New Delhi, Sep 22: Interest of the players contracted with terminated IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala will be protected, assured the league's new boss Rajiv Shukla who today promised to make the cash-rich event more attractive by bringing in “new ideas and elements.”
Shukla said protecting the players affected by Kochi's ouster is primary concern for the IPL authorities and that the Governing Council will meet in the second week of October to discuss all issues related to the termination.
“Our prime concern will be the players' interest, their interest is not hampered in terms of financial loses and also in terms of their participation in the tournament,” Shukla told PTI in an interview here.
“Suppose these players are re-auctioned for some other franchise and if there is any difference what they are supposed to get, it will be compensated by us,” he explained. Kochi Tuskers Kerala, a team introduced only last year that constantly hit the headlines for its ownership dispute, was terminated from the IPL after failing to pay its annual bank guarantee.
The termination leaves players contracted with the franchise such as its Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Indian pacer S Sreesanth and spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan without a team and an uncertain future.
“The status is that on the issue of non-payment, Kochi has been terminated as per the agreement between franchise and BCCI. They were supposed to pay the bank guarantee... they have gone to the court, and the court didn't give them any relief and BCCI is entitled to encash the bank guarantee,” Shukla said.
“We have to protect the interest of the players also. So after the termination of this franchise, now nine teams are left. The whole matter will go to Governing Council and they will take a view if we should go for one more team or we should stick to nine teams. I am okay with both the plans and whatever the council decides we will go by that. We have a plan for each situation,” Shukla added.
Shukla, however, ruled out any immediate possibility of a new owner coming in to take over Kochi. “No, now if any decision is taken, it has to be on the basis of a new bid,” he said.
Shukla, also the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, is looking forward to the new job of running a league that has redefined Indian cricket.
Talking about the enormity of running an event, which has of late been at the centre of financial rows, Shukla said, “IPL has been facing various challenges and that is how it has come up and now talked about all over world. This is one tournament which is recognised, so such things will always be surrounded with challenges.”
“Since the responsibility has been assigned to me, I have always taken up such challenges, and I would like to bring new elements to it, by next month there should be a road map and we would add further elements, make it more attractive, but at the same time, the whole idea is not to sacrifice sanctity of the game. It is going to be an interesting tournament,” he said.
Shukla said a new plan is being prepared to jazz up the league which was the brainchild of its now sacked Commissioner Lalit Modi. PTI