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IPL: Justice Lodha committee bans CSK, Rajasthan Royals for two years

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MUMBAI: In a landmark judgement, which has come as a major blow to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha Committee has suggested that two teams namely Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) be suspended for two years from playing in the cash-rich tourney.

Moreover, Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of ex-BCCI chief and CSK owner N Srinivasan, and Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra have also been suspended for five years from involvement in any type of cricket matches with the BCCI. Additionally, Meiyappan and Kundra have been banned for life from any cricketing activity as they have violated the rules of IPL and cricket.

“The purity of the game has been affected by the actions of India Cements and CSK. Fans have been cheated. India Cements did not take any action against Meiyappan. I propose to impose sanctions on India Cement’s franchise by suspending it from the league for two years. RR can’t shrink responsibility by saying Kundra acted in personal capacity. RR is also suspended for two years from IPL,” Justice Lodha said.

Informing the media that Meiyappan suffered a loss of Rs 60 lakh in bets, Justice Lodha said that Meiyappan's passion for the game was questionable and that he put the game into disrepute as a team official.

“Three RR players were arrested for charges of fixing in 2013. Also a player was approached this year. This shows all is not well in RR. The purity of game must remain central to cricket,” he added.

 

Speaking about the future of the two franchisees that have been suspended, Justice Lodha said that it was for the BCCI to decide whether CSK or RR will be bought by another franchise.

Clarifying that the committee had not decided any criminal liability, Justice Lodha said that the committee had acted on behalf of BCCI. “The law will take its own course. No criminal liability has been decided by us,” he said.

The Lodha Committee was appointed by a Supreme Court Bench on 22 January. Its verdict will be final and binding on the BCCI, the promoters and owners of the IPL.

The IPL match fixing scandal came to light in May 2013 when the Delhi Police arrested three Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan for being involved in match fixing.

Pertinent to note here is that the broadcasting rights of IPL, which currently vest with Multi Screen Media (MSM), are slated to come up for bidding in 2016-17. MSM had the rights to the T20 tourney for a period of nine years, which is up to 2017. Whether this landmark outcome of the 2013 match-fixing scandal will have an impact on the bidding price remains to be seen.

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