Rajeev Shukla gives IPL auctions a miss

The IPL chairman and members of the governing council, including Sourav Ganguly, were absent from the auctions, too.

Rajeev Shukla (left) and Preity Zinta were missing from the 2019 IPL auctions.   -  K. Murali Kumar

For the last seven years, the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions began with Rajeev Shukla, the league chairman, addressing the eight franchises. But on Tuesday, Shukla was missing from action.

Members of the governing council, including Sourav Ganguly, were also absent. That’s because the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has disbanded almost all committees of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The IPL governing council was regarded as a committee of the Board.

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In Shukla’s absence, CoA member Diana Edulji welcomed the franchises, while honorary secretary Amitabh Choudhary delivered the opening speech. While CoA chief Vinod Rai could not be seen, Choudhary, along with BCCI’s acting president, C. K. Khanna, and honorary treasurer, Anirudh Chaudhary, were present for the event.

“I miss him (Shukla),” Choudhary later said.

Preity Zinta stays away

Kings XI Punjab co-owner and Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, who is a regular at the auctions, gave it a miss, too.

However, Kings XI CEO, Satish Menon, downplayed the absence, saying that the owners were constantly in touch with them. “The owners are still around. There are party to all the discussions and they have left it to a professional group to run it. Some of them are not in the country. Those who are here are constantly backing us. We have their blessings,” Menon said.