The Lodha Committee's explosive Indian Premier League (IPL) verdict has drawn the curtains on two of the biggest IPL clubs, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. But this decision has given terminated teams Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Deccan Chargers a slim chance at a comeback.
Kochi's recent triumph in arbitration against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has raised hopes that it could return to the cash-rich league, while the Chargers are also mulling the idea of requesting a comeback.
The owners of the Rajasthan franchise, Jaipur IPL Cricket Club Pvt Ltd, and the owners of the Chennai franchise, India Cements, were suspended for two years from participating in the IPL, following the Lodha Committee verdict against their officials who had been accused in a betting and spot-fixing scandal in 2013.
Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra, and Chennai team official Gurunath Meiyappan, were handed a life suspension from cricket after they were found guilty of betting on the IPL matches during the 2013 season.
Termination from IPL
Kochi Tuskers Kerala: The Kochi franchise was acquired by the Rendezvous Sports World (RSW) group for Rs 1,533 crore in March 2010. The team made its debut in the 2011 IPL season, but was terminated by the BCCI in September 2011. A dispute between the team's co-owners resulted in the franchise defaulting on their submission of the 10 per cent bank guarantee of the total franchise fee ahead of the season. The BCCI claims that several reminders were sent to the consortium, but received no response. This led to the termination of the franchise.
Deccan Chargers: After acquiring the Hyderabad franchise for Rs 10.7 crore in 2008, its owners Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) ran into financial troubles and decided to sell the franchise in September 2012. However, team owners rejected the sole bid they received from PVP Ventures. It is believed that the DCHL group was unhappy with PVP's plan to split their bid amount into two parts and pay over a span of ten years. As Deccan Chargers failed to find new owners, the BCCI decided to terminate the franchise for breaching contract terms and invited tenders for a new team from Hyderabad.
In October 2012, the Sun TV Network grabbed hold of the Hyderabad franchise after winning the bid with Rs 85.05 crore per year for a five-year deal. It named its team Sunrisers Hyderabad. The team finished sixth and failed to reach the playoffs in the 2015 season.
Arbitration against the BCCI
Kochi Tuskers Kerala: The Kochi Tuskers won an arbitration against the BCCI in July 2015 which has ignited hopes that they could return to the IPL. The court-appointed arbitrator, former Chief Justice of India RC Lahoti, has ordered the Indian cricket board to pay the Kochi Tuskers Rs 550 crore for terminating the franchise agreement in 2011.
Deccan Chargers: With the team's final arbitration against the Indian cricket board due later in July, the Deccan Chargers are hoping for a positive outcome. According to media reports, the team owners are confident of winning the arbitration and want to return to the IPL. Retired Supreme Court Justice CK Thakkar is the sole arbitrator in the case.
Chances of an IPL comeback
Kochi Tuskers Kerala: The Kochi Tuskers might have won the arbitration against the BCCI, but their dreams of making a comeback in the IPL is far from reality. An appeal against an arbitration proceeding, which is usually agreed upon mutually by both the parties at the start, can be admitted by a high court if it feels that one of the parties is hard done by the outcome.
Also, if the BCCI appeals against the arbitrator's order and if the appeal is admitted in the high court, then the question of Kochi Tuskers playing in the IPL again will not arise unless the dispute is resolved in court. If the BCCI's appeal is dismissed, then the Kochi owners will have to file a plea in the court if they intend to be part of the IPL again.
Deccan Chargers: With their final arbitration likely to be held later in July, Deccan Chargers have expressed their desire to return to the IPL if they come out on top against the BCCI. If the court-appointed arbitrator CK Thakkar rules in favour of the Chargers, the franchise would be tempted to float a team from another city, since Hyderabad is being represented already by Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, they will have to follow a legal process similar to the Kochi Tuskers Kerala and their return might take longer than expected.