New Delhi:The IPL will be a ten-team affair in its fourth season after the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) on Saturday decided not to move Supreme Court against Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.
Contrary to the media reports,the players' auction will now be held as per the schedule on January 8 and 9.
Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab were expelled from the league in October this year for committing violations in their shareholding pattern, without informing the cricket board. However, Rajasthan had secured an interim stay on the expulsion by an independent arbitrator.
Last month, independent arbitrator Justice B N Srikrishna had ordered a six-week stay on the termination of the Rajasthan Royals' contract, effectively allowing them to continue to function as a part of the league for that period of time. The BCCI challenged the order in the Bombay High Court.
On Tuesday, Justice S J Vazaifdar dismissed the appeal filed and permitted Rajasthan Royals to take part in the IPL 4 auction to be held on January 8 and 9.
On December 8, the Bombay High Court granted Kings XI Punjab an interim stay on its expulsion from the IPL but asked the franchise to satisfy certain conditions, including retaining its shareholding pattern, fulfilling pending player payments and paying the BCCI guarantee money in case the final judgement goes against them.
The Board, as expected, challenged the order but it suffered another legal setback when on Wednesday a division bench of the Bombay High Court dismissed their appeal.
The order allowed the Kings XI to continue being part of the tournament and to participate in next month's player auction.
In its ruling, the bench - comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Anoop Mohata - said the entire basis of the letter of termination issued by the BCCI to the Mohali franchise was "erroneous and flawed".
"It is abundantly clear that BCCI wanted to terminate the contract on the basis of what was factually incorrect," it observed. "Termination was anything but fair and was wholly arbitrary."
The BCCI had the option to file an appeal in the apex court but they have decided otherwise.