Kochi side included in IPL-4

Kochi will field a team in the IPL from 2011. Quirk of fate has finally fulfilled the impulse of a consortium of businessmen, majority of them from Mumbai, to own an IPL franchise in the form of Kochi Cricket Pvt. Ltd.Though the consortium of investors won the bid at $333.33 million for ten years in Chennai on March 21, it was only on Sunday that the IPL Governing Council allowed the consortium as an incorporated venture and a legal entity and formalised its entry into the IPL Twenty20 tournament from 2011.

Kochi will become the fourth team from Southern India to field a city-based team; the other three teams being Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers, Bangalore and Deccan Chargers, Hyderabad.BCCI Secretary, N. Srinivasan said in a statement, “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.”

A Kochi team in the league appeared dim on November 23, when the majority of investors in the consortium informed the BCCI that they are withdrawing their franchise. The disappointing news even evoked a tweet from Shashi Tharoor saying, “the dream is over for now. Those who didn't want a Kerala IPL team have finally succeeded. Some of us have paid a high price for trying.”

The consortium had given the BCCI a bank guarantee of $33 million (10 % of the winning bid) as franchise involvement for the 2011 competition and a further performance guarantee sum of Rs. 46 crore, but a rift on who would control and run the team between the majority shareholders and the Rendezvous Sports World (RSW) that held 25 per cent sweat equity, did not help matters.


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