Kochi's foreign players asked to sue owners
The BCCI has asked the international players who had signed with Kochi Tuskers Kerala, the now defunct IPL franchise, to file individual court cases against the owners in order to recover the money due to them. ESPNcricinfo understands that the move is purely a legal requirement and that the board has assured the players, who signed a two-year contract, that they will receive their money for IPL 4 and IPL 5. The international players who played for Kochi included Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Brendon McCullum and Steven Smith.
The Kochi franchise was terminated by the BCCI last September for breaching its terms of agreement. The board also encashed the team's bank guarantee worth Rs 156 crores (US$ 30.39 million). At the time, Rajeev Shukla, the IPL chairman, said the board would protect the players' rights.
"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," he 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."
The need for the players to file individual cases arose because the player contracts are between the players and the franchises, and not the BCCI. Under Indian law, a legal agreement between two parties is required when it comes to remitting money overseas. In the absence of an agreement, if the board transferred money to the players in other countries, it would violate the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, something it has already been accused of violating multiple times by the government.
Therefore to avoid contravening the law, the board wants the players to sue Kochi with the BCCI included as party to each case. ESPNcricinfo understands this would then lead to the players being permitted to be paid by the BCCI for the 2011 season and beyond.
Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo