Rajasthan Royals slap Rs 120 crore suit on BCCI

Zeecric Bureau

Mumbai: The owners of Rajsthan Royals IPL (Indian Premier League) team, investors Manoj Badale, Suresh Chellaram and Lachlan Murdoch have decided to move the court against BCCI just two months before the start of the fourth edition of the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.

According to sources, Rajasthan Royals has sent a written petition to the arbitrator, mediating between the two warring parties, seeking damages of Rs 120 crores (USD 30m) for denting their image and reputation.

According to the Royals, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) efforts to push the franchisee out of the league has resulted in a lot of damage to their reputation.

The Board had terminated the contract with the franchise alleging that it had breached the agreement by changing its shareholding pattern without the Board`s consent.

Royals took legal recourse through the arbitrator, who ruled in their favour.

BCCI appealed in the Bombay High Court against the stay of the termination of the contract given by the arbitrator but the High Court also ruled in Royals` favour.

"We have asked for a sum close to Rs 120 crore through a submission to the arbitrator (retired Justice B N Srikrishna), but this is part of the arbitration process which is not yet complete. Only an interim order has been passed," a spokesperson for the franchisee said.

"The amount is for the damages to our reputation, sponsors and legal costs," he said, adding a copy of the submission has also been sent to the Board.

However, when contacted in Nagpur, BCCI chief Shashank Manohar said he was not aware of the demand from Rajasthan Royals.

"I do not know anything on this," said Manohar.

Royals were asked to submit a bank guarantee to the BCCI (USD 2.83 million for the contract and USD 18 million for the players) before being allowed to take part in the new players` auction held on January 8 and 9 at Bangalore.

Royals were the winners of the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008.

Asked whether the demand for damages would not sour the Royals` relations with the Board, the spokesman said, "What can we do? We have also asked for a meeting across the table through a letter to the BCCI to sort out the issue, but have not got an answer".