Barely seven months after becoming the second most costliest team in the Indian Premier League, Kochi franchisee's chapter is all set to end as the IPL Governing Council meets in Nagpur to take a call on the outfit's fate.
The investor group of the franchisee, which was bought for a staggering sum of Rs 1533.33 crore, had written to the BCCI informing them of their intention to withdraw from the IPL, two days before the expiry of the 30-day notice period (which ends today), issued to them by the Cricket Board to sort out their internal differences.
The IPL's Governing Council will meet in Nagpur tomorrow to discuss the issue and is likely to float a new tender for a replacement team.
"The IPL Kochi team has sent a letter to BCCI President Shashank Manohar withdrawing from the league. The IPL Governing Council will now deliberate on the issue and take a decision on the matter," a top BCCI source had earlier told PTI.
The BCCI, which had, on October 10, expelled Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL for allegedly violating contractual agreements, had given the IPL team 30 days to sort out its problems but the wrangling within the consortium continued. The investors in the consortium -- Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Rosy Blue and Film Wave -- hold 74 per cent of the equity.
The remaining 26 per cent lies with the Gaikwad family --Shailendra, his brother Ravi and their parents all part of Rendezvous Sports World -- as free equity for services rendered while bidding.
It is this 26 per cent which has become a bone of contention among the stakeholders as the investors are in no mood to give free equity to Gaikwad family. The Gaikwads, on their part, have refused to part with the equity.
The BCCI has made it clear that eight teams will take part in the fourth edition of the league scheduled from April 8, just six days after the World Cup. However, the BCCI did not specify whether Kochi has pulled out. BCCI vice-President Rajiv Shukla had said the Board has received "certain letters" from the consortium's stakeholders and a final decision on the troubled team would be taken on November 28.
"I can only say that BCCI President (Shashank Manohar) has received certain letters from the Kochi stakeholders. Keeping that in mind a meeting of the IPL Governing Council has been convened on November 28 in Nagpur where a final decision will be taken on Kochi," Shukla had said.
"Subsequently whatever steps are to be taken will be taken," he added. Asked whether the BCCI has made up its mind to expel the team from the IPL, Shukla had said, "that right to decide lies with the Governing Council. I can't say on that."