Mumbai:The judge hearing the arbitration case between Rajasthan Royals and the BCCI has issued a six-week stay on the franchise's expulsion from the IPL, effectively allowing it to continue to function as a part of the league for that period of time, ESPNcricinfo has learnt. The six-week duration also means the team could take part in the players' auction, which is scheduled for January 8 and 9 next year.
While the stay order is in place, the BCCI is also prevented from doing anything that might prejudice Rajasthan, for example changing any of the league's rules. "There will be no interference with them (Rajasthan) exercising rights under the franchise agreement," said Justice BN Srikrishna, the designated arbitrator. "They will be allowed to participate in the auction."
The order is an interim relief order, which is often granted to allow the party claiming it has been wronged - in this case Rajasthan - the opportunity to keep doing business while the case is heard. There is also a provision for such an order to be challenged in the High Court, and Justice Srikrishna said the BCCI would probably appeal to the High Court and the matter could even reach the Supreme Court based on appeals and judgements. These appeals are independent of the arbitration hearings, which will continue under the judge.
The BCCI decided, on October 10, to end the franchise's IPL affiliation on charges of transgression of shareholding and ownership norms that threatened to "shake the very foundation of the tender process", as the notice put it. The two sides then decided to settle their dispute over the termination of the IPL franchise through arbitration on November 15 after Rajasthan had filed a case in the High Court challenging the board's decision to take the step unilaterally.
Both parties argued their case before Srikrishna, the agreed-upon arbitrator for the case, for three-and-a-half days.