India news March 27, 2014

BCCI points to IPL players' plight

Amol Karhadkar and Nagraj Gollapudi

The Supreme Court's googly, as it were, to the BCCI in the form of three proposals has thrown the board into a state of "uncertainty", with the mooted suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals causing the most concern. While there has been no indication of a coordinated meeting of senior officials, it is understood that the board's response to the court on Friday will be to point out that suspending two IPL teams will most affect the players.

It is also expected to oppose the proposal of an "outsider" to head the BCCI - the court suggested the name of Sunil Gavaskar - by pointing to the number of former players in the board hierarchy.

"No one anticipated the court's proposal to suspend the two teams," a senior board official said. "The court has given the BCCI very little time to respond. I don't think the BCCI members can meet for certain in one place before tomorrow morning, so the only way is to set up a teleconference."

The biggest setback for the IPL, he said, was not BCCI president N Srinivasan's status or possible replacement but a curtailed IPL with fewer teams. The BCCI's arguments in court on Friday are therefore likely to centre on its belief that it would be "virtually impossible" to conduct the IPL with just six teams. That, it is felt, would affect logistics and, more importantly, the players.

"It would be really difficult to redraw plans, especially considering that the tournament is supposed to start within three weeks. The logistical and financial problems can, however, be solved, but what can be done about the players? It would be unfair on almost all of the 50-odd players from these two teams to be deprived, for no fault of theirs, of the opportunity to play the tournament and earn their livelihood," the board member said.

A six-team IPL, with its existing home-and-away format followed by four games in the knockout stage, will bring the number of matches down to 34 from 60. That will have a knock-on effect on broadcasters and sponsors, and the BCCI's concern will be how to compensate them, given that the long-term contracts are based on 60-match seasons. Neither PepsiCo India, the league's title sponsors, nor Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd, parent company of host broadcaster Max, were willing to comment.

On the issue of an interim or replacement president, the board is likely to seek a change in the court's stated criterion - a "seasoned or respected cricketer" - to one more aligned to its own eligibility rules. "For Gavaskar to be appointed as the board chief, as per the Supreme Court directive, we will require an amendment to the BCCI constitution. We may request the court to appoint a candidate who fulfills the eligibility criteria set for the post of the president [by the constitution]."

The BCCI's rules state that anyone acceding to the president's post must have been a past or present office-bearer and vice-president, and have attended at least two BCCI AGMs.

In any case, the board has not accepted that Srinivasan will be ousted; rather, they feel he is best placed to decide on his future. "It is tough call," an official said. "It all depends on Srinivasan now: if he wants to go himself or if he wants to stick to his decision of telling the court that he is willing to step aside pending a time-bound probe. The BCCI on its own cannot force Srinivasan to resign. But we will have to wait for the judges to take a final decision tomorrow."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pradeep on March 28, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    U lankan dont know anything about IPL. u better stay away..I m big fan of only Malinga from Srilanka..others I dont think to deserve that quality that can hurt popolarity of IPL the most famous T20 leage of earth.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    @SLisBestinEarth - All five Sri lankan players you mentioned were major letdown last year. Angelo and Sanga flopped as captain and removed by their teams. Mahela did ok. Mendis hardly played and Kula was never in contention. Only 2 players who did well from Sri Lanka, Malinga and Perera are playing again this year. Please look at records before saying that IPL will miss Sri Lankan players

  • Jewel on March 28, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Whoever be the culprits,owners or players,these accusations and revelations are a slap on the face of the ordinary cricket fan,who celebrates his team's wins and laments its losses,who goes to sleep imagining himself as dhonis,rainas,kohlis scoring the winning run,who is too blind with love for the game to see the dirty games behind the curtains.After all these happenings, he is still there,cheering for his heroes,hoping against hope that they are too great to cheat him.

  • Siddharth on March 28, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    SC has done the right thing. One can argue that the orders have come just days before the IPL starts but there is a process of moving a petition to SC as it attends the cases after they have been through lower courts.

    Players, Administrators and Fans are all affected by this controversy in some way or the other.

    No one can function without the support of the fans so it is of paramount importance to clean the system and make an effort to restore fans faith.

    Administrators and sponsors are seemingly worried about the revenues for this year but what if they lose fans in general with the controversy around ? I think there is still scope for IPL to become an even bigger tournament and for that the foundation needs to be strong.

    Its hard on players but that is the way it goes in every job. employees have to pay for employers decisions and mistakes.

    SC has done the right thing and that may not make all concerned happy but it is the time to go through short term pain for long term gain

  • SLisbest on March 28, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    First of all, This year IPL would be huge flop. Without Srilankan gaints Angelo, Mahela, Sanga,Mendis,Kula & others UK gaints Bell, Cook, Anderson & others quality of the matches will come down... I hope other parts of world also will not like this year IPL. "Sri Lanka" is second most favourite nation for all neutral fans. Australia understood this and have taken lankans in Big Bash as WI's in CPL.

  • Android on March 28, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    @joe sunny.. please read my prvious comments time is too close? then why it was left to be undone this faar? its been almost a year..why there was such a delay? and if thats this much close ipl7 should be shut down and loss to franchises should be bore by BCCI for not taking quick decision when the scandal was revealed it will be great if key indian players get rest and prepare before upcoming Englaand tour instead of getting injured in IPL

  • I on March 28, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    I dnt know why people want IPL to go :-( In my country no one know cricket but after IPL many watch cricket n follow it too. I can't explain how much i love IPL and many of dier players. Y people not see d postive side, soccer has many fixing but no one stops playing it. I also dont knw y people against Dhoni, i cant get it. :-( I never see player like him, i am sad if they close IPL and Dhoni plz dont go. I never watch cricket again if it happens

    #Esto #no #es #justo

  • Suggsy on March 28, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    @Joe Sunny, Your argument is completely invalid... With the dismissal of Pune Warriors and Tuskers, the players were not deprived of playing the tournament, they simply played for other teams... Now the time is too close to the IPL, and so suspending the teams will mean that the players will not be able to take part in the IPL whatsoever...

  • Android on March 28, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    its good that SC acts atleast now. It had the power and good that it showed atleast now. Its time to stop Politics in BCCI and throw out all politicians n people no way associated to cricket from it. When it came to CSK, BCCIs worry abt players and unnecessary concerns says it all. Why wasn't there any such concerns when they threw off Tuskers & Pune Warriors? Between why they planned to throw off Punjab, KKR & RR? Its seriously sad! Bring in experienced cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavasker, J Sreenath etc to the board. Respect the game and its players in the right manner.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    As I posted yesterday, cricket and its players should not suffer due to the mistake of some owners. It will have huge impact on Indian Cricket. So CSK and RR should continue

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