The IPL Mess October 26, 2010

Kochi wants more time to resolve problems

ESPNcricinfo staff

The consortium that won the bid for the Kochi IPL franchise has asked the BCCI for more time to sort out their internal disputes. The Indian board had originally given the consortium 10 days to work things out beginning October 10. At the end of that period, though, the two factions in the consortium wrote to the board asking for an extension.

"We consortium partners are very close to resolving our internal differences and would like the BCCI to give us some more time and have also sought this," Satyajitsinh Gaekwad, the head of Rendezvous Sports, told PTI.  "We have not defaulted on any payment to the BCCI and just want some more time."

Meanwhile the IPL governing council will meet on Wednesday in Nagpur to decide the fate of the franchise. "The only point on the agenda is Kochi," one of the BCCI officials said on the content of the short notice sent to the panel.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar is reportedly assisting the franchise in an advisory capacity, something the board said it was not aware of, but will consider at the governing council meeting tomorrow. "We were never informed because this issue was never there," BCCI vice-President Rajiv Shukla said. "For the first time we are coming to know about this. We will discuss the issue in the meeting tomorrow."

Gavaskar was a member of the governing council for the IPL's first three years. He declined to continue on the committee this year after the board decided to stop paying the committee members.

The Kochi franchise has been controversial from its very inception in March. Rendezvous Sports World, a consortium of five companies, became the tenth IPL franchise after a successful bid of US$333.33m, but almost immediately ran into trouble over the composition of its ownership, after the discovery of a few "secret partners" in the consortium. A new agreement was then signed by both the parties but fresh controversy broke when Lalit Modi, the then IPL chairman, made the ownership details public on his Twitter feed.

Six months after the auction Kochi has still failed to resolve its various internal disputes, which revolve around the distribution of shares in the consortium. The investors are unhappy with the promoters, who do not want to give up the rights to lead the franchise. Despite several lengthy meetings over the past few days, the two factions remain at loggerheads.