Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) were on Tuesday suspended for 2 years from Indian Premier League (IPL). But Chennai and Jaipur could still be playing the next year's tournament. Here is how. (Timeline of the controversy)
On July 14, Justice RM Lodha-led 3-member committee, which was appointed by the Supreme Court, delivered a landmark verdict in New Delhi on the IPL corruption scandal.
According to the decision, both CSK and RR franchises cannot play for next 2 years (2016 and 2017). This verdict was due to former Team Principal of CSK - Gurunath Meiyappan and RR co-owner Raj Kundra's involvement in betting during the 2013 season. Both Meiyappan and Kundra were banned for life from involving in any cricket activity.
Though the franchises are banned from the tournament, it only relates to the offences committed by the owner and team official. And the panel as acted as per the IPL rules.
The understanding of this judgement is that the owners of the franchises are banned from putting their teams into the tournament for 2 seasons. The India Cements Limited owns CSK and RR are under the ownership of Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited. If the ownership changes, IPL 2016 will see all 8 teams in action.
In such a scenario, Chennai and Jaipur teams can continue playing, under new names. And this decision will not affect both teams' players.
"The moment CSK or RR is sold off in its current state to a new owner, the existing legal liabilities will then be burden of the new owner. Plus both franchises have lost goodwill. In this existing scenario can they be sold off or new buyers will be interested?" an IPL Governing Council member told "PTI" news agency after the latest developments.
MS Dhoni, the CSK and India ODI captain, can still be leading Chennai outfit but under a different name.
Justice Lodha made it clear that the "players are free" to play for any other franchise other than the suspended ones."Players (of CSK and RR) will not be attached to a franchisee which has been suspended. We thought that if cricket is bigger than individuals then financial loss to players and franchises is not of significance," Justice Lodha said.
BCCI is yet to react on this big verdict. Millions of fans are awaiting the next move from the Indian cricket board.