India Premier League cricket teams face punishment

A Supreme Court-appointed panel is due to give its verdict on two Indian Premier League (IPL) teams in connection with a corruption scandal.


Officials of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have been found guilty as part of an illegal betting and match-fixing probe.

Chennai Super Kings are led by India skipper MS Dhoni and have New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum in their side.

The Royals are captained by Australia batsman Steve Smith.

Chennai have reached four finals, winning in 2010 and 2011. The Royals won the inaugural tournament in 2008.

Reports say the panel is likely to impose heavy fines – a ban on the two teams would be a big blow to the eight-team tournament.

The judges have examined wrongdoing in the 2013 edition of the annual Twenty20 tournament.

Test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and his former Rajasthan Royals team-mate Ankeet Chavan were banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after being arrested in May 2013 by Indian police on suspicion of taking money to concede a minimum number of runs.

Last year the top court found Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of Indian cricket board chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan, and co-owner of the Royals Raj Kundra guilty on charges of betting and passing on information to illegal bookmakers.

The court also ruled that Mr Srinivasan would be banned from holding any post in India’s cricket board, where he served as president for three years from 2011.

Cricket experts do not believe the judges will ban two sides from participating in the tournament.
“I can’t see them being banned because that could ruin the entire tournament and have a ripple effect on sponsors and broadcasters,” said sports writer Ayaz Memon.

“There is too much at stake. My thinking is they will be fined heavily.”

The IPL is the richest of the world’s Twenty20 cricket leagues, with top Indian and international players taking part each spring.