Kochi Tuskers Kerala owners ready for an out-of-court settlement

For years, the BCCI had been sweeping the Kochi Tuskers Kerala issue under the carpet but now with the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) in charge of things, it looks like a serious step is being taken to address it.

Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI joint secretary, had informed members before the start of the Special General Meeting (SGM) in New Delhi the other day that the Board had lost the arbitration case against the former IPL team Kochi Tuskers.   -  PTI

For years, the BCCI had been sweeping the Kochi Tuskers Kerala issue under the carpet but now with the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) in charge of things, it looks like a serious step is being taken to address it.

Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI joint secretary, had informed members before the start of the Special General Meeting (SGM) in New Delhi the other day that the Board had lost the arbitration case against the former IPL team Kochi Tuskers and that the latter had been awarded around Rs. 1,080 crore as compensation.

OWNERS NOT SURPRISED

The news, however, did not surprise or excite the Tuskers’ stake-holders.

“Technically, the verdict came more than a year ago, but the BCCI has taken it up for serious discussion only now,” a source close to the Tuskers team told Sportstar on Wednesday evening.

“The arbitrator, Justice R.C. Lahoti, awarded this amount after he found out that the Tuskers had been wrongfully terminated from the IPL.”

One of the options before the Board is to go for an out-of-court settlement with the Tuskers and the source said that the former IPL team, which played for just one season (in 2011), was willing to go for it.

“As a consortium, they have no issues about going for discussions with the BCCI, they are open to any out-of-court settlement,” he said.

After the arbitrator’s verdict, the Tuskers team owners had moved courts to attach the BCCI’s assets.

CHANGE IN MINDSET

“They also have a case going on in the Supreme Court against the BCCI. All these years, the BCCI had made it look like a small issue. But now, the CoA has come, its members are pulling out files one by one, they are seeing all this and probably asking, “how can you have all these cases running?” said the source.

HUGE PENALTY CLAUSE

“Earlier, the BCCI’s mentality was, ‘we will fight it out and most of the opponents will drain out’. But now, there is a change in its mindset to ‘let’s clean up the BCCI’. That is why this is coming up now. And the arbitrator Justice R.C. Lahoti’s verdict is so clear, he is a former Chief Justice of India, not some random person who has been given the job. Also, the verdict says that an 18 per cent penalty should be paid for every year the payment is being delayed. So, the sooner the BCCI settles the issue, the better it will be for everybody.”

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