For IPL 9, a plan to bring back Kochi, float Ahmedabad team | cricket | Hindustan Times
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For IPL 9, a plan to bring back Kochi, float Ahmedabad team

Former IPL team Kochi Tuskers Kerala could make a comeback next season with the league’s governing council considering such an offer. The panel is also looking into raising a team from another city -- in all probability Ahmedabad.

cricket Updated: Jul 18, 2015 00:59 IST
Somshuvra Laha

Former IPL team Kochi Tuskers Kerala could make a comeback next season with the league’s governing council considering such an offer. The panel is also looking into raising a team from another city -- in all probability Ahmedabad.

A BCCI official in the know said Ahmedabad was likely to be the second city if Kochi -- a late entrant to the IPL in 2011 that played just one season before it was terminated -- accepted the offer. The Adani Group has already surfaced as a major contender for the Ahmedabad franchise if the deal goes through, sources said.

Gautam Adani, founder and chairman of the group that deals in a range of products from power to edible oil, did not respond to calls and text messages from HT.

The latest development means the IPL council could drop the idea of the BCCI adopting the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals while they serve out their two-year suspension — announced days ago by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha committee in the spot-fixing and betting case. A section in the BCCI feels any attempt to keep the tainted teams running, especially Chennai, could come under severe criticism from those who want former board president N Srinivasan out.

The board also anticipates flak if the Chennai and Jaipur franchises continue to feature in the IPL as this could mean flouting the ban order.

“Some members could question our motive behind trying to run two tainted franchises. It would be wise to keep Chennai and Jaipur out and go for Kochi and another city, even if it’s a stop-gap arrangement,” said the BCCI official.

Kochi Tuskers Kerala came into the picture after a court-appointed arbitrator last week directed the BCCI to pay it Rs 550 crore in compensation for terminating the franchise agreement in 2011. The BCCI was planning to appeal the decision but, according to the official, there has now been a rethink.

“We are thinking of asking Kochi to withdraw their claim and take back their franchise. If they agree, finding the second city won’t be a problem. Ahmedabad is the prime contender. If the Kochi plan fails, then we will be forced to float new tenders. Auctions could be held in January,” he said.

What works in Ahmedabad’s favour is that it has already hosted the home matches of the Rajasthan Royals.
So, what happens when Jaipur and Chennai return after two years? “We had a 10-team league in 2011. But right now, we don’t want to cause unnecessary flutter,” said the official.

Meanwhile, BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya and former boss Shashank Manohar met late Friday at the former’s residence and it is believed Manohar pressed for action against Srinivasan in light of the Lodha committee’s damning verdict against CSK owner India Cements Ltd.

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