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Kings XI set to stay in IPL after high court ruling

Kings XI set to stay in IPL after high court ruling

Mumbai: Kings XI Punjab, the cricket team owned by KPH Dream Cricket Private Ltd that has promoters such as Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia among others, will remain part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and will be one of the 10 teams that will play in it next year.

The Bombay high court on Wednesday upheld the stay order on its expulsion. On 8 December, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had appealed against the court’s stay order that allowed Kings XI to continue as part of the IPL and to participate in the auction of players.

BCCI’s appeal said the franchise had changed ownership twice in the first three years. The high court said the termination of the IPL franchise was flawed and on flimsy grounds.

Arvinder Singh, chief operating officer at Kings XI Punjab, welcomed the ruling. “Our stand has been vindicated. We are extremely happy at the news and would be in a position to make a more detailed statement once we receive a copy of the order," he said.

He did not comment on the sponsorship deals for the team.

“We are yet to hear from BCCI on the order," Singh said. BCCI’s secretary N. Srinivasan declined to comment. “It is too early for the body to comment on what its course of action would be, since we have not yet received a copy of the court order," he said.

Earlier, the high court had upheld the stay granted by an arbiter on the termination of the Rajasthan Royals franchise. Justice S.F. Vazifdar dismissed an appeal filed by BCCI challenging the stay and permitted the Royals to participate in the IPL-4 auction that is to be held on 8-9 January, 2011.

The court asked the franchise to file an affidavit by 3 January containing details of the ownership pattern and mode of control. It also asked the franchise to submit $2.83 million Rs13 crore) as guarantee to BCCI for the contract and $18 million as bank guarantee for the players.

Indranil Das Blah, chief operating officer at KWAN Entertainment and Marketing Solutions Pvt. Ltd said that the new edition of IPL is likely to see 10 teams.

Both franchises are set to be a part of the new season of IPL unless appeals are filed before 25 December, when the courts close for Christmas and New Year, he said.

Sponsors of the two teams may wait to see whether BCCI will appeal again, he added.

With two new teams from Kochi and Pune appearing in season four and taking the tally to 10, the number of matches will increase, said Mahesh Ranka, general manager, Relay Worldwide, the sports agency of Starcom MediaVest Group.

“If there were 60 matches planned earlier, it could now be 74 or more. The challenge would be to fit all the matches within the tournament dates," he said.

According to an executive at Multi Screen Media, who did not want to be identified, MAX IPL had clocked around Rs800 crore in revenue last season. “We should at least make Rs1,100 crore plus this year, with the inclusion of the new teams. The hike will come from spot buys since sponsorship deals were negotiated much earlier," he said.

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