With the Lodha panel suspending the franchise owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years, the BCCI has convened an IPL governing council meeting in Mumbai on Sunday. On the agenda will be an analysis of the ramifications of the judgement and the options available to the board as they look to ensure an eight-team IPL in 2016.
Why has the IPL governing council meeting been convened?
The IPL governing council meeting is the first official BCCI gathering after the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha committee suspended the owners of two IPL franchises - Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings - for two years earlier in the week. The meeting was convened within hours of the Lodha committee pronouncing its verdict.
What will be on the BCCI's agenda during Sunday's meeting?
It is unlikely the BCCI will take a final decision on its future course of action, as it is still unsure whether the two suspended franchises will appeal legally against the Lodha committee's verdict. At the outset, BCCI's legal advisor Usha Nath Banerjee is set to explain the implications of the 59-page order, and the board's counsel is likely to present possible options before the committee with the aim of ensuring smooth organization of forthcoming IPL editions.
Considering the complexity of the issue, the governing council may appoint a special committee under the leadership of either Ajay Shirke, governing council member, or former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, and authorise it to decide the future course of action in consultation with the BCCI president and secretary.
With IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla confirming that IPL 2016 will be held with a minimum of eight teams, what does the governing council do now?
Following the legal briefing, the governing council will discuss the possible options to deal with the situation. These include inviting bids for two new teams for two years, inviting bids for two new teams for a longer duration or the BCCI running two teams for two years.
The last option is Shukla's suggestion but BCCI members feel it is impractical. Manohar has also opposed the idea of the BCCI adopting the teams. "If you ask me my personal opinion, the BCCI cannot adopt the teams because the rules and regulations of the Board do not permit it to do so," Manohar said in Kolkata after discussing the issue with BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya. "Moreover, will a BCCI official sit at the player auction and bid for players? It will again be a conflict of interest and the public perception on this issue is really bad. Then you will bring back the two teams on a platter, I don't think it can be done."
Is terminating the franchise agreements of owners of the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals likely to be discussed?
Various legal luminaries and some of the BCCI officials feel the board's best option is to terminate franchise agreements with both the teams for having brought "material adverse effect" to the BCCI - under clause 11.3 (c) of the BCCI-IPL franchise agreement - and then float new tenders for two franchises.
According to a governing council member, the issue will surely be raised during Sunday's meeting. But in all likelihood, the special sub-committee will decide the future course of action, based on the franchisees' reaction to suspension.
How is the BCCI planning to accommodate the players of the previous teams?
Since 2014, the IPL player agreements are annual contracts, with the franchise having the right to extend it for another year. This means that both suspended franchises technically have a right to hold on to a player if they wish to. While an IPL governing council member confided he may raise the query, a BCCI insider stated the board isn't concerned about it since "no team would want to deprive players' opportunities".
Who is on the IPL governing council?
Apart from Shukla, who chairs the council, the 13-member committee includes BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur as convenor, former treasurer Shirke [Maharashtra], Kapil Malhotra [CCI], Subir Ganguly [Bengal] Sourav Dasgupta [Tripura], Bikash Baruah [Assam], Dr PV Shetty [Mumbai], PR Ashok Anand [Karnataka], TN Ananthanarayana [Kerala], Jyotiraditya Scindia [Madhya Pradesh] and former India captains Ravi Shastri and Sourav Ganguly. All other BCCI office-bearers are also ex-officio members of the governing council.
Shastri and Shirke, who are in England for professional commitments, are like to join the meeting via videoconferencing. Since Jharkhand State Cricket Association's AGM is to be held on Sunday, BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary is also unlikely to attend the meeting in person.