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Ganguly to help advise way ahead after IPL suspensions

NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board has brought in former national team captain Sourav Ganguly to help put the Indian Premier League back on track after two of its teams were suspended by a Supreme Court-appointed committee last week. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, which runs the IPL, yesterday named the 43-year-old Ganguly in a working group that will examine the two-year suspension verdict on Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals over corruption-related charges during the 2013 season. IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary and legal adviser Usha Nath Banerjee will be the other members of the committee.

The BCCI said in a statement that “the committee will share its recommendations with the governing council (of the IPL) within a timeframe of six weeks after consulting all the key stakeholders.” The committee has been formed amid local media reports that some BCCI officials are in favor of tougher punishment for the two teams. The Justice Lodha committee, which also announced life bans on Chennai team principal Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan co-owner Raj Kundra for betting on IPL games or being in contact with illegal gamblers, had said last week that the BCCI was free to even ban the teams permanently. “It is for the BCCI to consider terminating the teams and the Supreme Court judgment is clear on that. The BCCI can do that,” Justice Lodha said.

The working group’s immediate aim will be to advise the BCCI on the format of the IPL since it is now reduced to six teams. A six-team league would decrease the number of matches in the six-week season from 60 to 34, and would mean re-negotiating contracts with broadcasters and the remaining franchises because the tournament is based on a revenue sharing model. The committee is expected to advise on whether two new teams should be brought in - for a 10-strong league in 2019 - and on how to assimilate players of the two suspended teams.

Chennai, a two-time champion and the runner-up this year, is led by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and features New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo and South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis. Rajasthan, the inaugural IPL champ in 2008, is led by Australia’s Steve Smith, and includes India batsman Ajinkya Rahane, and New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee. The IPL scaled back to eight clubs from 10 after expansion club Kochi Tuskers was scrapped for an alleged breach of contract in 2011 and Sahara Pune Warriors withdrew in 2013.—AP

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This article was published on 21/07/2015