Cracking the whip, the BCCI terminated the contract of IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala for non-payment of bank guarantee, thus abruptly ending the controversial Kerala team's association with the cash-rich league after just one year.
The decision to terminate Kochi franchise was taken at the BCCI's Annual General Meeting in Mumbai on Monday, in which the new office bearers of the Board were also elected.
"Because of the irremediable breach committed by the Kochi franchise, the BCCI has decided to encash the bank guarantee in their possession and also terminate the franchise," new BCCI president N Srinivasan told reporters after the AGM.
Asked if the BCCI would reconsider its decision and give the franchise a chance to return, Srinivasan bluntly rejected such a suggestion.
"No, we have terminated the franchise because the breach is not capable of being remedied," he clarified.
The consortium, which was mired in a bitter ownership dispute since its very inception, defaulted on a Rs 156 crore annual payment it was to make as bank guarantee despite reported reminders from the IPL authorities.
The franchise, which was bought for Rs 1,550 crore, was supposed to make the yearly payment for the next 10 years.
Kochi's termination means the 10-team tournament would be reduced to nine.
Srinivasan said any decision to conduct fresh auction for a new franchise would be taken by the Rajiv Shukla-led IPL Governing Council. Shukla was named as the new IPL chairman, succeeding Chirayu Amin.
The new president also defended Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys performance in England where the team failed to win a single international match in all three formats.
"Two months back, they were the heroes of the world and toast of the entire nation. They have just had one bad series and we can't readily dump them after that. We need to support the team," he said.
Srinivasan rubbished the "too much workload" theory stating that contrary to popular notion that Team India plays lot more than other countries, there is not much of a difference.
"We have compared the itinerary of the other countries and there is not much difference. Also, it must be mentioned question of workload doesn't arise as only few players are playing all the three forms of cricket," he explained.
Srinivasan reiterated that BCCI is focussed on having a systematic structure on injury management issues.
"We have made it clear to the physio that an utmost transparency and honesty should be maintained in terms of fitness of players. And if you look at the last three years, you will find that those players who have not been cleared by the NCA haven't been selected in the national squad," he said in response to a query about players breaking down due to injuries after declaring themselves fit.
"The idea is to field the best Indian team. We can't wait to get back to the top spot. This tour (England) didn't go as per plan as we didn't have our best team together."
Asked about the much awaited Indo-Pak series, Srinivasan informed that there is nothing much on the table at the moment.