Gavaskar admits being wooed by Kochi IPL, denies stakes in it (Lead)

October 26th, 2010 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Shashi Tharoor New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Former India cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar admitted Tuesday that he was being wooed by Kochi’s Indian Premier League (IPL) team but rubbished reports of having any stake in the franchise.

Gavaskar, who was recently dropped from IPL governing council, in a statement said that he will take a decision only after the club resolves its internal issues.

“They have asked me, individually and collectively, to come in for the cricketing part of the team. I will take a call once the internal issues are resolved,” Gavaskar said in a statement from Dubai.

“I have been approached for taking care of their cricketing operations and there is nothing in writing. Let all their internal issues get resolved and afterwards, maybe, I will take a call on that. The association as of now is pretty much in the air and things like formal association is not there,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by NDTV.

Gavaskar said he was approached earlier also by other franchises even before the first auction.

“Kochi is not the only franchisee which has approached me. I have been approached by many other franchises even before the first auction was done. Nothing has come through. Basically, they talk about the cricketing aspect. But I am not so sure what I am getting at,” he said.

“Nothing can be said further till what’s happening today and tomorrow. Once BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) takes a decision tomorrow, then one can react about the future association with the Kochi franchise. If that does not happen, I am quite happy for what I am doing at the moment,” he said.

On reports of having stakes in Kochi IPL, Gavaskar said: “That is not correct at all. Nothing to do with investing. Absolutely nothing.”

Kochi IPL chief executive Satyajit Gaekwad said Gavaskar had unconditionally supported Rendezvous Sports, a consortium which won the franchise rights for the team for $333.33 million (Rs.1,533 crore).

Gaekwad said since Gavaskar was no longer a member of the IPL governing council, he would have a larger role in sorting out the differences within the franchise.

“Maybe, he has a larger goal to sort out the differences within the franchise as now he’s no more a member of the governing council. But when he was a member of the council, he had strictly said that he won’t be able to speak to us on this matter, till (he takes) the permission of the board or till (he is) no more a member of the governing council,” Gaekwad said.

“Keeping this in mind. I think we did approach him, once he was out of the governing council. At the same time, some consortium partners have also approached him,” Gaekwad was quoted as saying by TV channels.

Gaekwad said Gavaksar would look into the cricketing aspects of the Kochi team.

“But he was not very sure of joining that, and maybe now he has declared his unconditional support to the IPL Kochi team. At the time of bidding, Rendezvous Sports Pvt Ltd, we all consciously bid for the Kerala Cricket Association and the state of Kerala, the Kochi team, of course keeping in mind that Shashi Tharoor was very keen and had been a mentor.”

“So we had always thought of doing whatever we decided, and in between when it was the question of who would be advisor to us on cricketing matters, it was a unanimous decision by everyone that Gavaskar is one of the best. But then he refused to participate with us as he was a member of the governing council,” he said.

Gaekwad said that at the time of the bid, Gavaskar was not involved with the Kochi IPL and hence there was no conflict of interest.

“At (that) time, he was not a part of us, now he is not a part of the council and so he wants to be a part of us. It is clearly a decision by Gavaskar based on the fact that we have jointly and individually approached him to guide us on the cricketing issues,” he said.

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