RPSG Group, CVC Capital get 2 new IPL teams


Dubai, Oct 25 (UNI) Kolkata-based business tycoon Sanjiv Goenka's RPSG Group and international equity investment firm Irelia Company Pte Limited (CVC Capital Partners) won the ownership rights of the two new franchises in the IPL.

While RPSG Group won the Lucknow franchise at a whopping Rs 7090 crore, CVC Capital Partners claimed the bid for Ahmedabad at Rs 5625 crore.

Earlier, Goenka had owned the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise, which played in 2016 and 2017 seasons along with Gujarat Lions as the replacement franchises for the suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.

The RP-SG managed team reached the 2017 IPL final after they had a poor run in the previous season. They lost to Mumbai Indians by a solitary run in Hyderabad.

Speaking to a section of media, RP-SG Group Owner Sanjeev Goenka said, "I am delighted that our staff and personnel have won the bid for the Lucknow team at Rs 7090 crore."

He also confirmed CVC Capital winning the bid for the Ahmedabad team.

Giving reason for bidding for the Lucknow team, Goenka said Lucknow is a very good market, which is starved of good entertainment.

"In Greater Noida we distribute power. In Uttar Pradesh we have retail stores. We were aware of the market there. And we feel it is a very good market. There is a lot of traction there. It is a state which is starved of good entertainment," he said.

Asked about the team formation, Goenka said the franchise will decide on it after BCCI gives clarity on the retention policy.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said the inclusion of two new teams at such a high valuation reiterates the cricketing and financial strength of India's cricket ecosystem. "It will also bring more domestic cricketers to the global stage," he added.

From late last evening, reports of BCCI earning a windfall of Rs 10000 crore was splashed in almost all media, but the auction on Monday sprung a surprise with the premier cricketing body hogging Rs 12,690 crore from the two new teams.

The addition of these two new teams expands the IPL in terms of number of teams and matches.

Earlier, IPL boasted of eight teams and hosted 60 matches, but from next season, as many as 74 matches will be played, while 10 teams will vie for the coveted trophy.

This is not the first time that the tournament had 10 teams. In 2010, Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala joined the league ahead of the 2011 season, which increased the number of teams to 10.

A year later, the BCCI terminated Kochi Tuskers Kerala for breaching BCCI's terms of conditions. Pune Warriors India withdrew IPL in 2013 over financial differences with the board.

As many as 10 parties including Manchester United owners had participated in the bidding process in Dubai for the two new teams.

"The ITT process included two interested bidders from outside of India, which strongly emphasises the global appeal of the IPL as a sports property. The IPL is proving to be a wonderful instrument in globalising the game of cricket. I am keenly looking forward to IPL 2022," Ganguly said.

The Adani Group also was present at the auction.

BCCI Honorary Secretary Jay 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," he said.

Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Guwahati, Cuttack, Dharamsala and Indore were the six cities that were presented as options for the two new franchises.

Ever since the launch of IPL in 2008, the league has seen tremendous growth and is one of the most viewed competitions in the world.

Next year will be the 15 season which promises to be a high-octane battlefield for franchises and for their businesses.

IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel said the level of interest among the interested parties prove that IPL is among the most sought-after sporting leagues in the world.

"We had bids from different parts of the world and from parties with diverse portfolios wanting to make a foray into the world of sports," he said.

BCCI Honorary Treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said the fact that winning bids were way above the base price set for the two new IPL franchises is a direct indication of the true value of the Indian Premier League.