Mumbai: Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the most successful franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) have made a re-entry into the cash-rich Twenty20 cricket league after serving a two-year ban imposed on them for betting.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday welcomed the IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals back into the League.
"The two franchises have completed the two-year suspension imposed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee and will now participate in the IPL," the BCCI said in a statement.
Following the ban imposed on them in 2015, the two teams did not play in the IPL tournaments in 2016 and 2017. Their places were taken by Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions.
Commenting on the return of the two teams, BCCI Acting President C.K. Khanna said: "IPL will be enriched by the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Both the teams have enjoyed tremendous on-field success and have a mass following.
"The loyal fans will again get to see their favourite teams and stars in action from the upcoming season of the VIVO IPL."
The ban was imposed due to the betting activities of their key officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra and will now participate in the IPL.
Following the incident, Meiyappan, the former Team Principal of CSK, and Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, were suspended for life for indulging in betting and bringing the IPL and the games into disrepute.
IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla said: "It is my privilege to welcome back our franchises, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, into the 11th edition of the IPL. We have had a strong working relationship with Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals and hope that we can continue to build upon the close ties that we have enjoyed in the past, as we move towards the next edition of the league."
BCCI Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary said: "I welcome CSK and RR back into the league. I hope they bring back the intensity and the flair that they are reputed for and continue to add immense value to brand VIVO IPL. I wish them, all the very best."