Mumbai: Ahead of the crucial IPL Governing Council meet to decide Kochi’s fate, Sunil Gavaskar’s role in the consortium has created a flutter with the franchise claiming to have roped him in an advisory capacity but the former Indian skipper denying accepting the offer just yet.
The consortium, struggling to put its house in order, has also sought more time from the BCCI to resolve its internal differences.
Gavaskar was a member of the IPL Governing Council before being ousted due to a payment dispute some weeks ago. Kochi said it has got him on board but the former cricketer said he is yet to take a call.
The BCCI, on the other hand, said it was unaware of Gavaskar’s role in the franchise, which is battling to end internal squabbling on how the franchise would be run.
“We consortium partners are very close to resolving our internal differences and would like the BCCI to give us some more time and have also sought this,” franchise CEO Satyajit Gaekwad told on Tuesday.
“We have not defaulted on any payment to the BCCI and just want some more time,” he said.
Gaekwad said Gavaskar has already accepted the consortium’s offer and that it was done only after the cricket legend quit as a member of the IPL’s Governing Council.
“We approached him after he was no longer a member of the IPL Council to Sunil Gavaskar to act in an advisory capacity with the franchise and he has accepted the offer,” he said.
“He does not have any stakes in the franchise,” he informed.
Gavaskar confirmed that he has been approached by Kochi but insisted that he is yet to decide and has been approached by other franchises as well.
“They have asked me individually and collectively to come in for the cricketing part of the team. I will take a call once the internal issues are resolved,” he said.
“Kochi is not the only team which has approached me. I have not decided anything as yet,” he added.
The BCCI, however, said it was not aware of the consortium’s “links” with the ex-captain.
“We were not aware of Gavaskar’s links with the Kochi IPL,” BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla said.
“We were never informed because this issue was never there. This is for the first time we are coming to know about this. We will discuss the issue in the meeting tomorrow,” he added.
The emergency meeting has been convened by BCCI president Shashank Manohar at Nagpur and the crux of the dispute in Kochi is who will run affairs of the franchise, bought from the Cricket Board for USD 333 million, once the joint venture was formed.
The investors in the Kochi consortium include corporate firms Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Rosy Blue and Film Wave - who hold 75 per cent of the equity.
The remaining 25 per cent has been given to the family of Gaekwads - Shailendra, his brother Ravi and their parents plus a few others, all part of the group of promoters – Rendezvous Sports World - as free equity for services rendered in successfully bidding for the franchise.
The Board had given the franchise 10 days’ time on October 10 to resolve their internal differences and the franchise responded by submitting a letter to the BCCI on the last day of the deadline - October 20.