Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gavaskar: A boon or a bane for Kochi?

NAGPUR: One can probably write it off as a coincidence. Sunil Gavaskar resigned from the governing council of the IPL almost at the same time, when trouble started brewing between the Gaikwad family and the rest of the Kochi investors over control of the franchise.

Incidentally, though, immediately after Gavaskar\'s unceremonious exit, rumours started floating that the BCCI was veering towards the Kochi investors, and away from the Gaikwads. Reason? It didn\'t want to deal with one of India\'s greatest cricketers.

It is learnt that the board doesn\'t want to even discuss the man or the role he can play in Indian cricket — now or even later. That is why it is more than happy to insinuate that the real investors (Anchor, Parinee, Film Waves and others) are more than welcome to resolve the issue at hand and incorporate themselves, as required by BCCI\'s norms. The Gaikwads, of course, not only own 25% free equity, and 1% paid equity, but also retain control over the team.

When TOI spoke to BCCI officials about Gavaskar, one of them categorically said: \"The board has nothing to do with him.\" That is not entirely true. The former India captain still heads BCCI\'s technical committee and also has a contract, which gives him the right to be part of every broadcasting team within the country. It is, however, reliably learnt that two top BCCI officials don\'t see eye to eye with Gavaskar.

A few other people who have Gavaskar\'s backing in the IPL, too claim that they\'re being targeted only because of their proximity to the former batsman.

Gavaskar, after conceding to TOI that he had been approached by the franchise, chose to stay silent as controversy raged on Tuesday. \"Let the time come. The truth will come out,\" he said.

The Kochi investors too are equally silent. \"You write what you want,\" said Vipul Shah, one of the promoters, when asked about the offer. Clearly, the franchise is divided over Gavaskar\'s role as well.

Sources in the Kochi franchise, however, agree that \"what started as a boon for the Gaikwads — Gavaskar agreeing to back them in their IPL venture — is now turning out to be a bane\". One of them said: \"The more they flaunt his name, the more they rub BCCI the wrong way.\"

There have been suggestions that Gavaskar already holds some equity in the franchise which raise questions over conflict of interest. Gavaskar, though, denied he has any stake. \"I will take a call on this when the differences are resolved,\" he had told TOI on Monday.
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