The conduct of the next season's IPL, the first that will be held without the involvement of former commissioner-chairman Lalit Modi, will depend on the speed with which three franchises respond to the BCCI's show-cause notices to be issued by the end of the week.
The IPL player auction will now take place, CEO Sundar Raman told ESPNcricinfo, "mid-to-end November." Raman said: "All timelines will depend on what happens to the show-cause notices."
The BCCI decision to issue show-cause notices against Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals along with the owners of the new Kochi franchise was taken at the Board's annual general meeting (AGM) in Mumbai on Wednesday, but team owners have not yet received the notices. The BCCI is expected to formally issue the show-causes by the end of the week and Raman said that the franchises would have between ten days and two weeks to reply.
Only when the legal issues of the three teams are settled will the auction date will be finalised. The IPL would ideally like to hold the auction between India's Test and ODI series against New Zealand. It is the narrowest of windows as the third Test in Nagpur is scheduled to end of November 24 and the first ODI in Guwahati begins on November 28.
Before going into the auction, the IPL will first have to confirm the availability of players, make a list, get NOCs from the overseas boards and only then establish base prices. A franchise executive said that any talk of there being fewer teams was nothing but "bluster" from the BCCI. "If any franchise is suspended or cancelled, there are legal options involving legal processes which take time. The IPL can't be held up because a court case is on."
At the AGM on Wednesday, the BCCI not only amended its constitution in order to remodel the structure of the IPL governing council, it also formally ensured that Modi held no office in the board. He now faces a protracted disciplinary inquiry in the BCCI over his involvement in certain IPL contracts. When asked about franchise concerns about the IPL's absence of a single organisational head who could be seen as the 'face' of the event, Raman said, "The only face of the event is the 22 yards on the field, it's the cricket".