NEW DELHI (AP) — The beleaguered Board of Control for Cricket in India may force Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals to move matches out of their home city of Jaipur in what could be a double blow for the former champions.
The Royals, who are already planning to contest a $18.8 million fine handed down earlier this week by India's Enforcement Directorate for flouting foreign exchange rules, have been given until Wednesday by the BCCI to settle matters with its stadium owners or risk losing IPL home games, according to Wednesday's The Times of India.
"RCA (Rajasthan Cricket Association) has been given time until Wednesday before BCCI decides to shift the matches out of Rajasthan," the newspaper report quoted Gujarat Cricket Association secretary Rajesh Patel as saying. "If they are allotted to GCA, we will be more than happy to host them."
The Royals have payment issues with the Rajasthan State Sports Council, which owns Jaipur's Sawai Man Singh Stadium.
The state council has refused to renew its memorandum of understanding with the Royals, which means the only international standard cricket stadium in the city may not be available to the team.
The Royals, who won the inaugural IPL in 2008 under then-captain Shane Warne, is already facing a testing time after the fine announced by the Enforcement Directorate.
"We are discussing the contents of the order with our lawyers and intend to launch a full appeal against the order," Royals said in a statement this week. "We will not be making any further statement on this matter at this time."
The BCCI is facing troubles of its own after being served a $433 million income tax notice.
The Indian cricket board has been deemed to be ineligible for certain income tax benefits since a change of its objectives in 2006 and the organization of the commercial and cash-rich IPL.
The Mail Today newspaper reported on Monday that the BCCI has formed a committee headed by treasurer Ajay Shirke to finalize its plan of action in respect to the tax issues.
The BCCI has had a troubled history with its IPL franchises and has scrapped two teams over payment and ownership issues in the past.
Hyderabad franchise the Deccan Chargers was replaced by the Hyderabad Sunrisers under a new owner this year, while the Kochi Tuskers were terminated after only one year in 2011.
The Pune Warriors, which was among two franchises added to the original eight teams along with Tuskers in the 2011 season, also announced it was withdrawing its team from the IPL last year before arriving at a compromise with the BCCI.
The IPL had previously ousted the Royals and the Kings XI Punjab over breaches of ownership rules before they were re-admitted following a court order.