After weeks of stalemate and high drama, IPL's Kochi franchise is all set to make its debut in IPL4. The franchise's new ownership structure has met the approval of the IPL's governing council at a meeting in Mumbai on Sunday, Dec 5. The council had been convened last week to study the new ownership pattern submitted by the consortium that owns the franchise following a decision by the various stakeholders to resolve their internal differences.
"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," the BCCI said in a release after the meeting. Some of the owners of the Kochi franchise, including Satyasingh Gaikwad, the head of the promoters, was in attendance at the meeting.
The decision means that the IPL in 2011 will have a minimum of eight teams, while uncertainty looms over the fate of the two franchises that were expelled - Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. An arbitrator has passed a stay order on Rajasthan's expulsion while the hearing of Punjab's appeal was held up because the same arbitrator pulled out of the case citing a conflict of interest.
"For the moment the IPL will have eight teams, until the courts decide on Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, which have entered into legal battles with the BCCI after they were terminated," an IPL official told ESPNcricinfo.
On October 27, the BCCI served the Kochi franchise with a termination notice, giving it a month's time to show just cause why it should not be scrapped due to problems in its ownership pattern with all concerned parties in contention for a majority stake. With the expiration of the Nov 27 deadline, the Board said they would take a decision on the franchise's fate on Dec 5th which has come to pass.