Muttiah Muralitharan has said he hopes another IPL franchise will sign him now that the BCCI has terminated Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Murali, who retired from all forms of international cricket after the 2011 World Cup, was bought by Kochi in the January 2011 auction after he played the first three IPL seasons for Chennai Super Kings.
"I am hopeful that if they [Kochi] are not playing, some other franchise will take me as I am fit and playing this format continuously," Murali told PTI in Colombo. "I want to play two more years in IPL."
The BCCI announced that Kochi were terminated because they had failed to submit a new bank guarantee for 2011, which the board said was an "irremediable breach" of their contract. The players contracted to Kochi have a three-way contract, which includes the BCCI as a party, and N Srinivasan, the new board president, said an arrangement would be made that is viable for the players.
"What will be the consequences of the termination and the future of the players, as well as whether to play with nine teams, all these things will be decided by the IPL governing council," Srinivasan said. "The players' interest will be safeguarded. BCCI will not leave the players in the lurch. We will find an equitable solution that is viable both for the players and the BCCI."
Muralitharan said he expected the board to make adequate arrangements for the players. "If the BCCI has decided something, then we can't do anything," Muralitharan said. "But I hope they will arrange something for the 20 contracted players of the franchise. It's a three-party agreement and we have our contract with the BCCI too."
While playing for Chennai, Muralitharan took 52 wickets in 46 games across the IPL and Champions League Twenty20. However, he played only five of Kochi's 14 games in the 2011 IPL. "I think Kochi did not need my services much," Muralitharan said. "My experience with Chennai Super Kings was far better. Kochi did not play me much."
Steve O'Keefe, a left-arm spinner from New South Wales who was signed on by Kochi last season, said he was disappointed he did not get to play for the franchise at all. "It would be a shame if I were to go home without playing [for them] considering that last year [IPL 2011], I didn`t play a game," he said. "I was disappointed [for not playing a game] and if they scrap the team I'd be even more disappointed." O'Keefe is currently in India with the New South Wales side for the CLT20.