Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 5 (IANS) Former junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor and cricketer S. Sreesanth Sunday welcomed the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to allow the Kochi franchise to play in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The IPL governing council decided to retain the Kochi franchise after its owners, in a last-minute agreement, sorted out their differences in the shareholding pattern.
The team would now be known as Kochi Private Limited.
Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor, who had to quit the cabinet of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following reports that his then friend and now wife Sunanda Pushkar had sweat equity in the consortium, said he was extremely happy with the decision going in favour of Kochi and the state of Kerala.
‘This is a great thing for the sports lovers in my state,’ Tharoor said.
‘I see through this the prospects of development of the state with a 21st century franchise.
‘My role was only that of a mentor and I had no role in putting together the consortium. I am really happy because I was so enthusiastic to see the urge of the youngsters in the state who were excited when the news first came about a Kochi team.’
Indian speedster Sreesanth said he was delighted with the news.
‘See, it is my desire to play for the Kochi team, but I do not know how things will transpire because we are all going to be auctioned. It is my dream to play for Kochi and come on top in IPL,’ said Sreesanth.
It remains to be seen how the matches would be worked out for the Kochi team because currently the only stadium where international matches are staged here belongs to the Greater Cochin Development Authority.
Young Congress legislator P.C.Vishnunath sees it as an opportunity to develop the infrastructre of the city as well as the state.
‘Kerala will have to wake up to this and the need of the hour is world class infrastructure in terms of good roads and infrastructure to welcome the travelers who would be part of the IPL entourage,’ said Vishnunath.