Mumbai: In a drastic action, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) on Sunday terminated Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab from the Indian Premier League on alleged breach of franchise agreement by them and issued notice to the newly-inducted Kochi team asking them to resolve all their internal disputes within 10 days.
As a result of this, the two teams will be barred from participating in next year’s IPL 4 which appears to be in serious turmoil as Rajasthan Royals are mulling on a legal action.
“It was unanimously decided that the franchise agreements with K P H Dream Cricket Pvt Ltd (Kings XI) and Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt Ltd (Rajasthan Royals) be terminated forthwith based on the legal opinions obtained by BCCI in the matters,” the BCCI said in a release after their emergency meeting of the IPL Governing council here.
“It was further unanimously decided to issue a notice to the unincorporated joint venture holding the Kochi franchise calling upon them to resolve all their disputes and form a company which will hold the IPL franchise rights. Accordingly, P R Raman, advocate for BCCI has been given instructions to issue all the three notices.”
Hitting out hard at the BCCI’s decision, one of the co-owners of the Rajasthan franchise Raj Kundra said: “I don’t see IPL 4 happening if the BCCI treats other teams like this.”
“The termination of the contract by BCCI is shocking. We are seriously thinking of a legal action. We need to see a copy of the termination notice and study it,” Kundra said.
Stressing that the IPL brand value would not suffer, BCCI president Shashank Manohar said no decision has been taken yet on the replacement of these two teams.
“With regards to Rajasthan, the bid was given by a different bidder and the agreement was entered into with a different company,” Manohar said.
On Kochi, he said the franchise had not violated the agreement, but was only suffering from internal disputes.
The BCCI boss also indicated that Lalit Modi had nothing to do with the decisions.
Strongly reacting to the decision, a livid Vijay Mallya, the owner of Royal Challengers Bangalore, tweeted: “I wonder if IPL franchisees are serious stakeholders whose investments and participation are respected or are they slaves who only come and play?”
The two scrapped franchisees have been at the centre of corruption allegations involving the former IPL chairman Lalit Modi who was already been suspended by BCCI in July and a committee was set up to investigate bribery allegations in the 2008 awarding of the bids.
Modi, who has family links with Rajasthan Royals, though has denied any wrongdoing in the bidding.
The three franchise teams – Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and newly-bought Kochi – were given show cause notices by BCCI on September 29 as they had not complied with the rules governing the franchises.
The IPL was to be a 10-team competition for the 2010-11 season, which is scheduled to take place immediately after the ICC World Cup in April.