• IPL rocked by betting bans

    Two teams from cricket’s Indian Premier League were suspended on Tuesday for two years by a Supreme Court-appointed panel after team officials were found guilty of illegally betting on matches.

    Chennai Super Kings, led by India’s one-day international captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Rajasthan Royals, skippered by star Australian batsman Steve Smith, were the two franchises punished by the Rajendra Mal Lodha panel in a massive blow to the eight-team tournament.

    Gurunath Meiyappan – the son-in-law of the Chennai franchise owner and the current boss of the International Cricket Council Narayanaswami Srinivasan – was suspended for life from cricket-related activities.

    A similar suspension was imposed on Raj Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan team and husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

    ‘Their conduct has affected the image of the game, the players and others associated with the tournament,’ Lodha, a former chief justice, told reporters while revealing his panel’s verdict.

    Asked about the financial losses of players from the two teams, Lodha said: ‘We did not consider financial losses to players and teams. That is not significant. The integrity of the game is what matters.’

    South African players Faf du Plessis and Kyle Abbott played for the Chennai Super Kings in this year’s IPL, while Chris Morris and Rusty Theron were on Rajasthan’s books. – AFP