Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Pro-terminatio­n officials not in working group

- HT Correspond­ent sportsdesk@hindustant­imes.com

MUMBAI: The Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals franchisee­s would have heaved a sigh of relief at the compositio­n of the working group appointed on Monday by IPL Governing Council chairman, Rajeev Shukla, to decide their fate and the way forward in the IPL.

Apart from Shukla, the working group formed to study the Justice RM Lodha committee’s order and give recommenda­tions within six weeks, includes former India captain Sourav Ganguly, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur and treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry. BCCI’s legal adviser U N Banerjee will assist. The names which the suspended franchisee owners were dreading the most — Ajay Shirke and Jyotiradit­ya Scindia — are not part of the panel. CSK and RR have been left vulnerable to terminatio­n following the ruling of the SC-appointed committee that their owners brought disrepute to the IPL. According to IPL rules, it is strong enough to scrap a franchisee. TROUBLE AVOIDED?

The make up of the committee is more balanced now with only Board secretary Thakur likely to be in favour of the extreme step. This proves that N Srinivasan still retains clout in BCCI set-up.

Looking at the compositio­n of the working group, some experts predict that CSK and RR should be back after serving two-year suspension­s. The recommenda­tions of the working group will be put forward to the Governing Council before taking it to the BCCI working committee. “More or less, their recommenda­tions will be accepted,” a senior BCCI functionar­y said. CSK CONFIDENT Despite Srinivasan not being in power, CSK camp had been quietly confident of being able to safeguard their interests when it came to Board matters. Srinivasan has paid a heavy price for misdemeano­r of his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan. The scrapping of the team would have been the final blow. The RR officials don’t have much clout to influence the BCCI, but will be happy to ride piggyback on CSK. However, not all are sure about the compositio­n of the group. “In the BCCI, we first take a decision and then try and find out how to go about things. There is no impartial thought process. If they don’t learn even now, more strictures will be passed on the Board by the Supreme Court. The Lodha Committee is watching and will be there for five more months,” observed another Board veteran.

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