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BCCI eyes an out-of-court settlement with Kochi Tuskers Kerala

The Indian Express logoThe Indian Express 11-05-2017

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking for an out-of-court settlement with the scrapped IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK). In the recently concluded special general body meeting (SGM) held in New Delhi, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary informed the house that the board had lost their arbitration proceedings against KTK, with the franchise being awarded around Rs 1080 crore. Choudhary confirmed to The Indian Express that the court proceedings hadn’t gone down in the favour of the BCCI and that the board was now looking at all other options before charting a course of action. The Kochi camp though seem keener on having their team reinstated to the league.

“The general body is aware of the matter and we will decide our next course of action accordingly,” Choudhary stated.

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Owners want team reinstated

It is reliably learnt that KTK co-owners had met the committee of administrators (COA) a few weeks ago and it was the committee that advised the franchise to approach the BCCI once more through a formal process. The BCCI are meanwhile said to be willing to compensate the Kochi-based franchise, which appeared in two seasons of the IPL, with one full and final settlement. It is then that KTK informed the COA members about wanting their team back on the IPL stage for the 11th edition of the IPL.

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In 2015, the a justice panel led by former Chief Justice of India, RC Lahoti, had asked BCCI to shell out Rs 550 crore to Kochi franchise. It also ordered that if the board failed to go through with the payment, they will be charged an 18 per cent penalty on an annual basis. The BCCI, however, later decided to challenge the arbitration in a higher court.

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It is reliably learnt that the BCCI lawyers have informed the board that they are better off at looking to sort the issue outside the court rather than risk facing further trouble from a higher court. “There is no chance of giving them their place back in the IPL. They want the team because they then want to sell it? The only way out is for them to accept the one-time final settlement and put the issue to rest,” another BCCI member said.

In 2011, the BCCI had terminated the agreement with the Kochi franchise due to an alleged breach of the contract by the consortium of five companies put together by Rendezvous Sports World. BCCI had asked Kochi to submit a fresh bank guarantee and gave them six months for the same. When the franchise failed to do so, the BCCI proceeded to terminate their IPL contract as per the terms of agreement. The board also encashed Kochi’s Rs 156 crore bank guarantee which is another matter the franchise objected to. Meanwhile, many players who represented the Kochi Tuskers over the two seasons they were a part of the IPL are yet to get their dues completely.

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