IPL news September 22, 2011

Will protect Kochi players' interests - Shukla

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rajiv Shukla, the new IPL chairman, has said that the interests of players who are contracted to the terminated franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala will be protected. Shukla said the IPL governing council will meet in the second week of October to discuss the issues related to the termination.

"Our prime concern will be the players' interest, their interest is not hampered in terms of financial losses and also in terms of their participation in the tournament," Shukla told PTI. "Suppose these players are re-auctioned for some other franchise and if there is any difference in what they are supposed to get, it will be compensated by us.

"So after the termination of this franchise [Kochi], now nine teams are left. The whole matter will go to the governing council and they will take a view if we should go for one more team or we should stick to nine teams. I am okay with both the plans and whatever the council decides we will go by that."

N Srinivasan, the new BCCI president, had earlier said that efforts would be made to find "an equitable solution that is viable both for the players and the BCCI."

The Kochi franchise was terminated by the BCCI at its annual general meeting on September 19 for breaching its terms of agreement. According to the BCCI the franchise was unable to furnish a new bank guarantee for 2011. Kochi denied they owed the BCCI any money and filed a case against the board in the Bombay High Court on Wednesday. The court, however, rejected Kochi's case to restrain the BCCI from encashing its bank guarantee of Rs 156 crore. Kochi then filed an appeal against the court's decision and a new hearing has been set for Thursday.

"The status is that on the issue of non-payment, Kochi has been terminated as per the agreement between franchise and BCCI," Shukla said. "They were supposed to pay the bank guarantee ... they have gone to the court, and the court didn't give them any relief and BCCI is entitled to encash the bank guarantee."

Shukla, however, ruled out any immediate possibility of a new owner coming in to take over Kochi. "No, now if any decision is taken, it has to be on the basis of a new bid."