Finally, there are plans to address the IPL mess. The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has scheduled a Special General Body Meeting (SGM) for Saturday, Dec 11 in Mumbai to tackle a number of pressing issues.
Firstly, the Board has to reconstitute a disciplinary committee to continue probing the conduct of ousted IPL chairman Lalit Modi. The tenure of the previous disciplinary committee expired in Sept and there had been no endeavour on the part of the board since then, to revive it.
But that objective is just a minor concern in the backdrop of several series setbacks for the Board in last few months. The SGM will primarily seek to discuss and come to a consensus regarding its ongoing highly-publicised cases with terminated IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals an Kings XI Punjab.
With the strong possibility that justice might lean in favour of the concerned franchises in the weeks to come, IPL4 may be looking at a playing list of nine to ten teams instead of the original eight. That is because, the Kochi franchise, unveiled along with the Pune franchise in March this year, has finally gotten off the ground. So, the recent developments have whipped up serious complications for the board to consider.
Primary among these is the dates of the player auction. The Board reckons that with the cases against the expelled teams dragging out as they are, the auction will have to be held in Mar 2011, instead of Jan as presently scheduled. That is because if both expelled teams get to participate in the players auction, they will almost certainly have to take part in IPL4 as players who sign up with them can not be left without a team.
Secondly, if more than eight teams enter the list of participants for IPL4, then all the match schedules will have to be reconfigured to accommodate the additional teams. Consequently, the total number of matches in the itinerary will increase and the issue of home advantage for individual teams will have to addressed.
Finally, if the revised dates of the players auction clashes with the schedule of the World Cup which begins in mid-February, then IPL teams will not be able to use their players in promotions and advertising campaigns, jeopardising their contracts with their sponsors in the process.
Clearly, the BCCI is in quite a soup with speculation already rife that IPL4 won't take place at all. But the Board is adamant come rain or shine, the tournament will go ahead. Its meeting on Saturday is the first step towards extricating itself from the current mess and endeavouring to realise the dream of holding the League's fourth edition.