India's Supreme Court has announced it plans to ban Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the 2014 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The two teams are being investigated as part of an illegal betting and match-fixing probe. The judges have been examining a report it commissioned into wrongdoing in last year's edition of the annual Twenty20 tournament.
The Supreme Court has also recommended that India legend Sunil Gavaskar takes over as interim president of the country's cricket board in place of Narayanaswami Srinivasan.
They want Srinivasan to resign so a fair inquiry into spot-fixing in the IPL can be carried out. Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, was indicted last month on charges of betting and passing on information to illegal bookmakers, so it can be understood why there are calls for him to step down.
Test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and his former Rajasthan Royals team-mate Ankeet Chavan have been banned for life by the BCCI after being arrested in May 2013 by Indian police on suspicion of taking money to concede a minimum number of runs, in a spot-fix similar to the one attempted by Essex's Mervyn Westfield in 2009.
The decision could have huge impacts on this year's IPL. The Royals won the first tournament under the leadership of Shane Warne and are currently led by Australian all-rounder Shane Watson.
The Super Kings, captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, have reached the last four finals, and won the tournament in 2010 and in 2011. Justice AK Patnaik, head of a two-judge panel, said: "Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will not be allowed to participate in the IPL."
However, it is understood that the BCCI will try to prevent this ruling, as they believe it will hamper the development of young Indian players in the two squads, such as Sanju Samson and Stuart Binny.
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