BCCI terminates Kochi Tuskers franchise

BCCI terminates Kochi Tuskers franchise

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday terminated the contract of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Kochi franchise for non-payment of dues.

The Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise, which was won with a bid of 1,550 crore in 2010, was supposed to make the payment over a 10-year period. The consortium, however, defaulted on a 156 crore annual payment despite reminders by IPL authorities.

“Because of the irremediable breach committed by the Kochi franchise, the BCCI has decided to encash the bank guarantee in their possession and also terminate the franchise," said N. Srinivasan, newly appointed president of BCCI at a new briefing following the cricket board’s 82nd annual general meeting in Mumbai.

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The franchise, on its part, described the termination as wrongful.

“We have received a notice from the BCCI today. However, we do feel that the (IPL franchise) contract has been wrongly terminated," said Mukesh Patel, managing director, Parinee Developers Pvt. Ltd, part of the Shreeram Group of Industries and one of the owners of the Kochi IPL team. “Our bank guarantee has not expired, our match reduction fee (compensation for fewer matches owing to BCCI’s decision on the schedule) is still pending, there were venue issues among other things. So we will consult our legal team and take a decision on moving court."

The two newest franchises— Kochi and Sahara Group backed Pune—which made their debut this year in season four of the popular Twenty20 format, had sought a 25% waiver as the number of matches were reduced to 14 from 18 league matches.

Asked if BCCI would seek bids for a new franchise, Srinivasan said the decision would be taken by the IPL governing council.

“Given the fact that the BCCI was, even earlier, slightly reluctant to expand, this is a matter that I alone cannot take a decision or make a comment," said Srinivasan.

Rajeev Shukla, minister of state for parliamentary affairs, was named IPL chairman, succeeding Chirayu Amin, who wanted to be relieved of the responsibility, citing other commitments.

Taking over from Srinivasan as BCCI secretary was Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association administrator and former cricketer Sanjay Jagdale, the only candidate to have filed a nomination for the post.

Other appointments included Anurag Thakur as joint secretary and Ajay Shirke, who took over from M.P. Pandove as treasurer. Of the five vice -presidents—Arun Jaitley (north zone), Shivlal Yadav (south zone) and Niranjan Shah (west zone) held their posts, while Chitrak Mitra replaced Arindam Ganguly in the east zone and Sudhir Dabir replaced Rajeev Shukla in the central zone.

BCCI also presented its annual income and expenditure account for 2010-2011, which showed the surplus almost tripled over the previous year to 189.7 crore on account of several factors, which included a reduction in expenses—namely, money saved on tournaments and players balance share in gross revenue of the board, among other things. The IPL posted a surplus of 118.7 crore in 2010-2011 compared with a deficit of 41.8 crore in the previous fiscal year.

Graphic by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint

PTI and Ravi Krishnan contributed to this story.