Manish Pandey has fallen on a double-edged sword. The former Royal Challengers Bangalore player is allowed to remained signed up with the Sahara Pune Warriors, but has been slapped with a 4-match ban in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for breaching the IPL rules over signing of uncapped players. The decision came at the IPL governing council's meeting in Mumbai on Friday, Feb 4.
Rules prohibit uncapped players from signing with teams other than their original teams. But Manish Pandey refused to renew his contract with Bangalore after not being allowed to participate in the player auction, due to last minute restrictions placed by the BCCI on uncapped players.
The IPL council also has denied franchises permission from signing up players that went unsold in the auction, effectively shutting the door on Sourav Ganguly from entering the fourth edition with aspired berth in Team Kochi's line-up.
It is understood that the Kochi franchise wanted to buy Ganguly, and had sought permission from the BCCI since IPL rules did not permit unsold players to be signed. Subsequently, the BCCI sent a letter to the ten franchises asking if they would have any objections to the unsold players being made available again. Three franchises - Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore - objected to bringing back the unsold players into the league, thus ending any possibility of Ganguly's return. But it was Pandey's case that was deliberated by the governing council members for a major part of three-hour long meeting.
Bangalore alleged that Pandey's agent had initiated talks with rivals teams for more money than the rules for uncapped players allow. According to IPL law, Pandey would have had to settle for a mere Rs 20 lakh if he has stayed on with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, the governing council could not conclusively ascertain if Pandey or his agent had committed any violations. So, instead the IPL decided to allow Pandey, India's first centurion in the league, to play but with the rider that he sit out of the first four games.