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Ipl 2018
End of the road for CSK and Rajasthan Royals - The fate of IPL 9 hangs in balance
The murky world of IPL was once again exposed with the Supreme court appointed Justice Lodha committee delivering its verdict on betting charges today. Formed under Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha, the committee held CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan and the Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra guilty of betting charges.
This historical verdict is the first instance when a verdict has been pronounced right before the media and in the presence of shutterbugs. Justice Lodha said, "We have acted on behalf of BCCI and the law will take its own course. No criminal liability has been decided by us."

Justice Lodha further added "All the material against Meiyappan in the Mudgal report has been examined by us and the probe against Meiyappan is still on. We are yet to take a decision regarding conflict of interest and reforms in BCCI."

IPL team Chennai Super Kings has been suspended for two years and the Rajasthan Royals team has been banned from the IPL for two years. Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan have been banned for life from any cricket matches.

While delivering his verdict on Raj Kundra Justice Lodha said, "Rajasthan Royals have damaged the faith of BCCI and the sport and Raj Kundra has been found guilty of misconduct. He was placing bets through a known punter and was constantly in touch with bookies. He is now ineligible from taking part in cricket for five years and suspended for life from being involved with BCCI."

On Meiyappan he said, "Misconduct of Gurunath Meiyappan is proven. He was part of CSK and by betting he violated anti-corruption code. It is difficult to accept Guru has passion for the game. He also suffered loss of 60 lakh in bets. If Meiyappan's reputation is tarnished, it is small compared to the damage to the sport. He has been suspended for life from all cricket activities."

With the verdict finally out, the situation has become very dicey for cricketers who play for these two franchises. The verdict however clearly stated that only the teams have been banned and not the players who play for them. The players are free to join any other team in the IPL.

With two teams eliminated, the fate of IPL 9 is uncertain now. This verdict is going to have a domino effect on IPL 9, and might even prompt the sponsors and broadcasters to pull out of IPL 9. What happens now is yet to be seen.

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