Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Sunday made it clear that he has no stake in the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League and that his role was confined to encouraging the consortium that eventually bagged the team.
Tharoor said he does not have the required resources or time to get involved in the bidding, which was a business-oriented decision taken by business-minded people.
"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. It's a group of business people and I understand it's a business decision," Tharoor said.
Tharoor's clarifications came after little known Rendezvous Sports World Limited bagged the Kochi franchise for a staggering $333.33 million for the next 10 years.
"I am not even sure whether I know all of them, nor do I have any knowledge of the decision that how much they were going to bid. I know this Rendezvous sports group and had met the Gaekwad brothers.
"I have given them all kind of encouragement but my role was limited. It was like...what shall I say...mentor sounds too grand a word," Tharoor added.
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi also told reporters in Chennai that Tharoor's role was that of a facilitator only.
"Mr Tharoor was involved in facilitating and trying to get a team from Kochi to bid. He is an ardent fan of the game who wanted a team from Kochi and his role ends there," Modi said.