The BCCI grapevine is abuzz with speculation that the Kochi franchise may well be a closed chapter.
The IPL governing council will meet on Wednesday at BCCI president Shashank Manohar’s hometown Nagpur. Word is that it is likely to axe its third IPL franchise in as many weeks.
A little over a fortnight ago, while throwing out Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab for irregularities in shareholding patterns, the BCCI had given the Kochi franchise an ultimatum of 10 days to get its act together.
Ever since it won the bid in March, fissures within its ownership structure have marred Kochi’s aspirations.
However, with both warring factions — the Gaikwads and the Gujarati lobby — submitting separate replies to the BCCI last Wednesday (the deadline to reply to the show-cause), the BCCI presumes the deadlock is unlikely to be broken.
“If they don’t want to run the team, what’s the point in the Board persisting with them?
It’s better to move on and decide our future course,” an IPL governing council member, preferring anonymity, told the Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
However, Rendezvous Sports World — the promoters of the franchise, chairman Kisan Gaikwad hoped that the BCCI would give them “one last chance”.
“They should at least hear out both the factions and then decide how to go about it,” Gaikwad said.
“I hope they don’t disband the franchise without hearing us out.”
Gaikwad, leading the charge of his family against the rest of the investors said his family was “cornered”.
“The manner in which we are getting cornered from everywhere is unfair.”