New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday imposed a penalty of Rs52.24 crore on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for abuse of its dominant position to deny access to others looking to organize professional domestic cricket leagues.

The cricket body was ordered to cease and desist from indulging in such anti-competitive conduct and not place a blanket restriction on organization of professional domestic cricket leagues by non-members. BCCI has also been directed to file a report complying with the order within 60 days. BCCI did not respond to multiple calls for a comment.

The anti-trust body has found BCCI to be in contravention of the provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 for its assurance to broadcasters of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that it would not organize, sanction, recognize or support any other professional domestic Twenty20 competition that is competitive to IPL for a period of 10 years.

Recognizing that BCCI holds a dominant position in the market, CCI held that a restriction on other players had no link to the legitimate interests of the game and added that the cricket body should take measures to ensure that competition was not impeded while preserving the objective of development of cricket in the country.

BCCI has also been asked to issue a clarification regarding the rules applicable for organization of professional domestic cricket leagues either by BCCI members or non-members, and lay down parameters based on which applications can be made.