IPL in disarray as major teams are banned for 'irregularities'

The world's largest and most successful cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League, was in turmoil last night after officials expelled two of its most successful teams amid allegations of corruption.

At an emergency meeting in Mumbai, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that the licences of the Rajasthan Royals, captained by Shane Warne, and the Kings XI Punjab had been terminated immediately. Both teams had been mentioned in connection with a flurry of bribery allegations focusing on the IPL's suspended commissioner, Lalit Modi.

"It was unanimously decided that franchise agreements with Punjab and Rajasthan be terminated forthwith based on legal opinions obtained by the BCCI in the matters," said a BCCI statement. It said it had also issued notice to a third team, Kochi, demanding that it resolve its "disputes and form a joint venture company which will hold the IPL franchise rights".

The move by the sport's governing body in India threw fans and officials into dismay. "Just woke up to news that Royals and Kings out of IPL 4, don't know anything yet, flying back to Australia... it's a big shock for Royals, will hopefully get to the bottom of it," Warne said in a series of messages on Twitter. "The Royals gave young unknown Indian players a chance and I as captain backed them and our coaching staff supported them. We were a team... What now for the youngsters? I hope the BCCI come to their senses."

The actress and television personality Shilpa Shetty, who has a stake in the Royals, added: "This is for all those who want my reaction. Honestly too shocked to react, just disheartened... cause it's more than just a team for us!"

The BCCI's decision came after it decided in July to suspend Modi and set up a committee to investigate bribery allegations concerning the awarding of bids for franchises in 2008. Yet the BCCI president, Shashank Manohar, told reporters that the elimination of the two teams was not linked to Modi. "The decision to terminate the contract of Punjab and Rajasthan franchises was taken purely based on legal opinion we received and the breaches committed by these franchises," he said, adding that those offences included unsanctioned changes in shareholding patterns. As a result of such changes, there was a difference between the names of the bidders and those who eventually entered the agreements.

It is understood that those irregularities came to light when the investigations into the allegation surrounding Modi were carried out. Modi has always denied any wrongdoing and has said his running of the highly lucrative tournament was always transparent. He wrote on Twitter: "Instead of concentrating on building IPL... they have chosen a path of vengeance and that will only hurt the game."

The actions of the BCCI has left the fourth series of the IPL in serious doubt. The tournament had been expected to see two new teams, from Kochi and Pune, joining. As it is, it is unclear whether replacements will be sought for the Royals and Kings or what will happen to those players already contracted to play for them.

The Royals have already said it is considering a legal challenge to the BCCI's decision. Raj Kundra, one of the co-owners of the Rajasthan club, said: "I don't see IPL 4 happening if the BCCI treats other teams like this. The termination of the contract by BCCI is shocking. We are seriously thinking of a legal action. We need to see a copy of the termination notice and study it."

Captained by Warne, the Royals won the IPL's inaugural series in 2008. Meanwhile, the Kings, who had been bought for $76m (£47m) in 2008, included Sri Lankans Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Australian pace bowler Brett Lee as well as home-grown batsman, India's Yuvraj Singh.

The expelled teams

Rajasthan Royals

The Jaipur-based side won the inaugural Indian Premier League in 2008, beating Chennai Super Kings by three wickets in the Mumbai final. The side were captained by former Australian bowler Shane Warne, who was joined by Shane Watson, England's Dimitri Mascarenhas, South African Graeme Smith and Pakistan's Kamran Akmal and Younis Khan. Shaun Tait and Damien Martyn joined in the following seasons.



Kings XI Punjab

They began their first campaign slowly before recovering to reach the semi-finals. Among their roster were Sri Lankans Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Australians Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh and Simon Katich and West Indian Ramnaresh Sarwan, along with home favourite Sreesanth. England's Ravi Bopara joined for 2009 before Sangakkara replaced Yuvraj Singh as captain for this year's competition – when they finished bottom.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape