New Delhi - Owners of Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals have been slapped with a fine of one billion rupees ($18.8 million) for alleged foreign exchange violations, media reports said on Monday.
The enforcement directorate of the ministry of finance has given the owners, who include Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and her businessman husband Raj Kundra, 45 days to pay the fine or file an appeal.
"The foreign investment in the franchise was made in flagrant contravention of Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act," NDTV news channel quoted an order from the directorate as saying.
This is the first major fine imposed on an IPL team by the government, which has been investigating financial and foreign exchange irregularities in the Twenty20 league.
The IPL has become a major event in the international cricket calendar, attracting the world's most exciting players such Kevin Pietersen to entertain large domestic audiences.
But it has also been hit by a series of financial scandals, and its founder Lalit Modi was sacked in 2010 following allegations of corruption and money-laundering.
Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 under the captaincy of Australian spin great Shane Warne, but failed to qualify for the play-offs last year.
The sixth edition of the IPL will be held in April-May.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla declined to comment.