Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia has been sentenced to a two-year prison term by Sapporo court in Japan for possessing drugs.
Wadia was arrested at the New Chitose Airport in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. He admitted having drugs of weight about 25 gm which appeared to be cannabis resin but also argued that the drug was meant strictly for personal use.
Now, this development could also put Wadia’s IPL interests in jeopardy, as his team KXIP may face strict action against it from the BCCI.
As per the laid down rules and regulations 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.
Of course, the matter will first require deliberation from the commission for investigation, which will then forward its finding to Retd Justice DK Jain, the newly-appointed board Ombudsman.
But things don’t look good at all for Kings XI, considering what had happened to Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who were both suspended from IPL for two years – 2016 and 2017 – because of proven involvement of their influencive figures in 2013 spot-fixing incident.
“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,” a senior BCCI functionary told IANS.
“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.”