Rajiv Shukla insists IPL will come back stronger with 8 teams

The controversy-ridden IPL remains a "robust" product, its Chairman Rajeev Shukla said on Thursday insisting that the event will come back stronger with a minimum of eight teams. 

Shukla, among a host of questions, was asked about the future of IPL and the number of teams it will have after the two-year suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. 

"We are always concerned about IPL and let me assure you the next edition will be a bigger success. IPL is a robust product and this judgement (suspension of teams) should not affect IPL as a product. The idea is to have the tournament in full format with a minimum of eight teams. We can't hold the event with six teams," Shukla made it clear. 

Shukla said there are many options available for the road ahead for the IPL, something he will discuss with the Governing Council in Mumbai on Sunday. One of the options is to run two suspended teams with BCCI control, he said. 

"There are many options available and we will discuss them all in the meeting on Sunday. One option is that BCCI runs the two teams and responsible people will be deputed for the job," he said. 

Asked about the possible conflict of interest if BCCI decides to take control of CSK and RR, Shukla said:

"There is no question of any conflict of interest. BCCI is anyway supervising the IPL. There are two main areas: one is players' auction which is transparent and the other is managing teams. Credible people can be deputed to do the managing job." 

On the return of the Kochi franchise, he said,

"The arbitrator has given the verdict and we are going to appeal after seeking legal opinion. I can't say anything more as the matter is under litigation." 

Shukla refused to comment when asked about CSK and RR owners being banned for life. 

He went on to say that the Governing Council will deliberate on the Lodha Committee report on Sunday. 

"We will deliberate on there report in the meeting. After that, a sub-group will be constituted and it will study the report. Based on that, we will decide how the report will be implemented," Shukla added.

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