont teach our young players the right way, then we are not far from producing players like mohammed amir, salman cheaters. too much money is being thrown at players in ipl, everybody is becoming too greedy, where is cricket heading to, why cant the upper management look at the bigger picture. i was a big fan of pandey, he was the player to look out my list. i m very disappointed.

    As far is ganguly concerned, dada it's time to retire. Stop making this a political issue, you had your glory days. time to go for coaching job now. Produce atleast 50 more ganguly from the bengal, this should be your legacy. produce more great cricketers from bengal.

  • ABHIK on February 5, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    If uncapped overseas player can be put in the auction, why not indian domestic players? BCCI have yet again proved themselves a bunch of jokers.. They have made it clear that it is sufficient to make international appearance for only once...and that too against some non test playing nations.. BCCI please spend some time to think about cricket... and only cricket !!

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