Thursday, December 9, 2010

HC allows Kings XI to stay in the game, at a price!

At $21.5 million (approximately Rs 100 crore), it has turned out to be a costly victory for the team from Punjab. The Bombay high court on Wednesday stayed the termination by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of the IPL franchise agreement with Kings XI Punjab and sent the dispute between them for arbitration. But in a bid to make sure that the players' interests are protected for the two future IPL seasons pending a final decision by the sole arbitrator who is yet to be appointed, Justice Shiavax Vazifdar who passed the interim order subjected Punjab's participation in the forthcoming IPL seasons to it being able to provide security of $18 million.
The court directed Kings XI to give a separate security of $3.5 million to protect the BCCI against a likely notional loss as it is now unable to seek bids for a new IPL franchise to replace Kings XI.The court did not extend the time for Kings XI as sought by them to select their marquee players. It gave them time only till Thursday midnight. The Mohali team also gave an undertaking to pay its players their dues worth Rs 28 crore for IPL season 3 after it receives Rs 22 crore from the BCCI. The cricket board, however, said it owed the IPL team a much lower amount after deductions and said Kings owed its players more than Rs 28 crore. In addition to the Rs 100 crore it has to raise towards securities, Kings also has to pay BCCI $7.6 million towards its franchisee fees for the next season.It has to pay about 30% of this amount by January 2011.
The security has to be furnished by January 3, 2011, drawn on a nationalized bank in favour of the prothonotary of the Bombay high court. The conditions imposed on Kings XI for its freedom to play were debated extensively by lawyers on both sides. A particular bone of contention was how to secure the interest of the cricket board as C A Sundaram, senior counsel for BCCI, said that Kings XI ought to give a security or guarantee of $70 million for the next two IPL seasons–since going by the present rates, a new team was valued at around $350 million. The judge wanted to ensure that BCCI is not left entirely without any relief.
Thus after Kings XI counsel Darius Khambata pointed out that the franchisee pays the fee amount over the ten-year contract period, the judge said 10% of what would get paid in a year ought to be secure for BCCI in all fairness. Sundaram, who was supported by a team of lawyers including Raju Subramaniam, Akhila and Sharan Jagtiani, said they were "seeking substantial security for damages, for if the arbitrator finally goes against Kings XI and upholds their termination after a year, it would not be possible to seek bids for a new franchise midway through the three season-tour."


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  6. A particular bone of contention was how to secure the interest of the cricket board as C A Sundaram, senior counsel for BCCI, said that Kings XI ought to give a security or guarantee of $70 million for the next two IPL seasons–since going by the present rates, a new team was valued at around $350 million.

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