Shashi Tharoor bats in second innings

Rendezvous consortium gets down to business

Setting at rest speculations on the uncertainties revolving around the Kochi IPL team, consortium CEO T Keshav and Vivek Venugopal visited KCA headquarters here and discussed the hosting of IPL 4 matches in the state. Tharoor who reiterated he was no more than a well-wisher of the team was also present at the KCA office though he did not attend the meeting.

Vivek Venugopal, the only Keralite in the consortium, said that the team’s name and brand ambassador would be announced soon. They would request the BCCI to allow the  team’s matches to be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium in Kochi which has hosted one-day international matches. The consortium members who held discussions with KCA secretary T C Mathew and others pointed out that the KCA’s own stadium was coming up at Edakochi in Kochi.

However, state sports minister M Vijayakumar with whom the consortium members sought an appointment, avoided them in keeping with the CPM’s official stand against IPL.

He said he was attending the CPM state secretariat meeting. It may be recalled that party general secretary Prakash Karat had said that Kerala did not need an IPL team.

No Pushkar equity

In reply to questions, the promoters clarified that the sweat equity due to Sunanda Pushkar had been withdrawn. However, there was no change in the other share-holdings.

Tharoor reiterated the importance of the IPL team for promoting young talent and also strengthening Kerala’s economy. “Since sports is above politics, all parties should support the idea for an IPL team for Kerala,’’ the MP said.

The consortium members later met Opposition leader Oommen Chandy who incidentally had been supportive of Tharoor during the IPL controversy. Meanwhile, the KCA has announced that it will conduct a state cricket league for finding local talent for the IPL team.

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