T20 Mumbai League franchisees threaten to boycott

Eight franchisees of the T20 Mumbai have threatened to boycott the tournament if organising firm Probability Sports is allowed to conduct the tournament.

NMP

North Mumbai Panthers won theT20 Mumbai League title in 2019.   -  Special arrangement

All eight owners of the T20 Mumbai have threatened to pull out of the local league in case Probability Sports - which has been handed the responsibility to plan, market and conduct the league by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) - continues to be involved in the league.

Representatives of all the eight owners had a meeting with MCA president Vijay Patil at the MCA club in Bandra-Kurla Complex on Tuesday. The eight team owners submitted a joint letter to Patil, asking him to intervene and ensure smooth conduct of the event.

“We have decided that unless MCA is not taking charge of the league, we owners will not be participating in the league henceforth under Probability Sports,” the letter, accessed by Sportstar, stated.

“We hope you will appreciate harsh decision on behalf of us and take positive decision for the interest of Mumbai cricket. We request you to consider our proposal for conducting the league by MCA.”

While Patil and Probability Sports remained unavailable for a comment, Sportstar understands that the meeting was called by Patil following a letter by the team owners last week citing lack of transparency against Probability Sports.

READ | T20 Mumbai League: Wicket results in dead-ball, thanks to erring umps

Probability Sports - a firm jointly formed by IIFL and Wizcraft only for T20 Mumbai’s conduct - has been handed over a five-year deal for the conduct of the league by MCA. While MCA is paid an undisclosed annual sum - around Rs. 3 crore per annum - for five years, Probability Sports virtually runs the league. For the inaugural edition, the six franchisees had entered into a bilateral agreement with Probability Sports.

However, before the league’s expansion to eight teams, after receiving complaints about conduct of the league, the MCA had signed a supplementary agreement, making it a party to the franchise agreement besides Probability Sports. However, according to a team official, no franchisee has been provided with a copy of the supplementary agreement so far.

Interestingly, the much-delayed amendments to the MCA constitution in line with the Supreme Court-directed administrative reforms, make it clear that the league cannot be outsourced. Clause 28 of the MCA constitution about “Governing Council for T20 Mumbai League/ any other premier league” specify that a seven-member governing council, including the secretary and the treasurer, should be appointed by the annual general meeting.

But the MCA is yet to convene the AGM despite the new set of office-bearers having taken over on October 4. Unless the AGM is convened, the fate of T20 Mumbai hangs in balance.

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