Rajasthan Royals change name, CSK switch ownership

CSK are two-ti
CSK are two-time IPL champions

What's the story?

The Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings - who sat out the past two seasons of the IPL following charges of corruption and fixing against their respective owners, will return to the IPL in 2018.

It has now emerged that the Rajasthan Royals will drop the word 'Rajasthan' from their name and shift base to Pune, and from now will be known as just the 'Royals.' That name changed was approved, say officials, by the IPL Governing Council some months ago.

In addition to this, India Cements chairman N Srinivasan, the now former owner of the Chennai Super Kings, has transferred shares in the team to India Cements shareholders, with the franchise valued, according to these documents, at a comparatively low sum of ?50 lakh.

In case you didn't know...

The Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings were suspended from the IPL in 2015 following suspicious betting activity by their respective owners - Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan, who is incidentally the son-in-law of N. Srinivasan.

With each team suspended for two years, both individuals - Meiyappan, the Team Principal at CSK, and Kundra, saw life suspensions from the IPL. As a result of that landmark decision by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, neither is allowed to be associated with the IPL.

Both teams have now served out their bans - sitting out the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and inaugural champions Rajasthan and two-time winners CSK will return to the league in 2018.

The details

The dropping of 'Rajasthan' from the Royals' name - and the subsequent shift to Pune as a base is said to be part of a deal with Sanjiv Goenka, the owner of the Rising Pune Supergiant, which largely featured members of the Chennai Super Kings; the side was, like the CSK, also led by MS Dhoni.

That sale should ensure players remain within the league - and the deal involved is reported to be in the ballpark of ?1,000 crore.

What's next?

Even BCCI officials have admitted that the share sale by CSK is suspect, and an official said that they "would investigate" the matter separately."This issue related to CSK has been referred to our legal team. We will wait for their advice," an official told DNA.

While that issue is under investigation, the official denied any knowledge of the Rajasthan Royals' new deal - or its terms, so an official statement on that is awaited.

Author's Take

Having come back after a two-year betting suspension, CSK will not want to be mired in new controversy ahead of their return. The fan-favourite team, led by MS Dhoni, will want to begin the new IPL season on at least a relatively clean slate, and these allegations will not help CSK's already tarnished image in terms of its management.

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Edited by Anuradha Santhanam
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