There is another twist in the tale of the cases concerning the expulsion of Indian Premier League franchises - Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. As it indicated that it would, the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has moved the Bombay High Court against the stay on its termination of the Rajasthan Royals franchise. The date for the hearing over the BCCI's appeal will be announced on Friday, Dec 3.
Justice Srikrishna who is arbitrator in the case between the BCCI and Royals, ruled in favour of the latter, granting it a six week stay on the expulsion order which effectively allows it to participate in business proceedings concerning the IPL, including the players auction to begin on Jan 8.
There is a further complication in the Kings XI Punjab as well with the ousted franchise claiming that the Board purposely delayed its objection of Justice Srikrishna preciding over the case. On Dec 2, the judge withdrew from the case after it was revealed that he had represented the Wadia Group, part owners of KXIP, in cases in the past and therefore, that any judgement he submitted in favour of the franchise would be construed as biased.
In the High Court, Punjab's lawyer Darius Khambata stated that the BCCI deliberatey objected to Srikrishna, who was initially there own chosen candidate as arbitor, just prior to the Dec 6 deadline for franchises to retain their key players.
Khambata maintains that the revelation of the judge's earlier ties with the Wadia Group was made on Nov 23, ten whole days before the BCCI raised their objection against Srikrishna. Meanwhile, Srikrishna's replacement hasn't yet been named.
Khambata has now requested the BCCI to postpone their Dec 6th deadline, after which the star players of the aggrieved franchises are free to sign up with other teams. But the BCCI has indicated that they will on extend the Dec 10 deadline for the selecting of teh remaining players. Each team will be permitted to retain four players prior to the auction in Jan.