Adding a new twist to the Kochi IPL franchise drama, Union Minister for Agriculture and former Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sharad Pawar revealed on Thursday that members of the consortium that won the Kochi franchise wanted to be based in Ahmedabad.
"We told them, please don't do this at this stage and let the team stay in Kochi," said Pawar.
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi reportedly said that two members of the Kochi team consortuim, Harshad Mehta of Rosy Blue Diamonds and Mehul Shah of Anchor Earth, had met him in this regard, asking if the team could still be transferred to Ahmedabad. The two companies together own a 38 per cent stake in the team.
The Kochi franchise has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last couple of days. The owners, Rendezvous Sports, on Wednesday alleged that Lalit Modi had offered them a US$ 50 million bribe to withdraw from the race, prompting him to threaten legal action.
Earlier on Wednesday, Modi ignored the Board of Control for Cricket in India's diktat and took another potshot at the Kochi IPL team owners. He pointed out that there are still question marks over the ownership of the franchise, saying even some of the stakeholders were also not clear about it.