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BCCI expected to replace Kochi franchise

Just seven months after successfully winning the IPL franchise auction, Rendezvous Sports, the major shareholder in the Kochi franchise has written to the BCCI asking for the team to be withdrawn from the league.

The letter, which was received by the BCCI on Thursday markís the end of an extraordinary chapter in the history of the Indian Premier League which started in April when Rendezvous Sports surprisingly won the rights to one of two new IPL franchises.

The consortium paid $333 million for the rightís to place a new franchise in Kochi but having secured the team their nightmare started to begin after a public fall out with IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

Modi, who was sacked by the BCCI in September, announced the details of the investors in the team via twitter after a war of words with Junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor.

Tharoor, who resigned after the scandal claimed Modi was trying to discredit the team and create a reason to remove the franchise from Rendezvous Sports so it could be moved to another city.

The Junior foreign minister helped Rendezvous Sports during the bidding process and although Tharoor had no stake in the franchise he said the Kochi team had bid in an "open and transparent" manner.

"Their unexpected success upset the plans of a lot of powerful people, who had wanted the franchise to go elsewhere," said Tharoor.

"The unethical efforts that have been made by Mr Modi and others to thwart the Kerala franchise which has been won fair and square in a transparent bidding process are disgraceful," he added.

Since then Rendezvous Sports have been trying to resolve the ownership differences between the five groups of investors; who still havenít agreed on who will have control of the franchise after successfully bidding $333 million at the IPL franchise in March.

The investors include finance companies Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Rosy Blue and Film Wave; who hold 75 per cent of the equity. The remaining 25 per cent of the franchise was given to the Gaekwads family as free equity for their help in successfully bidding for the franchise.

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