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Tharoor inspired Kochi bid

cricket Updated: Mar 22, 2010 01:01 IST

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Irrepressible Shashi Tharoor added a new dimension to his expansive profile when he got leading businessmen to come together as Rendezvous Sports World Ltd., that bagged a team for Kochi in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Tharoor gave Kerala a reason to cheer for. IPL chairman Lalit Modi confirmed Minister of State for External Affairs Tharoor was the brain behind Rendezvous Sports World Ltd.

Tharoor, on his part said, his role is of a mentor and he encouraged the business houses to think of Kerala. He also gave a lot of insight about the popularity of cricket in the state.

"All I did on my part was to offer encouragement, blessings and expert advise when required to the bidders. Beyond that, I had no role to play," Tharoor said.

"IPL is an extremely valuable activity that is here to stay and grow. It will go a long way in terms of its popularity," he said.

"I do not own the team but I will certainly give my opinion when asked for it," a beaming Tharoor added.

However, Tharoor denied the involvement of any group from the Middle East. "This (bidding) could have gone anywhere. Mumbai-based promoter was the key. Believe me, I am not looking into who are the others involved and how much money is involved. To the best of my knowledge, there is no Middle East group involved," he said.

Secretary of Kerala Cricket Association T.C. Mathew said an IPL team from Kochi will change the face of cricket in the state.