New cricket team Kochi gets IPL go-ahead

Nov 30, -0001
MUMBAI: The Indian Premier League on Sunday cleared the new Kochi franchise to take part in the lucrative Twenty20 cricket tournament from next year, ending a long dispute over the team's ownership structure.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which owns the IPL, had delayed its decision on Kochi's fate three times after demanding its owners resolve a shareholding disagreement.

"The Kochi Franchisee has satisfactorily responded to the notice issued to them by the BCCI," BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said in a news release after a meeting of the IPL governing council in Mumbai.

"It has been decided that the franchise Kochi Cricket Pvt. Ltd would play in the IPL from 2011 onwards."

The inclusion of Kochi means at least eight teams will compete in the fourth edition of the IPL, which is set to start on April 8 next year.

Player auctions are scheduled for January 8-9.

The Kochi franchise was bought by the little-known Rendezvous Sports World group for 333 million dollars at an auction in March to add two new teams to the tournament.

The dispute arose after some stakeholders failed to agree on a 26-percent free share being given to the Gaikwad family, who had led the successful bid.

The Sahara Pune franchise is the other new entrant in the multi-million dollar event.

Two other franchises -- Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab -- have been thrown out for similar ownership issues as the BCCI acted to clean up the event. Both teams are fighting legal battles to be allowed back in.

The IPL is looking to make a fresh start after its founder Lalit Modi was sacked in September following allegations of corruption, indiscipline and money-laundering, all of which he denies. AGENCIES





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