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(First published on maketimeforsports.com)
My dog, Bolshoi , the Boxer, is quite peeved with me.
How do I know that?
Well, for one, he keeps giving me these dirty looks, looks that would have you believe that I am going to eat up everything that is laid in his name-plated bowl.
Is it the end of the road for the Kochi consortium? A Daily News & Analysis (DNA) report would have us believe so.
Vijay Tagore reports that at a meeting held on Friday, the 12th of November, 2010, the franchisee owners agreed to write to the Board Of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) to cancel the team.The letter is to be submitted this Monday or Tuesday. This is a good two weeks before the deadline extended by the BCCI.
(Well, if there’s bad news to be had , you might as well receive it early.)
The irreconcilable differences in the cobbled-together-unit could not stand the scrutiny of day. The members’ sole concern is to recover the money and bank guarantee submitted to the Board.The agreement fee was $10 million (Rs. 45 crore) and the bank guarantee Rs. 153 crore , 10 per cent of the team’s worth.
In this case, it does seem a case of a terrible beginning making for an equally tragic ending.
The news channels have been handed a respite by the 30 day extension (or notice) to the Kochi franchisee.
Kings XI Punjab will join the Rajasthan Royals by filing a petition against the BCCI for terminating their franchise.
Rajasthan Royals are embroiled in a court hearing that will happen after the Diwali vacation.
Gavaskar has slammed the press for subjecting him to a “trial by media” and said “In the eyes of the Indian media you are guilty till you are proved innocent”.
One man happy with the IPL —specifically Chennai Super Kings— is former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming. The New Zealander has renewed his contract with the current IPL champions for another three years. Fleming guided CSK to the IPL trophy and the Champions League title.
The Big Bash League
If the BCCI is not quite open to having private equity from foreign investors in the IPL,that is not quite the case with the Australian version (The Big Bash League) of the IPL scheduled to begin in the 2011-12 Australian summer season.
New South Wales and Victoria have allegedly already sold shares in their state associations to two giant Indian corporations.
Brisbane-based Adani Group and Jay Mehta, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, have been named as Indian corporates with possible interest in the Big Bash league.
Gautam Adani recently bid unsuccessfully for an IPL team.
In breaking news, Cricket Australia (CA) has approved minority private ownership paving the way for Indian investors.
The Australian Cricketer’s Association had backed the entry of private overseas investment saying that it will not only bring in much need investment into the sport but also raise the profile of the sport Down Under.
Each Big Bash franchise is valued initially at $20 million each which is expected to rise to $80 million over the next few seasons.
The Australian cricket calendar is being punctured to accommodate the new entity; tests will be foregone for the period of the tournament to ensure the availability of top Australian cricketers for the duration of the tournament.
If the BCCI bigwigs were in a tearing, unholy hurry to terminate the Lalit Modi-associated franchisees — Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab — they are now dragging their feet and going by the book in their dealings with the Kochi consortium.
The IPL governing council met this morning , October 27, 2010 . After due deliberations they issued a thirty day termination notice to the alliance partners.
Shashank Manohar — a lawyer by profession — pronounced that the Kochi franchise’s case is quite different from the other two expelled franchisees. Since there were no new partners added to the shareholding structure , it is considered a ‘remedial breach’ of the agreement. The Kochi franchisee lives on for another thirty days.
"The Governing Council has invoked clause 12 (1) and given them a 30 days notice that in case they don’t remedy these disputes in the 30 days, the franchise would stand cancelled on the 31st day," he said.
The infractions by the other two franchisees have been termed ‘intermediary breaches’.
Doubts still linger about Sunny Gavaskar’s role in the Kochi franchise bid.
Was he just being helpful when he informed the Kochi consortium members about how the bidding process worked?
Should not the Kochi franchisee members have approached the BCCI for clarifications rather than a sitting member of the IPL Governing Council?
The question of propriety is yet to be answered comprehensively by the master batsman.
If the Kochi proposal is accepted by the BCCI and Sunny Gavaskar handles the newly formed team’s cricketing operations, would this not be a case of a ‘revolving door’ where Sunny has moved from a governing body to being part of a governed body?
Sunny Gavaskar hits the deadlines once more; this time it is his links with the Kochi franchise that have drawn flak from all quarters.
The Indian batting legend , the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs and surpass Don Bradman’s 29 tons, is mulling over an offer from the Gaikwads, the Rendezvous group owners, to handle all matters cricketing.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise and there exists speculation about Gavaskar’s role in the bidding process as a possible conflict of interest ; the master batsman was then on the IPL governing council.
(The fallout between Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor was the result of allegations that Tharoor sought Modi’s interference in the bidding process to ensure that the Kochi group’s bid would be successful.)
Gavaskar is no longer a part of the IPL set-up; he quit the re-constituted governing council citing differences with the BCCI.
Was the conflict of interest a reason for the differences? If yes, why then was just the super accumulator penalised?