The owners of former Indian Premier League champions Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have been suspended from the competition for two years after an investigation into corruption, meaning the teams are not allowed to play unless they find new owners.
A committee appointed by the Indian supreme court handed down the ban because of activities by team officials related to betting, which is illegal in the country. Gurunath Meiyappan of the Super Kings and Raj Kundra of the Royals were also suspended for life from all cricket activities. Both men had previously been found guilty of betting on matches and passing on information to bookmakers.
The accusations date back to 2013 when three Rajasthan players, including former pace bowler S Sreesanth, were suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for alleged involvement in spot-fixing in that season’s IPL.
British-born Kundra was a co-owner of the Royals, a franchise which belongs to the company Jaipur IPL. Meiyappan, whose father-in-law, N Srinivasan, is the current International Cricket Council chairman, was linked with the Super Kings, owned by India Cements.
Former chief justice of India, RM Lodha, said: “The proved misconduct by the officials of CSK and Rajasthan Royals have damaged the faith of the public in IPL, BCCI and the game of cricket, so much so that any untoward incident in any game is now attributed to corruption in cricket.
“In India, cricket is not any other game or sporting activity; it is passion for millions. It is really hard to measure the harm caused by these acts. Jaipur IPL claims it is highly celebrated as a nursery of players. But three of its players were arrested and charged with spot-fixing. The committee can also take notice of the fact that there has been allegations of approach to one of its players for corrupt practices in 2015 IPL season as well.”