Kochi’s time up, set to be axed on Wednesday | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Kochi’s time up, set to be axed on Wednesday

After a prolonged battle between the co-owners, the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League is set to be scrapped on Wednesday. Amol Karhadkar reports.

cricket Updated: Nov 17, 2010 10:27 IST
Amol Karhadkar

After a prolonged battle between the co-owners, the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to be scrapped on Wednesday.

The Gujarati lobby of investors - who had agreed to invest almost 99 per cent of the bid amount in return of a combined stake of 74 per cent - is all set to eventually “withdraw” its “interest” in the team halfway into the one-month termination notice issued by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

A source, involved in the developments, confirmed to Hindustan Times on Monday that the investors would hand over the withdrawal letter to the BCCI on Tuesday, a day ahead of the IPL governing council meeting.

“The decision to withdraw from the team will be formally communicated to the BCCI on Tuesday,” the source said. “Since the differences between the promoters and investors are beyond repair, there is no point in waiting for the BCCI to terminate the franchise at the end of the 30-day notice period.”

Once the withdrawal letter is delivered, Wednesday's governing council meeting will surely terminate the franchise, even though the topic is not on the agenda circulated among the members. “If that (formal withdrawal) happens before the meeting, the issue will be discussed and the council will decide on the future course of action,” said a top BCCI official.

Rendezvous Sports World (RSW), promoters of the team who own 26 per cent stake in return of one per cent investment, have been vociferous about the team's ownership lying “only” with them. When contacted, RSW chief executive officer, Satyajit Gaikwad, did not respond to phone calls.

The BCCI official reiterated that the question of IPL IV having seven teams “does not even arise”.

“The Board has already started preparing in case the Kochi consortium fails to get its act together. Discussing the invitation to tender for Kochi's replacement is anyway on the agenda of the governing council meeting.”

Meanwhile, the governing council meeting will also discuss “operative” issues like the base price of players for the auction and tournament schedule.

The IPL technical committee, comprising former cricketers Ravi Shastri and Mohinder Amarnath, discussed these issues in Chennai last week.

The governing council will also discuss the suggestions made by state associations in a meeting with the BCCI top brass in Chennai on Monday.