Deccan Chargers' fate to be decided by court; BCCI to add new team in IPL

Deccan Chargers’ IPL contract was terminated by BCCI on late Friday night AFP

Chennai: Sep 15, 2012

With the BCCI-Deccan Chargers stand-off now becoming a legal battle, the Cricket Board on Saturday decided to add a new team for the coming Indian Premier League (IPL) season while leaving it to the court to rule on the beleaguered franchise’s participation.

The Deccan Chargers issue was discussed at length at the Working Committee meeting but the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) refrained from openly speaking about the issue as it is sub-judice.

After Deccan Chargers contract with IPL was terminated in dramatic fashion Friday night, the Deccan Chronicles Holdings Ltd. — the owners of the franchise — moved the Mumbai High Court seeking a stay against the BCCI’s decision.

The counsels of both the sides were in Court Saturday but it did not pass any order staying the termination. The matter has now been placed for hearing on Monday.

“In view of the matter being sub-judice, we have not taken any decision today. We will discuss about floating a fresh tender for a new IPL team,” a top BCCI official said on condition of anonymity.

He said the BCCI has made up its mind not to have Deccan Chargers in the IPL but in case a favourable verdict from the court, they could be included as the 10th team.

“We will definitely add a new team in the sixth edition of the IPL from among the waiting franchises. If DC is not there we will go ahead with nine teams but in case we are forced to include them it would be a 10-team affair,” the official said.

The official said the working committee members were apprised of the developments concerning Deccan Chargers and the general impression was that the cash-strapped franchise should be kept away from the IPL.

The official said the Deccan Chargers told the BCCI that they would form a team to run the franchise for one more year till it resolves its financial problems.

“But what is the guarantee that they will be able to do it. We have never witnessed such arrangements before and will not want to take any chance whatsoever,” the official said.

According to the official, for the new team, eight cities will be in fray when the bidding takes place. The winning bidder will have to accomodate the Deccan players for one year if the franchise is ultimately scrapped from the IPL.

In a late night development on Friday, the BCCI terminated the Deccan Chargers contract, ending the suspense on the fate of the beleaguered franchise. The decision was taken at an emergency Governing Council meeting of the IPL in Chennai.

After this, the BCCI received a notice invoking arbitration from the franchise stating that it had not committed any breaches and even if such breaches were committed, the Board should not terminate the franchise till Yes Bank Ltd furnishes sufficient finance to cure the breaches.

BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale said the Board made every effort to save the beleaguered franchise which also rejected the sole bid that was received at the auction.

Jagdale said the Governing Council took note of the sudden change of stance by the franchise and also the fact that any further extension of time would seriously jeopardies the interests of the players.

“The BCCI is completely justified in this action which was taken with careful deliberation and only due to the absolute inability of the franchise to effectively run the team,” he said.

The termination meant that the franchise will get no money and the BCCI will be entitled to encash the bank guarantee and make the necessary payment to the players and other stake holders. A similar thing had happened when the contract of Kochi Tuskers Kerala was terminated.

The Deccan Chargers was hoping to resolve its financial problems by selling the team but it rejected the sole bid it received at the auction in Chennai on Thursday.

PVP Ventures Limited, a Hyderabad-based urban infrastructure and film production company, had offered Rs 900 cores but Deccan rejected it finding the terms of payment and the amount unacceptable.

It is said that the banks were primarily unhappy with the mode of payment which ultimately led to the deal falling through.

Deccan Chronicle Holdings purchased the Hyderabad franchise for Rs 428 crore in 2008. At the auction, the base price was said to be around Rs 750 crore.

The winning bidder had to meet BCCI’s eligibility criteria and other requirements.

This was the first time an entire IPL franchise was put on the block by its owners, although Rajasthan Royals sold a small stake in 2009 to the actress Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra. (PTI)