In one swift stroke, the Justice Lodha committee has ventured where few have feared to tread. The committee formed by the Supreme Court to pronounce penalties into various irregularities already detected in cricket's Indian Premier League struck deep at the heart of Indian cricket’s cosy cabal. Despite the rumours floating around, few believed that any substantial action would actually be taken against the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals franchises. Hence when the news broke that the panel had recommended the suspensions of both the franchises for the next two years, the initial reaction was disbelief.

While details are still sketchy and it is always difficult to predict what will happen next in the world of Board of Control for Cricket in India, here’s a look at some of the cricketing implications of the Lodha verdict.

What happens to Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals?
The facts on these are quite clear. According to the verdict, the owners of the Chennai Super Kings franchise (India Cements) and Rajasthan Royals (Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt. Ltd.) have been suspended from the league for two years.

There’s one distinctive point though: it doesn’t mean the team itself is suspended, only the owners. Theoretically, if India Cements sells Chennai Super Kings to another bidder or if the BCCI terminates the two franchises (similar to what happened with Deccan Chargers in 2012) and opens fresh bids for the two franchises, they may still be able to play in the IPL.

What happens to Dhoni, Ashwin and all the other players?
MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson – the CSK and Rajasthan rosters are dripping with the best Indian talent. They do have a few options. If India Cements and Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt. Ltd. refuse to relinquish their teams, they can choose to stay with their franchises and not participate in the IPL for two years. Concurrently if the franchises are terminated, we may see them being re-auctioned again or moving to other teams.

It seems unlikely that the players would willingly miss out on IPL action for no fault of their own. This means that we might see MS Dhoni or Ashwin turn out for a team other than Chennai.

What happens to the IPL?
If the Supreme Court goes ahead with the recommendations of the Lodha panel, the IPL is staring at a deep crisis: two of its biggest teams will be ineligible to play in the next two seasons.

This is likely to have a huge financial impact on the IPL – the CSK franchise is among the most successful and enjoys massive support. Most of the top Indian players turn out for CSK right now. The Rajasthan Royals have also carved a reputation for throwing up talented young Indian players and an IPL without them would be far less exciting.

Even if the BCCI cracks the whip and creates two new franchises to take the place of CSK and Rajasthan, the damage would still have been done. For one, any prospective bidder would be wary of getting involved into the IPL with the muck of corruption riding over it. Secondly, no new franchise would be able to enjoy the same following that CSK and Rajasthan currently enjoy.

So will the IPL fold up?
Unlikely. The IPL is the BCCI’s showpiece event. It fills up the coffers massively and the board wears the success of IPL as a badge. Slaying a cash cow like the IPL doesn’t seem something the BCCI would be likely to do.

What happens to Indian cricket?
Theoretically, there shouldn’t be any direct involvement on the Indian national cricket team as the Lodha verdict only dealt with the IPL. The storm around corruption in the IPL has been brewing for a couple of years now but the Indian team has managed to remain unaffected by this and put in some good performances recently. Hopefully, that will continue.

What happens to International Cricket Council chairman Srinivasan?
It’s a bad day for Srinivasan. A few months ago, he lost his position as BCCI president in a bitter power struggle to Jagmohan Dalmiya. And though he technically may not own CSK anymore, the news that the franchise has been suspended, all because his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was found guilty of being involved in betting, is going to sting.

However, he still stays the chairman of the International Cricket Council, but you wonder, for how long. Srinivasan has brazenly fought out many such battles in his long tenure within the BCCI but this might be a step too much. The judiciary have not taken too kindly to Srinivasan’s reign at the BCCI and are quite clear that India Cements did not take enough action against Meiyappan.

Calls have already started for Srinivasan to step down as ICC chief, but he has reacted in the way he knows best: denying any association with CSK, and questioning why he should step down.

Is the investigation done?
No, only halfway. The Lodha committee still have two important things left to do: investigate the role of the IPL’s chief operating officer Sundar Raman and deliberate on the processes inside the BCCI.

Regarding Raman, the committee said that they believed further investigation needed to be done and that they would await Vivek Priyadarshi’s report, who had been appointed by the Supreme Court.

As for providing recommendations to the restructuring of the BCCI in the light of all the conflict of interest accusations, the committee announced that they needed to complete the process of interacting with all the shareholders. Only then would they be able to give their recommendations.

What happens now?
It all depends on what the BCCI decides to do. They’ll have to take a call on whether to launch a fresh auction for players from the CSK and Rajasthan franchises. It will also be interesting to see if the penalised parties appeal the decision – if that does happen, the legal battle will only continue.