London: Expanding the IPL to 10 teams from eight was one of the issues discussed during a meeting of the franchise owners and the league’s other stakeholders in London earlier this week. However, the increase in the number of teams won’t be a first as 10 sides competed in the 2011 edition of the IPL with the addition of the Kochi and Pune franchises. Contractual issues between Kochi and the BCCI meant the team could only last one season before the Sahara -owned Pune Warriors also pulled out after the 2013 edition, making it an eight team contest again from 2014. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together”We discussed increasing the number of teams but it was an informal discussion. Anyway the teams don’t have the authority to decide on the matter, the BCCI will have to take a call but we are open to the idea,” a team official, who attended the meeting in London, said. Another official also confirmed the IPL expansion was discussed in the meeting. “There was a discussion but it was done at an informal level. There is no concrete plan as of now on how to go about it. More teams will lead to more games which could mean a bigger scheduling window. So, all of that needs to be worked out,” said the official. In the absence of the then suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajashthan Royals in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal, Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions came into being in the IPL for two seasons. Sanjiv Goenka, the owner of Rising Pune Supergiant franchise which reached the 2017 IPL final in only its second attempt, had expressed to remain invested beyond the two-year period.
Private school pupils are being recruited by county lines drug gangs because police are less likely to spot them, an official report has warned.The criminal networks recruit youngsters to carry or sell drugs with threats of violence against them and their families, or by making them believe they have a debt to repay.A report from the police, education, care and probation inspectorates stresses that children from any background can be sucked in by the ruthless gangs.It says: “Children targeted for the purpose of county lines come from a wide range of backgrounds. Local children can be groomed into selling drugs, as well as children from outside the area.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––”County lines activity is dynamic and perpetrators will change their method of exploitation quickly, such as by targeting new groups of children to exploit in order to avoid detection.”Examples include grooming affluent children attending public school, who are less likely to be identified as ‘drug running’ by the police.”Other targets include older, neglected children who are less likely to be reported missing, youngsters in care, those not in full-time education, and some with special needs or mental health issues.The report, published on Wednesday, said: “Exploited children come from a wide range of backgrounds. For some, their homes will be a place of safety and security, for others this will not be the case. “Whatever the child’s home circumstances, the risks from exploitation spread beyond risks to the child. Their families may also be threatened or be highly vulnerable to violence from the perpetrators of criminal exploitation.”Every police force in England and Wales has reported some form of activity by county lines gangs, according to the National Crime Agency.There are thought to be around 1,500 of the networks in operation in the UK, which involve urban dealers forcing children to carry drugs to customers in more rural areas.They also “cuckoo” the homes of vulnerable or drug-addicted people to stash illegal substances.Sometimes children are forced to move away to live in one of these homes and sell drugs, with threats of violence against their family if they do not comply.The gangs commonly use one phone line – that can make up to £5,000 per day – which drug users ring to order illegal substances.Members of the network are sometimes involved in violent battles for control of the line because it is so lucrative. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.