Indian Premier League unveils Lucknow, Ahmedabad franchises

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The Indian Premier League will have 10 teams from 2022. (BCCI)
The Indian Premier League will have 10 teams from 2022. (BCCI)

Dubai - The league had approved a proposal in December to add two franchises to the world's richest Twenty20 competition

By AFP/Reuters

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Published: Tue 26 Oct 2021, 2:51 AM

A US-owned capital venture fund and an Indian tycoon on Monday bid more than $1.6 billion dollars between them to set up two new teams in the Indian Premier League, the world’s richest cricket tournament, officials said.

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Sanjiv Goenka, whose RPSG conglomerate includes power, music and plantation concerns, bid more than $930 million at an auction in Dubai to set up a team in the Indian city of Lucknow, the IPL said.

CVC Capital partners promised more than $690 million to set up a team in Ahmedabad at the world’s biggest cricket stadium.

PTI had reported on Sunday that Goenka is one of the favourites to win a team, having been in the IPL for two years in 2016 and 2017 when he owned the Rising Pune Supergiants.

One of the major companies that lost out was Gautam Adani’s Adani Group, while bids of Glazers from Manchester United and Torrent Group also fell short of the mark.

While 22 companies picked up tender document for new teams, only five to six serious bidders were in fray.

“The new franchises will participate in IPL from 2022 season onwards subject to the bidders completing the post-bid formalities as specified in the ITT document. The IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play 7 home and 7 away matches,” the Indian cricket board said in a statement.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly congratulated the successful bidders.

“The BCCI is happy to welcome two new teams from the next season of the Indian Premier League. I would like to congratulate RPSG Ventures Ltd. & Irelia Company Pte Ltd for being the successful bidders. The IPL will now go to two new cities in India in Lucknow and Ahmedabad,” Ganguly said.

“It is heartening to see the inclusion of two new teams at such a high valuation, and it reiterates the cricketing and financial strength of our cricket ecosystem. True to IPL’s motto of ‘Where Talent Meets Opportunity’, the inclusion of two new teams will bring more domestic cricketers from our country to the global stage.”

The former Indian captain also said it is wonderful to see IPL attract global investors.

“The ITT process included two interested bidders from outside of India, which strongly emphasises the global appeal of the IPL as a sports property,” he said.

“The IPL is proving to be a wonderful instrument in globalising the game of cricket. I am keenly looking forward to IPL 2022.”

Meanwhile, BCCI secretary Jay Shah promised to take the IPL to different parts of India from next year.

“It is a momentous day for all of us and I formally welcome RPSG Ventures Ltd. and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. into the IPL fold. We had promised that IPL will be bigger and better from the 15th season and with Lucknow and Ahmedabad, we will take the league to different parts of India,” Shah said.

“The IPL has established gold standards for leagues across the world and remains a premium event on the sporting calendar as it has grown rapidly in a short span. Despite numerous challenges posed by Covid-19, the 13th and 14th seasons were completed, and the bids prove that interested parties have faith in BCCI and its hosting capabilities. I am thrilled for the people of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat as the long wait is over and they will now have their own IPL team. My best wishes to the two new teams.”

With the addition of two new teams, former Indian opening batsmen Aakash Chopra hoped the BCCI would add one more slot for overseas players in the playing XIs.

“So, Ahmedabad and Lucknow it is. The valuation of the new teams has taken the #IPL to a whole new level. Now, the wait to understand the retention rules. I hope that allowing 5 overseas players in the XI is considered as an option for the first 3 years at least,” Chopra tweeted.

The league had approved a proposal in December to add two franchises to the world’s richest Twenty20 competition, which has an estimated brand value of $6.8 billion.

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