‘BCCI respects the verdict of the Lodha Commission and will abide by their decisions’
‘Working group will study this verdict and explore all the possible measures with an objective to protect the interests of all the stakeholders’
Under pressure to resolve the crisis triggered by Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha committee's verdict on the Indian Premier League betting scandal, an embattled the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Sunday decided to constitute a working group to study the order and give recommendations within six weeks.
The decision to form the group was taken at the crucial IPL Governing Council meeting here where members discussed the implications of the verdict, suspending Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL for two years.
The BCCI said that it will adhere to the verdict in totality. The Board will reveal the names of the working group members on Monday.
"BCCI respects the verdict of the Lodha Commission and will abide by their decisions, in toto. The members recognised that there is an urgent need to understand the impact of this decision and the wider ramifications for BCCI in detail, so as to uphold the paramountcy of the game in our country," the Board said in a statement after the meeting which lasted little over an hour.
"The IPL GC hence authorised the Chairman, Rajeev Shukla, to constitute a working group which will study this verdict, in consultation with all our key advisors and explore all the possible measures to be adopted, with an objective to protect the interests of all the stakeholders involved," it added.
The Board said the recommendations of the group will be sent to the BCCI's all-powerful working committee.
"This group will work within a time bound period of six weeks and report their recommendations to the IPL GC, which will deliberate and share their views with the working committee of the BCCI, for further action," it said.
IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla said the members of the group would be finalised by Monday.
"House has entrusted me with responsibility to make a small group that will take six weeks to submit a report as to how we implement the order and way forward for IPL. How to conduct IPL, how many teams and all stakeholders CAC members, sponsors, broadcasters, state associations, legal experts that report will come to GC and it will go WC which will take decision," Shukla said.
"Members will be announced tomorrow. We have decided to implement Justice Lodha verdict in spirit and decided to work accordingly. All stakeholders have given their opinion, everybody is of the view that the show must go on. And I reiterate that IPL 9 will be bigger and greater," he asserted.
Shukla, however, refused to reveal the details of today's meeting and took a jibe at former BCCI President Shashank Manohar for demanding that CSK and RR be terminated.
"We cannot divulge the deliberations of the meeting. A sub-group has been constituted which will recommend what needs to be done.
"A Supreme Court-appointed committee has deliberated on it (the IPL scandal) and after it has given its verdict, I don't think there is scope for anybody else to comment," he said.
BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya skipped the meeting as he is indisposed, while Ajay Shirke, Ravi Shastri and Jyotiraditya Scindia joined through video-conferencing.
The meeting was result of the turmoil triggered by the Justice Lodha committee verdict.
Star-studded Chennai Super Kings, two-time IPL champions, and inaugural edition winners Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the T20 League for two years as punishment for betting activities of their key officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra during the 2013 season.
Meiyappan, the former Team Principal of CSK, and Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, were suspended for life for indulging in betting and bringing the IPL and the game into disrepute.
Justice Lodha Committee was constituted by the Supreme Court in January this year with its terms of reference being to announce the quantum of punishment against Meiyappan, Kundra and the two franchisees -- India Cements Ltd, owner of CSK and Jaipur IPL, owners of Rajasthan Royals.
Justice Lodha has said that the BCCI was free to terminate the indicted franchises.
Lodha's clarification came in the wake of some confusion over the committee's proposal, specifically over the extent to which the BCCI can act against the two franchises as follow-up to the committee's decision.
Image: BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur