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IPL: Kochi team cleared to play season 4

Mumbai: After a seesaw battle, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee, Kochi, got the green signal from the BCCI to participate in the fourth edition of the cash-rich event.

The decision was taken after hours long Board’s Governing Council meeting in Mumbai. With that the franchisee also became the eighth team to participate in the next edition of the IPL.

“At their meeting today, the IPL Governing Council confirmed that the Kochi Franchisee had satisfactorily responded to the notice issued to them by the BCCI, and decided that the Franchisee Kochi Cricket Pvt. Ltd., would play in the IPL from 2011 onwards,” BCCI Secretary and President-Elect N Srinivasan said in a release.

Earlier, sources told CNN-IBN that the Governing Council was likely to approve the final agreement of the franchise.

Sources also confirmed that, in its meeting, the Council considered the new shareholding structure proposed by the six investors of the franchise.

It was told that the Rendezvous Sports World to hold only 5% paid and 5% sweat equity. It was also said that the firm would have just one member in the teams’ cricket operations.

The Board’s nod to the Kochi-based side arose from the fact that it was already concerned over pursuing further litigation.

The Board was also concerned about the ten-team format for the next IPL season as that could be difficult to fit in the fixed window provided to the cash-rich event.

The Governing Council had deferred its decision on the franchisee for the third time last week in Nagpur, after the investors reached a last-minute shareholding agreement.

Barely seven months after becoming the second most costliest team in the IPL, Kochi was on the verge of being thrown out of the event due to the shareholding dispute between the consortium’s investors.

The investors – Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Rosy Blue and Film Wave – hold 74 per cent of the equity.

The remaining 26 per cent lies with the Gaikwad family – Shailendra, his brother Ravi and their parents all part of Rendezvous Sports World – as free equity for services rendered while bidding.

It is this 26 per cent, which became a bone of contention among the stakeholders, as the investors were in no mood to give free equity to the Gaikwad family.

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