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Terminated Kochi Tuskers seek Kerala chief minister's help

The owners of Kochi Tuskers, the terminated Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, have sought help from Kerala chief Minister Oommen Chandy to revive the state's Twenty20 cricket team.

Chandy said Thursday that officials from Rendezvous Sports, owners of Kochi Tuskers, have requested him for help to revive the team.

"I told them that I will discuss this issue with my cabinet colleagues and find out what can be done," Chandy told reporters here after a special cabinet meeting.

The IPL franchise was terminated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after it defaulted on an annual payment of Rs.156 crore as a bank guarantee. Prasanth Mishra, a representative of Rendezvous Sports, met Chandy twice and discussed the problems.

"We have also met Sports Minister K.B.Ganesh Kumar to seek his help as well. We are also going to seek legal recourse of cancelling our franchise because in the past two franchises (Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals) were successful after they went to the court," said Mishra told IANS.

Rendezvous won the franchisee rights for the Kochi IPL team for Rs.1,500 crore for 10 years. Rendezvous is owned by a consortium that includes companies like Kerala-based Elite Group of Vivek Venugopal, Anchor Earth, Parani Development Pvt. Ltd., Anand Shah Developers and Film Waves.

The team had its trouble right from the start. Sashi Tharoor, a Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, lost his job as the minister for state for external affairs after it was revealed that Sunanda Pushkar, whom he later married, was given sweat equity. Tharoor reportedly did the initial spade work to bring the owners together and bid for the team.

Then came a serious difference opinion between the owners and that too was sorted out before the team finally took the field. But then it defaulted in payment to the BCCI.

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