Monday, Dec 13 will be D-Day for Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals. On that day, the Bombay High Court will announce its verdict in the franchise's ongoing case with the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). The court will decide for or against the six-week stay on the team's expulsion, granted to the franchise by arbitrator Justice B N Srikrishna on Nov 30.
The Board has appealed to the High Court against the stay, standing on its contention that the Rajasthan Royals had changed its ownership structure without informing the board, while the franchise for its part, maintains that the team's "ultimate control" remains the same.
Justice S Vazifdar, who is precising over the case, granted interim relief to the other aggrieved IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab, effectively allowing it to conduct business as a part of the League. Since the progression of the Royals' case has been similar, speculation was rife that the stay would be upheld immediately. But Rajasthan's refusal to pay any monetary guarantees, unlike Punjab, prompted Vazifdar to defer the case till Monday.
A lot of consequences hinge on Monday's judgement. If Vazifdar decides to retain the stay, then the BCCI would be compelled to field a total of ten teams in the fourth edition of the IPL. Meanwhile, the player auction which has been scheduled for Jan 8 and 9 will have to go ahead. The board will then have the choice of approaching the two-judge divisional bench of the Bombay High Court, and move the Supreme Court after that, if required.