IPL 10: CoA exudes confidence

“We are expecting a bigger success for the Indian Premier League this time,” says Diana Edulji, a member of the CoA.

Members of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, Vinod Rai (left), Diana Edulji (centre) and Vikram Limaye. The CoA is confident that the IPL Season 10 will go off smoothly. “IPL is a big affair. I don’t think anybody would like to miss out on that,” says Edulji.

The Indian Premier League is into its 10th year, and as the 2017 season kicks off on April 5, the excitement is bound to soar among the cricketers, the fans and the franchises. But then, for the administrators, this IPL is going to be different.

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) muddled in controversies, the cash-rich league will be handled by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). While the CoA has left no stone unturned to ensure that the tournament is as successful as it was in the previous years, the cricketing fraternity is divided on whether the CoA — comprising Vinod Rai, Vikram Limaye, Ramachandra Guha and Diana Edulji —will be able to conduct the show smoothly.

While there are fears of a backlash, the fact that some of the state associations have shown a dilly-dallying attitude has also added fuel to the speculations. But then, the members of the CoA are not too concerned about the rumours doing the rounds in the cricket circuit.

“We are expecting a bigger success for the IPL this time. This being the 10th year, there will be more excitement in store for the fans. No off-the-field issues will affect the glory of the IPL,” Diana Edulji, a member of the CoA, told Sportstar.

To mark the league’s 10th year, the tournament will have eight different opening ceremonies this time, along with the mandatory one in Hyderabad on April 5. To make sure that the franchises face no problems in hosting glitzy opening ceremonies at their home venues, the state associations have been asked to ‘fully co-operate’ with the franchise officials.

“Everything should fall in place. The preparation has already started, and there is no reason why things would go wrong,” Edulji said.

“The CoA members will keep an eye on the entire process to ensure that all is well,” she added.

What if there is any problem with the state associations?

While the CoA members brushed aside all such fears, some of the franchise officials claimed that such chances are remote. “The entire process is in full swing. The groundwork is complete, and with just a few days left, we are working overtime to ensure that everything goes as per schedule. So far, the state associations too have been supportive,” a source in Kings XI Punjab said.

While the CoA has taken all the measures to avoid any controversies, it has also asked the franchises to play it safe. The officials of the IPL franchises who met the CoA members in Delhi on March 30, have been advised to maintain a cordial relationship with the state associations.

“Ultimately, it is the state associations that provide the maximum support to the franchises. So, even the franchise management should ensure that they stay away from any unnecessary controversies,” a source in the BCCI said.

As in the previous years, the ticket sales will be handled by the respective franchises, keeping the state bodies in the loop. “The state bodies will regularly inform the CoA about the status of the sales. The whole objective is to maintain a free and transparent process,” the source said.

Though the 10th edition of the IPL will celebrate its legacy, there is still a ban on the after-parties. While there has been no official communication in this regard, the sources indicated that the franchises have been asked not to endorse such parties. “There could be team gatherings and get-togethers, but there won’t be any official after-parties. The CoA plans to stick to the old decision, which was taken by the former BCCI chief, Jagmohan Dalmiya,” a franchise official said.

Like the general cricket fans, even the CoA members were confident that there will be no room for fears and speculations when the action begins at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. “IPL is a big affair. I don’t think anybody would like to miss out on that,” Edulji said.