Kochi IPL Franchisees expected to visit Kerala next week

Kochi: Amid the raging IPL controversy, a top Kerala Cricket official today said that the newly-added Kochi franchisees are expected to be here by next week to discuss issues relating to formation of its team.

"Our only ambition is to realise Kochi franchisee. BCCI President has also said this," Kerala Cricket Association secretary T C Mathew told reporters here.

BCCI President Shashank Manohar has also said that there is no dispute regarding the Kochi franchisee and the agreement has also been signed, he said.

An IPL team from Kerala will help Kerala cricket. Players from the state will get opportunity to play with international players, he said.

Replying to a query on the IPL controversy, he said, "There are clear charges against former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi. He has been chargesheeted by the BCCI. The charges are very big...`

Twenty per cent of the IPL ticket revenues would come to the KCA and this would help the association to kickstart its various projects in infrastructure development in the state.

On medium pacer Sreesanth`s poor performance, he said the player, who hails from Kerala, was the highest wicket taker in IPL`s last season, but could not do well this year. Mathew hoped that he would regain his form next year.

On players selection in the Kochi IPL team, he said players would be selected on all India basis.

"There is no minimum or maximum limit for players from the state. But there will be players from Kerala," he said.

KCA was hoping that when the Australian team tours India in October, Kochi would get a match. A final decision in this regard will be taken this June, he said.

By October this year, the renovation of the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium would be completed for International matches. An IPL match could be held here by next year.

Team Kochi was acquired early this year by a consortium led by Rendezvous Sports for over Rs 1,500 crore. The third edition of IPL was embroiled in controversies, including allegations about the union ministers influencing the bidding of IPL franchisees.

Shashi Tharoor resigned as Union Minister of State for External Affairs over allegations that he influenced award of sweat equity to his friend Sunanda Pushkar in the Kochi team.

The authorities have since launched probe to trace the finances of the cricket body and its franchisees.