The fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) may still be an eight-team affair in spite of the fact that the BCCI has added two new franchises – Kochi and Pune – to the list. And that is because two of the original franchises, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals’ participation is in doubt.
The Enforcement Directorate is currently probing the affairs of these two franchises, and if the two are found guilty of any wrongdoing, the BCCI will simply scratch them from the competition.
Reached for his comment, the BCCI chief Shashank Manohar, however, firmly denied such move. “If that had been our intention, we would not have announced a new format for IPL-4 with 10 teams,” Manohar said.
Whatever the BCCI’s intention, the fact remains that if the investigating authorities probing the entire IPL mess unearth major irregularities and take penal action against them, the BCCI will have no option but to drop the tainted franchises like hot potatoes.
On August 19, minister for corporate affairs Salman Khurshid had stated in the Rajya Sabha that all the IPL franchises had not complied with certain provisions of the Companies Act and are liable for penal action.
According to IPL sources, while all the franchises, including the two new ones, are under scrutiny, there have been serious violations on the part of KXIP and RR owners and they may find it difficult to emerge from the mess unscathed.
KXIP owners have, in any case, made a written submission to the BCCI, stating their desire to sell the franchise and get out of the cricket business altogether. The BCCI is waiting for the outcome of the probe being conducted by the investigating authorities before taking a decision on KXIP’s application.
Rajasthan Royals are in trouble because their share-holding pattern has changed completely and the same has not been registered with the relevant authorities.