BCCI names Ganguly on panel to study Lodha verdict (Roundup)

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) The Indian cricket board on Monday named a working group comprising Sourav Ganguly, Rajeev Shukla, Anurag Thakur and Anirudh Chaudhry to study the Lodha Committee verdict and prepare the road map for the future of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and former India captain Sourav Ganguly will share their recommendations with the IPL Governing Council (GC) within six weeks. All four are also members of the IPL GC.

“In accordance with the decision of the IPL GC to implement the Lodha Committee report, the four members will constitute the working group which will prepare the road map for the forthcoming edition of the IPL and related matters,” Thakur said in a statement.

“The committee will be assisted by BCCI legal advisor U.N. Banerjee. The committee will share their recommendations with the GC within a time frame of six weeks after consulting all the key stakeholders,” he said.

Shukla said the four-member group’s report to the IPL GC will then be forwarded to the BCCI working committee which will take the final decision in the matter.

The IPL GC, at an emergency meeting here on Sunday, decided to abide by the Lodha Committee verdict and form a panel to study it.

The Lodha Committee suspended two franchises – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) – and banned their two team officials, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, respectively, for life from cricketing activities.

“The group will talk to IPL stakeholders, broadcasters, sponsors, state associations and also the legal experts and come up with a report within six weeks. I can say that everybody has the opinion that the show must go on, the value of league should be enhanced. So, IPL 9 is going to be better that the previous edition,” Shukla said.

Shukla refused to reveal the details of what was discussed in the meeting.

“We cannot divulge the deliberations which had taken place in the meeting. Different members expressed their opinion. Keeping in mind the discipline of the house, we cannot say who said what,” he said.

The Supreme Court-appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal panel to probe the 2013 IPL scandal had earlier found Meiyappan and Kundra guilty of betting in its report submitted on November 17, 2014.

The apex court on January 22 then set up the Lodha Committee, comprising former chief justice of India R.M. Lodha (retired), Justice Ashok Bhan (retired) and Justice R. Raveendran (retired), to determine the quantum of punishment for Meiyappan, Kundra and their respective franchises.

The Lodha Committee on July 14 suspended CSK and Rajasthan Royals for two years while banning respective team officials Meiyappan and Kundra from any cricketing activity for life.

Meiyappan is the son-in-law of former BCCI president and current International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman N. Srinivasan who tried to dissociate himself from the betting scandal, saying he has no ties with CSK. Meiyappan, however, is yet to air his views on the verdict.

Kundra, an Indian-origin British businessman married to Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, owns 11.74 percent of Rajasthan Royals and has voiced his innocence, claiming he was been framed in a big conspiracy.

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