Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab banned from IPL
BCCI, the Board of Control for Cricket in India terminated the contract of the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab due to accusations of a number of irregularities in the structure of ownership. Due to this, the two teams will not be able to participate
in the IPL 4, due to start next year. The President of the BCCI Shashank Manohar stated that the agreements with two IPL franchises were cancelled due to violation of the franchise agreement. He however dismissed all rumours that the licenses of the two teams
were cancelled due to proxy stakes.
"It is because of the legal inputs we have got and after looking into the fact and the breaches committed by the two franchises, we decided to cancel it," Manohar said. "As I always said, right from day 1, with regard to Rajasthan team, the bid was given
by a different bidder, agreement was entered into a different company, the share holding patterns were different. The shares were transferred thereafter to different people without the permission of the Governing Council."
Despite the fact that Manohar does not admit that the licenses were cancelled based on proxy stakes, it is now understood that Lalit Modi’s proxy stake in the franchise was also a major reason that has resulted in the cancellation of the licences. According
to reports, Modi’s sister- in-law is married to Suresh Chellaram who holds the majority of the shares of the Rajasthan Royals.
There were irregularities in the bidding process as well, since the initial bid for the Royals was made by actress Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra through an entity known as Emerging Media. However when the agreement was finalized and signed, the
name had somehow magically transformed into Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited.
Kings XI Punjab faced similar problems as their bid was made by a loose ring of businessmen and celebrities. Ness Wadia, who is the boyfriend of Indian actress Preity Zinta and Mohit Burman along with the actress herself were one of the few affiliates. However,
interestingly the final agreement for the Kings XI was signed with K.P.H Dream Cricket Pvt. Ltd.
The show cause notice issued by the BCCI charged the Rajasthan Royals with providing false information and citing the specific clauses of the agreement that the bidders had breached. The agreement contained clauses that gave BCCI the right to terminate the
license of the franchises if there is a change in the ownership pattern of the team that has not been reported to the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
The owners of the franchises have been furious over the termination of their licenses and have threatened to take legal action against the BCCI and its officials. Raj Kundra, the co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals said that “the termination of the contract
by the BCCI is shocking.”
Vijay Mallya, the Indian billionaire who is also the owner of the Royal Challengers Bangalore has castigated the decision by the BCCI and termed it ridiculous. He claimed that this decision now raises serious questions about the attitude of the BCCI towards
the franchisees of the IPL who have invested heavy amounts of capital in their respective teams.
"I wonder if IPL franchisees are serious stakeholders whose investments and participation are respected or are they slaves who only come and play," Mallya wrote on twitter.
The IPL is now hanging under a cloud of uncertainty and there are many unanswered questions. It remains to be seen how the events unfold in the near future as the auction of players for the next edition of the IPL was to take place later this month. The
two teams who find their licenses revoked have also threatened legal action against the BCCI and this will seriously undermine the game. IPL franchise Kochi might also be facing the axe in the next week if it fails to settle their disputes.
The overkill of cricket, IPL is now surely treading on icy waters and this might even prove fatal for the league itself.