Infighting creating problems for Kochi franchise: Manohar

Mumbai: It`s been just six months since the Kochi franchise, at Rs 1,500 crore, became the second-most costliest IPL team, but internal squabbles are already threatening to break the team, according to Indian Cricket Board president Shashank Manohar.

"When the bid was given, it was given by individuals who came together. We had asked them to form a company. They haven`t incorporated a legal entity," Manohar told reporters after the Board`s 81st AGM here today.

"This is a dispute among five members of the consortium. Both groups of the consortium have requested the BCCI not to recognise the other. We cannot deal with two groups," he added.

In view of this, the BCCI today decided to issue a notice to the Kochi franchisee to incorporate their joint venture within 10 days or face action.

According to some sources in the franchise the bank guarantee of Rs 153 crore and deposit money of Rs 45 crore have already been paid by the Kochi team to the BCCI as per the latter`s requirements.

Two other IPL franchises - Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab - would also be slapped with show cause notices through a decision of the Board`s General Body.

"The owners of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab would be sent show cause notices as to why action should not be taken against them for irregularities and for breach of the terms and conditions of the Franchise agreement," BCCI said in a statement.

According to Board sources, two of these errant franchises are in "deep trouble" and there was a possibility of the BCCI cancelling their franchise agreement if their replies were not "up to the mark".

"There is a chance that the next IPL would still have only eight teams playing," they added.

Manohar also said these three franchises need to get their houses in order before the next player auctions some time in November.

"Auctions would come up. Have to finalise the decisions before that. Franchisee withdrawal would depend upon their replies. We will play with nine or eight teams (if necessary)," he said.

Asked about the wish of the Kings XI Punjab owners to sell their stakes, Manohar said action on the application has been "deferred".


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