Kochi out of IPL, board likely to call for fresh bids

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NEW DELHI - With just two days left for the deadline to expire, the squabbling owners of Kochi’s Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Thursday wrote to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that they have failed to settle their ownership patterns and were, therefore, withdrawing from the league.

Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) secretary T.C. Matthew told IANS that the owners have informed the BCCI about their decision in a letter.

“I have been informed by some of the partners of the Kochi franchise that they have informed the BCCI about their decision to withdraw from the fourth season of the league. It is a very unfortunate incident for Kerala cricket,” said Matthew.

Despite getting a 30-day notice to settle their ownership pattern, the owners failed to sort out their internal problems. Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Rosy Blue and Film Wave hold 74 percent of the equity while the Gaekwad brothers, who own Rendezvous Sports World, own the remaining 26 percent stake as free equity for services rendered in successfully bidding for the franchise.

The stakeholders, however, were in no mood to give 26 percent as free equity to the Gaekwad brothers, who did not want to part with it.

The consortium successfully bid for the Kochi franchise pledging a whopping $333 million.

With Kochi’s exit, Ahmedabad and Rajkot are the two likely cities to bid for a slot in the IPL. The IPL Governing Council has decided to go ahead and conduct auction for the eighth team by December 15.

“After the suspension of Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals, the IPL couldn’t have afforded to lose a third team as it would have posed more problems,” a top official in the Governing Council told IANS.

The official said Ahmedabad and Rajkot are among the cities that would be interested in bidding for the eighth team.

“Ahmedabad and Rajkot will definitely take part in the auction,” said the official.

Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and Adani Industries have shown interest in Ahmedabad. Ambani lost in the first auction while the Adanis’ bid fell short of Pune and Kochi bids at the auction in Chennai.

Filed under: Cricket, IPL

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