After months of commotion and drama and suspicions that barely seven teams would figure in the Indian Premier League's (IPL) fourth season, there is some exciting news. The originally planned 10 teams are all set to be a part of the IPL's upcoming edition. The news comes after sources within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), indicated that the national governing body will not be pursuing its cases against IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, any further.
The BCCI is not likely to move the Supreme Court after it lost Bombay High Court appeals against the stay orders granted to the termination of the two concerned teams. Another significant development stemming from this news, is that the IPL player auctions will go ahead as previously scheduled, on Jan 8 and 9 as opposed to early or mid Feb.
The reprieve for the Royals and the KXIP comes just three days after the Bombay HC dismissed the BCCI's appeal against the court's interim order staying the expulsion of the Punjab franchise. The board apparently didn't want the battle to descend into an "ego issue". The BCCI's acceptance of the court's verdict seems to have ended an an atmosphere of tentativeness around the player auction as well as the tournament.
In October the BCCI had expelled Punjab and Rajasthan, on grounds that they had violated the franchise agreement by changing their ownership patterns without intimating the board. With the Kochi franchise also caught up in an ownership dispute, it had seemed then that the 2011 IPL would not have even eight teams, the number of teams that participated in the first three seasons. The dispute between Kochi's owners, however, was settled and the franchise was cleared for the IPL earlier this month. The 2011 season will begin five days after the World Cup, which ends on April 2.