Mumbai, The Governing Council (GC) of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday decided to abide by the Lodha Committee verdict and will constitute a panel to study the order suspending two franchises and banning two team officials.
The Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee on July 14 suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals for two years from the IPL in the spot fixing and betting scandal that rocked the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament in 2013.
Former CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan and Royals co-owner Raj Kundra, both of whom were earlier found guilty of betting, were banned for life from any cricketing activity.
“BCCI respects the verdict of the Lodha Commission and will abide by their decisions, in toto. The members recognised that there is an urgent need to understand the impact of this decision and the wider ramifications for BCCI in detail, so as to uphold the paramountcy of the game in our country,” BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said.
Meiyappan is the son-in-law of former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president and current International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman N. Srinivasan. Kundra, an Indian-origin British businessman married to Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, owned 11.74 percent of shares in Royals before he gave them away in March earlier this year.
“The IPL GC hence authorised the chairman, Shri Rajeev Shukla, to constitute a working group which will study this verdict, in consultation with all our key advisors and explore all the possible measures to be adopted, with an objective to protect the interests of all the stakeholders involved,” Thakur said in a statement.
This group will submit within six weeks a report on its findings and recommendations to the GC which will then deliberate and share their views with the working committee of the BCCI for further action.
The Supreme Court-appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal panel to probe the 2013 IPL spot fixing and betting scandal had found Meiyappan and Kundra guilty of betting in its report submitted on November 17, 2014.
The apex court on January 22 set up the Lodha Committee comprising former chief justice of India R.M. Lodha (retired), Justice Ashok Bhan (retired) and Justice R. Raveendran (retired) to determine the quantum of punishment for Meiyappan, Kundra and their respective franchises.
The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is heading towards the final stages of the knockout qualifications. The tournament has been a grand success not only on the field but also off it. The digital world has embraced this T20 format with gusto and fantasy games such as the ‘Dream 11’ and such application driven initiatives have all been a rip roaring success.
The IPL has truly established itself as the most popular soap opera in the life of an Indian television viewer. The irony of it is that it is “live” cricket and not a make believe world of film and television. Somehow, it never gets perceived as such. The players are live entertainers, playing their hearts out, in hot and humid conditions to achieve success for themselves as well as for their franchise. The unpredictable nature of the short and sweet limited overs cricket makes it easy to follow, exciting to watch and a drama for the entire family and friends. The IPL somehow never gives one the seriousness that one associates with sports and maybe that is the reason that the charade that it highlights makes it even more thrilling to watch.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has once again marshalled his players and led the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to another play-off. He is cool and a phenomenally brilliant thinker, who seems to read the game far better than I have ever seen one do on a cricket field. But his success lies in the way he utilizes, encourages and identifies his players. He is a process driven individual and highlights that in each and every interview of his. This is what makes him a great leader, as his theory of success comes through a planned implementable process. The clarity of it, is what is proving to be his hallmark in becoming a world renowned lateral thinker. One can already visualize him giving talks on teamwork and leadership.
T20 cricket, because of the faster pace of the game, is considered to be a format for the young rather than the older cricketers. However, the CSK team has shown that maturity, smart thinking and experience has no age bar. Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, Shane Watson, Imran Tahir, Dwayne Bravo and Dhoni have all been more successful than so many of the younger players. This is what has made CSK a formidable team and to take the title away from them in IPL 2019 will need something extraordinary from the others.
Along with the CSK, both Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals have also qualified for the knock-out stage. Mumbai has a good fan following and with Rohit Sharma, Pollard, Bumrah and the Pandya brothers, they look like a formidable side. Suryakant Yadav has been their consistent performer and with Quinton de’Kock showing good form, they have the fire power to win.
One feels elated for Delhi Capitals. A name change has changed their fortune. The side has some of the most exciting talent of Indian cricket. Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari and their young captain Shreyas Iyer, are all likely to be the backbone and the future of Indian cricket. Unfortunately, the injury to their main bowler, Kagiso Rabada, just at the time of the knock-out phase may deplete their chances. This team will be the side to beat in the future.
The IPL tournament seems to always have this uncertain element to it till the last day of the league. The battle for the 4th place for the knockout spot will only be known on the last day being Sunday, May 5. Rajasthan Royals, who looked in complete disarray initially and nearly on the verge of being relegated to the also ran stage, made a phenomenal recovery and a win against Delhi Capitals could allow them to sneak into the fourth qualifier spot.
Unfortunately, their hopes lie on the outcome of the three teams who had shown great promise in the earlier part of the tournament, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab. The three of them seem to have lost their momentum when they most required it. All have super stars who can win the game entirely on their individual ability. Kane Williamson will need to make his mark for Hyderabad but the interesting battle will be between the two West Indian giants, Andre Russell for Kolkata and Chris Gayle for Punjab. Both have two matches left to further ignite the stadium with their mighty stroke-play. The IPL is still anybody’s game, just sit back and enjoy it. (IANS)