Mumbai: The Kochi team sprang a huge surprise by winning the bid for an Indian Premier League franchisee in the much criticised auctions held earlier this year.
While the reason behind Rendezvous Sports World Pvt Ltd’s (which is a majority stake holder in the consortium that owns the franchisee) success remained a secret for long, it has now emerged that it was former India skipper and prolific batsman Sunil Gavaskar who had managed to pull off a rather surprising win for the company.
According to a leading newspaper, the Gaikwad family, which owns Rendezvous Sports and controls 25% free equity and 1% paid equity in the franchisee, has claimed Gavaskar’s full backing.
"We have Gavaskar`s support and full backing. It was under his guidance that we had decided to get into this," the newspaper quoted the Gaikwad’s, as saying.
It has been learnt that Gavaskar would look after the team’s cricketing operations and could also get a stake in the franchisee.
The newspaper also quoted Gavaskar’s e-mail reply, which confirmed the news.
"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," Gavaskar wrote in his e-mail.
Gavaskar’s backing will give a short in the arm to the beleaguered Kochi Indian Premier League franchisee, which had been given ten days by the IPL governing council to resolve its differences or face axe like Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.
The Kochi franchisee had submitted its reply on the last day of the deadline given to it by the BCCI but the board had reserved its decision on the fate of the team.
The Governing Council is now expected to meet at Nagpur on Wednesday to announce the fate of the franchisee.
If the board finds the reply unsatisfactory, it may axe the Kochi team and there may be another bidding for the 8th team. Sources also said that Videocon is interested in joining the IPL.
“We have to consider the feedback that our lawyers give. After that we will decide what can be done. We gave them 10 days to sort out the issue. They have asked for time. On Wednesday day we will decide the future course of action,” a GC member was quoted as saying by a newspaper.
Since former union minister Shashi Tharoor backed out, the owners of the Kochi franchisee have been unable to resolve their differences over control of the team.
However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India vice-president, Rajiv Shukla, denied having any knowledge of Gavaskar helping the Kochi franchisee in winning the bid and said that the matter would be discussed at the Governing Council meeting.