New Delhi: Indian Premier League side Kochi attracted fresh controversy on Thursday for adopting the name 'Indi Commandos' ahead of their debut appearance in the money-spinning, scandal-plagued tournament.
The team, based in the southern state of Kerala, departed from the tradition of using their respective states or cities as part of their names, such as Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders or Rajasthan Royals.
But the Kochi franchise, which almost got thrown out of the IPL over its disputed shareholding pattern, justified the name.
"Indi stands for an independent Indian cricket team that will go ahead to win a billion hearts. Commandos stands for an elite fighting squad, renowned for attacking with speed, stealth and deadly power," said a statement.
But the explanation did not cut ice with Kochi fans once the franchise uploaded the name on its official Facebook page.
"Is this an indicator of a lack of identity or is it simply that the franchise owners' loyalties lie outside the state and the city for which the team was bought in the first place?" posted an irate fan.
"Thumbs down for this.. omg..!! after all these months.. this is wht u came up with.. shocking," said another.
Fans also aired their dismay on Twitter.
One slammed the side as "IndiComman'Doomed" while another reminded Kochi that "going commando is the practice of not wearing underwear under one's outer clothing".
The franchise is likely to attract more criticism after a report said their owners had written to the IPL governing council, seeking a switch to Ahmedabad as their permanent base.
"We would request you to consider giving our franchise Ahmedabad as a permanent venue," the DNA newspaper said quoting from the letter.
"There is no entertainment tax and secondly, the state association has better infrastructure facilities."
Under the IPL schedule, Kochi will host three Indi Commandos matches while Indore will host one game.
The tournament is set to begin barely five days after the World Cup, on April 8.