IPL teams facing bans as scandal escalates

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE AND MARK GEENTY
Last updated 22:16 28/03/2014

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A relieved Brendon McCullum has welcomed news that the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals would be allowed to participate in the upcoming Indian Premier League season.

Following an investigation into betting and spot-fixing involving the tournament, India's Supreme Court had recommended the suspension of Chennai and Rajasthan from the IPL.

McCullum, along with Matt Henry, are the two New Zealanders signed to Chennai for 2014, with the team coached by former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming. Tim Southee, who'll be a Royal this season, was the other New Zealand player who stood to be affected by any suspension.

But the Supreme Court ruled last night (New Zealand time) that all teams will now be able to participate, when the competition starts next month.

McCullum didn't want to dwell on the issue too much last night, but was delighted for the Super Kings and Royals franchises and their players.

"They're in so that's good,'' McCullum said prior to Black Caps training in Chittagong.

"Obviously from our point of view, [we] just wanted to be a part of the IPL and now that we've been ruled in we'll play on. [There were] a few nervous moments because you obviously want to be a part of the tournament and to have had 50 of your better players sort of sitting out would've been a bit of a blow to the tournament.

"[It will be] eight teams and everyone still gets an opportunity to play...so that's good.''

Earlier yesterday Henry had expressed uncertainty about where he and Chennai stood.

"I haven't heard a thing, I've just been reading about it. Until I hear something official, I guess I just prepare as normal," Henry said.

As part of allowing this year's IPL to go ahead, the Supreme Court decided that former Indian opening batsman, turned broadcaster, Sunil Gavaskar would take the helm of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) during the IPL season.

Gavaskar replaces Chennai owner Narayanaswami Srinivasan as BCCI president.

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