Mumbai: Sep 19, 2011
Controversy-ridden IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala was slapped with a suspension notice for non-payment of bank guarantee by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at its Annual General Meeting, on Monday.
The consortium, which was mired in a bitter ownership dispute after its very inception, defaulted on a Rs 156 crore annual payment it was to make as bank guarantee despite reported reminders from the IPL authorities.
The decision to terminate Kochi franchise was taken at the BCCI's Annual General Meeting here today, in which the new office bearers of the Board were also elected.
"Because of the irremediable breach committed by the Kochi franchise, the BCCI has decided to encash the bank guarantee in their possession and also terminate the franchise," new BCCI President N Srinivasan told reporters after the AGM.
Asked if the BCCI would reconsider its decision and give the franchise a chance to return, Srinivasan bluntly rejected such a suggestion.
"No, we have terminated the franchise because the breach is not capable of being remedied," he clarified.
Srinivasan said any decision to conduct fresh auction for a new franchise would be taken by the Rajiv Shukla-led IPL Governing Council. Shukla was named as the new IPL chairman today, succeeding Chirayu Amin.
According to BCCI sources, the franchise has been asked to make the payment within a stipulated timeframe failing which Kochi's participation in the IPL would be terminated.
The franchise, which was bought for Rs 1,550 crore, is supposed to make the yearly payment for the next 10 years.
The team made its debut only last year and was among the laggards in the league.
Led by Mahela Jayawardene, the side has also been hitting the headlines due to its owners' reported desire to shift the team's base to Ahmedabad.
Kochi had faced the prospect of being axed even last year when the BCCI questioned its shareholding but the matter was settled after agreement between the various owners.
Kochi Tuskers Kerala is owned by the Kochi Cricket Pvt Ltd. Apart from off field controversies, the Tuskers had a forgettable first season in 2011.
Earlier there were media speculations on the likely suspension of the Tuskers by the Board of Control for Cricket in India as the Kerala franchise had allegedly not cleared its dues to the board.
Also there were some pending contractual obligations that KTK is yet to clear, and it needs to be sorted out.
KTK spokesperson had earlier denied such allegations, adding that they have paid all their dues on time and have also not received any complaints from the BCCI.