While there is no word on if CSK's MS Dhoni or RR's Ajinkya Rahane will appear in a fresh auction, IPL chief Shukla indicates cricketers need not worry
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in its Working Committee at the Cricket Centre yesterday decided to float two new tenders to replace Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). The new tenders for teams will be for only two years once CSK and RR serve the two-year suspension from the Indian Premier League (IPL), a punishment meted out by Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee.
Cricket Association of Bengal chief Sourav Ganguly after the meeting
However, there is no clarity on the fate of CSK and RR players as yet. It is learnt that the players associated with Chennai and Rajasthan will go into the auction, but questions linger whether the likes of India's limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina (both CSK stars) and Ajinkya Rahane (RR) would like to play for any other franchisee.
Dhoni and Raina have been part of Chennai Super Kings since inception in 2008. Chepauk is like their homeground. Rahane is the face of Rajasthan Royals for over the years. The fan connection of these players with their teams is now a major role in brand-building.
'We'll look after you'
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla assured that the players' future will be safeguarded. "We will see to it that good care is taken of the players. No player of the two franchisees will suffer for this. Interest of the players will be protected," Shukla told reporters.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai yesterday. Pics/Suresh KK
Maninder Singh, former India spinner-turned-commentator, does not feel that the players will refrain from playing for another franchisee till CSK and RR come back in the fold. "I don't think they are that stupid to stay away from the IPL for two years. This is the need of the hour… the two teams have been suspended," Maninder told mid-day.
BCCI is right: Maninder
"I think we need to give some time to the Board as well. When Shuklaji has assured that the players' interest will be protected, it will be done. The BCCI is moving in a positive direction under the new leadership," he added.
The BCCI will take a call on whether to keep the IPL an eight-team or 10-team event at a later stage. "The two new teams will be brought in for the next two years only and after two years, when Chennai and Rajasthan will return, we will decide the future of the two new teams," said Shukla, who also sounded confident over finding perspective buyers for two teams. Meanwhile, the BCCI's AGM will be held at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on November 9.
Out in the open
In a move to make the BCCI transparent, BCCI will display the following information on its website: Names of the players and umpires receiving monthly gratis from the BCCI and the amounts; names of the players who have been paid one-time benefit from the BCCI and the amount; information on medical benefit scheme for retired cricketers and umpires and all payments made by BCCI of more than Rs 25 lakh.