Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI terminated from IPL


Mumbai : Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab have been terminated from the lucrative Indian Premier League “for violation of the franchise agreement” but the new Kochi franchise has been given time to make amends, the Indian cricket board said Sunday.

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“The Governing Council sought legal opinion and come to the conclusion that the contracts of the Rajasthan and Punjab franchises needs to be cancelled for the violation of the franchise agreement,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar said here.

The decisions were taken unanimously, he told reporters.

He also said the Kochi franchise hadn’t breached its agreement with the IPL and had thus been given 10 days to set its house in order.

“Kochi has not yet breached the agreement. There are some internal disputes. The decision to terminate the contract of Punjab and Rajasthan franchises were taken based on legal opinion and the breaches committed by these franchises,” Manohar said in response to persistent questions from reporters as to why Kochi had been treated differently.

Asked about the breaches committed by Rajasthan Royals, who won the inaugural IPL in 2008, Manohar said: “They had a different bidder during auctions. The agreement was entered in the name of a different company. The shareholding patterns were different and then the shares were transferred to different people without the permission of the Governing Council.”

He denied that the action had to do with the proximity of suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi with one of the suspended franchises.

“The decisions were not taken due to any person,” Manohar said, without elaborating.

Rajasthan Royals co-owner Shilpa Shetty said she was shocked.

“I am very shocked. I have not received any letter (informing me of the action). I need to know the basis of the action,” Bollywood star Shetty said.

The Kerala Cricket Assocation (KCA) Sunday hoped the row over the Kochi franchise would soon be resolved.

“To the best of my knowledge, whatever slight difference of opinion the partners had has been settled and they are working together to see the team becomes a reality,” KCA secretary T.C. Mathew told IANS.

A statement issued Sunday by the General Council said the IPL meeting discussed “the breaches by K.P.H. Dream Cricket Pvt. Ltd., the owners and promoter of the Kings XI Punjab cricket team, Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt Ltd and the unincorporated joint venture holding the Kochi franchise”.

“It was also decided unanimously that the franchise agreement with K.P.H. Dream Cricket Pvt Ltd and Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt Ltd be terminated forthwith.

“It was also decided to issue a notice to the unincorporated joint venture holding the Kochi franchise calling upon them to resolve all their disputes and form a joint venture company which will hold the IPL franchise rights.

“P.R. Raman, advocate for BCCI, has been given instructions to issue all the three notices,” the statement added.