What’s the story?
Inaugural IPL champions Rajasthan Royals might return to action under a new name after having made a request to the BCCI to change the title of its parent company ahead of IPL 2018.
“They have made the request but no reason has been given as to why they want to change the company name,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
In case you didn’t know…
A Supreme Court appointed panel had suspended the Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings for a period of two years in 2015, over a corruption scandal that plagued the richest T20 league in the world.
Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan, owners of the Royals and Super Kings respectively, were also found guilty in an illegal betting scandal and were banned from all cricket activities for life.
The heart of the matter
Having served a two-year ban, the Rajasthan Royals, owned by Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited, are set to return to IPL action along with two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings for the tournament's next edition. According to a report in The Indian Express, the franchise is expected to present a number of requests in the lead-up to their much awaited comeback to the IPL.
A request to change their base from Jaipur has also been made, but a decision on the same hinges on the lifting of the ban currently put on the Rajasthan Cricket Association by the BCCI. With Lalit Modi quitting as a cricket administrator recently, and a change of guard in the elections, things are likely to change in Rajasthan.
IPL will be remain an eight team competition next season as well, with Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions, the interim teams during the two year period, set to make way for the Chennai and Rajasthan based franchises.
The entire spot-fixing and betting saga has been detrimental to both Rajasthan and Chennai's image as an IPL franc. A return to action gives the sides a chance at redemption, and starting with a clean slate is a plausible reason why the Royals have opted for a name change, wanting to not carry any baggage from their past.
The story add another layer to the ongoing headlines about Sreesanth, a former Royals player, getting reprieve from the Kerala High Court for the life-ban imposed on him by the BCCI.
As for Chennai, who have a solid fan base, a change in name might not go down too well, especially because of the way the franchise has connected with its followers, irrespective of the two-year suspension.