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FICA concerned about plight of Kochi, Pune IPL teams

February 09, 2012 17:50 IST

Federation of International Cricketers' Associations CEO Tim May has expressed concern over Sahara India's withdrawal of its franchise, Pune Warriors, from the Indian Premier League.

The former Australia cricketer said "plenty" of players expressed concern to the FICA as they don't have a team to play for in the fifth edition of the IPL because of the Sahara Group's withdrawal moments before the players' auction last Saturday.

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"We are concerned about the plight of all of the players from the Kochi and Pune teams," May said, in an e-mail interview.

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"Players have signed contracts with these franchises for a period of 2 years and the players rightfully expect the franchises (or the IPL) to honor the financial benefits contained within these contracts," he added.

The fate of the Pune players hangs in the balance even as the two warring bodies -- Sahara India and the Board of Control for Cricket in India -- are set to meet over this weekend to sort out differences.

Besides pulling out of the IPL, Sahara also snapped its 11-year-old sponsorship deal with the Indian cricket team.

A couple of days after Sahara dealt twin blows to BCCI, former IPL chairman Lalit Modi claimed that the 2009 IPL auctions were rigged to enable Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to retain England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff.

Asked if Modi's claims should be investigated, May said: "Honest and transparent organizations probe claims made against their organizations, if there is nothing to hide I presume that the IPL would have no issue with a proper and transparent investigation into this claim."

The IPL has been engulfed in controversies related to corruption quite a few times and the FICA CEO said the transparency and accountability of the event is a concern.

"I think it is fair to say there are an increasing number of stakeholders who are concerned about the governance, accountability and transparency of this competition," he said.

"To beat corruption within the game, we need all stakeholders including the administration to be honest, transparent and strong leaders," he added.

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