Kings, Royals out in IPL shake-up

Kings, Royals out in IPL shake-up

Charging the two teams with breach of franchise agreement and financial irregularities, IPL’s Governing Council headed by Shashank Manohar, which met here, took the decision to de-franchise the two teams.

The council, however, has served a notice on the newly formed Kochi team to resolve its disputes within 10 days.

“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 the BCCI in the matters,” the cricket board said in a release after the meeting.

Less teams
The shake-up means that the three-year-old IPL tournament, which had proved to be a financial bonanza for world’s leading cricketers, will now be reduced to eight teams for its fourth edition in April-May next year. Before that, the fate of the newest franchisee Kochi will  also be known.

Reacting angrily to the development, Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra said he was not sure how the fourth edition could be held under the circumstances and said his team would seek legal opinion on the matter. “I don’t see IPL 4 happening if the BCCI treats other teams like this. The termination of the contract by the 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.

Hitting out at the BCCI, Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya tweeted: “I wonder if IPL franchisees are serious stakeholders whose investments and participation are respected or are they slaves who only come and play?”

Priety Zinta, a co-owner of the Kings XI team, too, expressed her disgust at the decision.
While Rajasthan, led by Shane Warne, has star players like Greame Smith and Shane Watson, Punjab has players like Yuvraj Singh, Brett Lee, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene among others.

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 former IPL chairman Lalit Modi had nothing to do with the decisions.

The two scrapped franchisees have been at the centre of corruption allegations involving Modi, who has already been suspended by the BCCI in July, and a committee was set up to investigate the bribery allegations in the 2008 awarding of the bids. Modi, who has family links with Rajasthan Royals, has denied any wrongdoing in the bidding.

The three franchise teams — Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and newly bought Kochi — were given showcause notices by the BCCI on September 29 as they had not complied with the rules governing the franchises.  

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