Hardik Pandya likely to lead Ahmedabad franchise in upcoming IPL seson: Reports

Former Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya is expected to lead the new Ahmedabad franchise in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season, likley to get underway in April this year, it has been reported.

Notably, Hardik was not retained by the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians ahead of the mega auction and was released by the five-time IPL champions.

As per reports, Hardik, who hails from Baroda in Gujarat, will lead the Ahmedabad franchise, owned by CVC Capital. however, an official confirmation on it is yet to be made by the franchise.

Meanwhile, several other reports have also suggested that former Indian seamer Ashish Nehra, who had earlier worled with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as its assistant coach. is likely to be named as the head coach of the Ahmedabad franchise.

Moreover, the Ahmedabad franchise, which is owned by the CVC Sports, is also looking to acquired the services of star Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan and former MI wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan.

Notably, CVC was one of two companies to have won bids to own the two new franchises in the cash-rich league from upcoming season.

Earlier in October last year, the Sanjeev Goenka-owned RPSG group and international investment firm – CVC Capital had bagged the ownership rights of the two new franchises of the IPL for Rs 7090 crores and 5625 crores respectively.

However, CVC Sports acquisition of the Ahmedabad franchise in the league had come under scanner following its association with the Milan-based betting company.

Significantly, CVC’s acquisition of the Ahmedabad franchise had raised many questions following which there has been a delay from the Indian board in handing the Letter of Intent to CVC.

CVC, an American firm, has been trying its best to explain to the Indian board that their investment in a UK betting firm is not illegal.

As per reports, the CVC had later tried to convince the BCCI that its investment in betting firm, which has become a bone of contention, is not illegal and moreover, few top CVC officials had flown to India to have talks with the BCCI office-bearers.

After CVC had acquired one of the two franchise, former IPL chairman Lalit Modi ruffled a few feathers by drawing attention to the companies association with the Milan-based betting company Sisal. “I guess betting companies can buy an IPL team. must be a new rule. apparently, one qualified bidder also owns a big betting company. what next? does BCCI not do their homework? what can Anti-corruption do in such a case? #cricket,” Modi had tweetd.

Later, the Indian board reportedly discussed the CVC Sports matter to the Solicitor General of India – Tushar Mehta – who represents the board in matters not involving the Government of India and reports suggested that the initial recommendation from Solicitor General was believed to be positive.

On Monday, it was reported that the new franchises of the IPL have received the virtual clearance from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) however, the formal clearance will be given handed to them after a meeting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council (GC) on Tuesday (January 11).

“The two teams have been cleared and we will issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) after tomorrow’s GC meeting. The teams are through by all practical purposes,” IPL chairman Brijesh Patel was quoted as saying Cricbuzz.

News Desk

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