It had to happen someday. It was long overdue. Things were turning uglier by the day... And finally, on that fateful day, BCCI expelled Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
I have been following Kochi team since their inception. Read the post on "Kochi Team as "Indi Commandos"" and "And finally, its Kochi Tuskers Kerala" for more information. It all started with the hope to own a Kerala based team. Thanks to the closed bidding process, it turned out to be an over-priced team. Then the naming controversy. Their source of revenue curbed by the Kerala Goverment (entertainment taxes) didn't help either. And to top it all, their cat-and-mouse relationship with BCCI.
I feel bad for the team players though. They had some really memorable matches in IPL-4. All this is bad for players like Mahela, McCullum, Hodge, Jadeja, P Patel, Murali etc.. They were gelling together as a unit. But then, in a tournament like the IPL, with so much money at stake, you can even gel with the Australian rugby team for that matter !!
As far as the current situation is concerned, we are not approaching a closure by any stretch of imagination. Things can turn murkier, or they can be sorted out.
What can happen?
- Kochi team management have appealed against the ban. They might get a stay on the ban, they might pay the bank guarantee and things will go on as usual. However dirty it may be.
- BCCI will remain firm on the ban and IPL will be a 9 team event. Remember, IPL with 8 teams was more profitable than IPL with 10 teams - for many reasons. I doubt if BCCI will have an auction for the 10th team. And if at all that happens, I won't be surprised if the location is Ahmedabad.
- Players representing Kochi Tuskers will most likely be put up on auction and teams like Deccan, Punjab, Pune and Delhi will buy them - they need them.
What should happen?
- Kochi IPL team management are trying for Ahmedabad as their base location. That makes sense since Kerala is known to be a football loving state, just like Goa. Having a cricket team doesn't make any sense - least of all, any business sense. Including Sreesanth didn't help either.
- Kochi franchise immediately needs a re-branding exercise. They have messed up their brand image. If Ahmedabad is accepted, then their name will surely change. Include some bollywood star as their ambassador (maybe Big B, since he is already the brand ambassador of Gujarat).
- Team Management: Learn to co-exist.
Allow Kerala be remain one of India's favorite holiday destination, please don't dilute Kerala's positioning. Also, let's just hope that things get sorted in the IPL out and we continue liking the shortest form of cricket (T20) that has popularized cricket as a sport all over the world like never before.
Let's move on with the game guys. It's high time we keep controversy out of it.