Ignore all speculations over Kochi row, says Modi

IPL Chairman Lalit Modi denied all speculations regarding the scrapping of the newly christened Kochi franchise.

Updated: Apr 09, 2010, 12:57 PM IST

Zeecric Bureau

New Delhi:IPL Chairman Lalit Modi denied all speculations regarding the scrapping of the newly christened Kochi franchise, urging everyone to ignore the news.

Modi wrote on his Twitter page, “Ignore all speculations over Kochi row.”

He clarified that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stands on Kochi consortium over ownership issue and there is no chance of scrapping the newly acquired IPL team.
Earlier in the day, it was reported that Kochi franchisee of the Indian Premier League might be scraped altogether owing to an ownership issue.

A consortium of various business groups, under the umbrella of Rendezvous, had bid Rs 1300 crore for the Kochi based franchisee at an auction last month.

However, the status of one of the partner in the consortium, who owns a 25% stake, remains ‘unknown’.
The Kochi franchisee has to submit its papers to the IPL board by Monday.

The consortium has been asked to present its case and sign the agreement, mentioning all its partners, in Mumbai.

IPL sources also hinted at the identities of the partners without taking their names directly.

“BCCI has been confidentially told that a minister, a former India captain and a cricketer who’s currently playing for India are also part of the consortium. Their names should also figure in the agreement document.”

‘‘This free equity business will have to be investigated and that is why the Kochi team’s agreement has been returned. We hope the owners come clean on this. If there are seven partners or eight parties involved, let them come out in the open and sign the document. We have no problem,’’ a top BCCI official, who didn’t wish to be named, said.

However, the Kochi camp vehemently denied that any such transfer of stake had taken place. They also insisted that they would submit the agreement papers to BCCI on Friday itself.

The CEO of the Kochi franchisee, Shailendra Gaikwad, denied any such differences with the board. ‘‘I am not aware of such an event,’’ he said.

“We have won the Kochi team fair and square and we are very serious about going ahead with it,” he insisted.