The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday approved the new corporate ownership structure of the beleaguered Kochi franchise and allowed it to participate in the fourth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), scheduled to take place in April-May.

Decks cleared: BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said the Kochi franchise had satisfactorily responded to the cricket board’s notice. Ashesh Shah/Mint

“At their meeting today (Sunday), the IPL governing council confirmed that the Kochi franchisee had satisfactorily responded to the notice issued to them by the BCCI, and decided that the franchisee Kochi Cricket Pvt. Ltd would play in the IPL from 2011 onwards," BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said in a statement.

Five investors in the Kochi franchise were locked in a dispute with Rendezvous Sports World Pvt. Ltd over control of the franchise and sweat equity.

The initial ownership pattern had Rendezvous Sports controlling 26%, with Anchor Group holding 27%, Parinee Developers 26%, Filmwaves 12%, Anand Shyam (Real Estates,) 8% and Vivek Venugopal 1%.

In the revised corporate structure, Rendezvous agreed to reduce its stake from 26% to 10%.

“Rendezvous has 10% sweat equity..," Rendezvous representative Satyajit Gaikwad said. “The board of directors will decide how to distribute the (remaining) 16% among the other investors."

Sweat equity shares are issued to an entity in return for services rendered to a company.

The Kochi franchise was bought for Rs1,533.33 crore, making it the second costliest team in the IPL.

Meanwhile, uncertainties surrounding the fourth season of the 20-over cricket tournament continue.

On Tuesday, Rajasthan Royals, one of the two teams ejected from the league on 10 October for alleged franchise agreement violation, got a stay on the decision until mid-January.

The arbitration of the other evicted team, Kings XI Punjab, is yet to begin after arbitrator B.N. Srikrishna, a former Supreme Court judge, withdrew from the case after BCCI’s objections.

It is unclear if these two teams will play in the fourth season.

With Kochi’s inclusion, there are now eight teams expected to compete in the coming season.