Mumbai: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly will not be part of IPL-4 starting on April 8 and Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey cannot play the first four matches for his new franchise Sahara Pune Warriors for breaching player guidelines, the league`s Governing Council said on Friday.
IPL`s Governing Council stalled what could have been a back-door entry for Ganguly after he was left unsold at the players` auction in Bangalore at a base price of USD 400,000.
"Based on the views from Franchisees, IPL Governing Council decided not to make available the unsold Indian Players from the auction," said a release from Cricket Board`s secretary N Srinivasan who is a member of the GC as an office bearer of the Board.
That effectively dashed the hopes of not only Ganguly, who went unsold at the two-day auction on January 8 and 9, but also those of two other capped players - Wasim Jaffer and V R V Singh - who will not feature in the April 8-May 28 tournament.
Speaking to reporters after a marathon meeting of the Governing Council, chairman Chirayu Amin said Ganguly would not be part of IPL-4 following the objection raised by a few franchises to a request from one franchise which was interested in buying the Bengal stalwart outside the auction.
"We had received a request from one franchise (Kochi) that Ganguly should be allowed to be purchased outside the auction and rejected it after objections were raised by some other franchises," Amin said.
IPL rules state that no capped player can be bought outside the players` auction after he has been part of the process.
About the reason for cracking the whip and imposing the ban on Pandey, Srinivasan stated that based on the complaints from franchisees and after meeting with the player, the GC had imposed a four-match ban on the player.
"He cannot play the first four matches of IPL Season-4. As desired by him, he is permitted to play for the Pune Franchise," Srinivasan said in his release.
Amin told reporters that Pandey, through his agent, had haggled with several franchises.
"Pandey`s agent was negotiating with a number of franchises," was how Amin put it.
Pandey played for the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the first three seasons of IPL.
The IPL also saw no merit in the letter from Mumbai Indians franchise alleging complaints of irregularities in the conduct of January 8-9 players` auction and declared that the auction was held in a fair and transparent manner.
"As regards the letter from M/s. India Win Sports Private Limited (Mumbai Indians) regarding the recent IPL auction, the Governing Council was briefed by the operational team including IMG on all aspects of the letter. The procedure followed in this year`s auction is exactly the same as was done in all the previous IPL auctions," Srinivasan said.
"Representatives of all Franchisees had read the auction briefing note prepared by the IMG which included the changes referred to and signed the same in acceptance before the auction including the India Win Sports Private Limited (Mumbai Indians). The Governing Council reiterates that the auction was transparent and fair," he added.
Five new IPL Committees were also appointed in the meeting.
Code of Behaviour Committee: Shashank Manohar, Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin, Ravi Shastri, Ajay Shirke
Technical Committee: Chirayu Amin, Mohinder Amarnath, Ravi Shastri, M P Pandove, Sanjay Jagdale, Ranjib Biswal
Entertainment Committee: Chirayu Amin, Rajeev Shukla, Anurag Thakur, Ranjib Biswal
Therapeutic Usage Exemption (TUE) Committee: Independent physicians arranged through IDTM
Suspect Bowling Action Committee: S Venkatraghavan, A V Jayaprakash, Javagal Srinath, Mohinder Amarnath
Prior to the meeting of the GC, four Indian players, led by senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar, met BCCI president Shashank Manohar apparently to discuss the ambush-marketing clause sent to them by the International Cricket Council.
The other three players who met the Board chief were Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra.
The ICC has toughened its stand on players indulging knowingly or unknowingly in ambush marketing, by threatening to throw them out of the World Cup starting in Dhaka on February 19.
"Any squad member that knowingly or unknowingly breaches the squad terms may face sanctions ranging from financial penalties through to being excluded from continued participation in the event," ICC`s legal head David Becker said in a memo to all international players and cricket boards regarding guidelines for endorsements and commercials around the World Cup.
Interestingly, the memo went out on October 26 last year, but the Indian players seem to have just woken up to this threat.
An IPL franchise source told reporters that the meeting was sought by the players because the restrictions imposed by ICC on brand endorsements would begin seven days prior to the start of the World Cup and end only when a team goes out.
"At all times squad members may not allow their name, likeness or image to be used by any third party in any advertising or endorsement (or for any commercial purpose) in such a way that gives rise to a direct or implied association with the event (the World Cup)," said Becker in his memo.