NEW DELHI: The BCCI-Lodha Panel stand-off over the implementation of the Supreme Court appointed committee’s reforms has not only delayed the IPL media rights process but also threatens to derail the preparations for the 2017 IPL season. The harried IPL owners are, therefore, waiting with bated breath for the Apex Court’s judgement on December 5. Every year by October, the team owners and officials have at least one or two meetings and discuss matters relating to the upcoming season. But this year no such thing has happened and as a result the owners of the IPL teams are in complete dark about the season ahead.
So far, IPL’s Governing Council (GC) had one meeting where the BCCI top honchos took a call on the tentative dates of the IPL auction and the dates of the league. Therefore not only is the BCCI anxiously waiting for the Apex Court to pass its final order on December 5, but the IPL teams are also holding their breath. They are eager to ensure that no more delay takes place in the preparations.
“We may run out of time if the SC judge
ment is delayed. Nothing has moved from the time the SC ordered BCCI to implement the Lodha panel’s reforms. Generally, after three months of IPL, BCCI sends people to each of the teams to find out what is needed to be done in the following season. Then they take a feedback and discuss it in the GC and get back during the workshop. This process hasn’t happened at all this year,” a team official, who didn’t wish to be named, told TOI.
Technically, there is four-and-a-half months left for the IPL to begin, but for the teams it is three-and-a-half months because the last month before the event is spent on players’ fitness, camps and other preparations. “This delay in IPL preparation is also giving wrong signals to teams and sponsors. This isn’t good for the game. Whatever the teams have learnt, it’s only through the media,” another team official added.
Meanwhile, the BCCI is non-committal. “The board knows that what it is today is because of IPL. It’s a cash cow and, deliberately, no one would be sending wrong signals to the sponsors and the teams. A lot of the cricket activities are stalled because things are not moving at all at the administrative level due to the legal tangle. Even the Indian players’ contract papers aren’t signed because the board can’t enter into any commercial deal till the time the Lodha panel takes a call on the threshold value,” a BCCI official explained.