There’s trouble brewing in the air for Kings XI Punjab after the franchise’s co-owner Ness Wadia was arrested in Japan on the charge of possessing drugs. Wadia who was on a skiing holiday was arrested at the New Chitose Airport in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. He was arrested after admitting to possessing 25gm of cannabis which according to him was meant for his personal use. Wadia was given a two-year jail sentence which was suspended for five years. The reason why KXIP could be in trouble is due to past precedents when CSK and RR had to bear the brunt from the BCCI for their wrongdoing.
According to the operational rules of IPL, no team official can act in a manner which brings disrepute to the team, the league, the BCCI or the game on or off the field. If guilty, the person’s action can even lead to suspension of the team. A senior BCCI functionary told the news agency IANS that KXIP could be in trouble. “The KXIP are unfortunately looking at suspension as a best case scenario and termination as a worst case scenario due to the conviction of an owner in a criminal case of drug possession.
“No less than the Lodha panel had suspended the CSK for two years because their team official was accused of betting. In this case we have an owner convicted of drug possession by a criminal court. If he was a state cricket official he would have stood disqualified from holding office automatically.
“This also exposes the discriminatory provisions of the new BCCI constitution which is draconian for a state association but doesn’t put any restriction on a franchise official even though IPL performances clearly matter more for selection to the Indian team than Ranji performances.”
If one’s memory is rewound, the Lodha panel appointed by the BCCI had banned CSK team principal Gurunath Meiyappan and RR co-owner Raj Kundra for life from any matches conducted by BCCI, and also suspended the respective franchises from the IPL for two years.
It remains to be seen what steps the BCCI take this time around with respect to Wadia and KXIP.