BCCI confirms Lucknow, Ahmedabad as two new IPL franchises

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The Sanjeev Goenka-owned RPSG group and international investment firm – CVC Capital – on Monday bagged the ownership rights of the two new franchises of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed.

“The Governing Council of the IPL had issued an Invitation to Tender (“ITT”) to acquire the right to own and operate 2 (two) new franchises. Pursuant to the tender process, various interested parties submitted their bids for the new franchises. The bids were submitted by the authorised representatives of the interested parties at Dubai today,” the board said in a statement.

“BCCI is pleased to announce the following successful bidders (subject to definitive documentation and other formalities being completed): 1. RPSG Ventures Ltd. – Lucknow (for INR 7090 crores) 2. Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) – Ahmedabad (for INR 5625 crores),” it added.

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.

Commenting on the development, BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly said: “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 viz in Lucknow and Ahmedabad. 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 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,” it added.

On the other hand, Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI said: “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. 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 added.

Notably, as many as 10 parties had entered the bidding war on Monday and had got an option to choose from from six centres – Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Cuttack, Dharamsala, Guwahati and Indore – to base their team in.

As per reports, all the interested parties were asked to submit two envelopes – one for personal and financial credentials and the second for the bid and the entire process was overseen by the IPL Governing Council as well as the BCCI top officials like president Ganguly, secretary Shah, treasurer Arun Dhumal, vice-president Rajeev Shukla and joint-secretary Jayesh George.

Now after acquiring the teams, both the parties will need to pay the entire amount over a period of 10 years.

These new franchises – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – will now be a part of the 15th edition of the lucrative league, taking the total number of teams to 10 from eight.

The next edition of IPL is likley to be staged in the March-April window and a mega auction for it will most probably be held in December this year or January, 2022.

News Desk

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