The Lanka Premier League (LPL) Kandy franchise has new owners as Safexpay Founder & CEO Ravi Gupta and Vernost Director Pankaj Tripathi enters the second season of the premier T20 tournament of the Island Nation by acquiring the Kandy-based franchise in the tournament.
Ravi Gupta is the founder and CEO of Safexpay, which is a Mumbai-headquartered fintech focused on solving problems for businesses who need to either accept online payments from or make payouts to various stakeholders. Safexpay has a strong presence in India, UAE and Singapore.
Speaking about entering the LPL, Gupta said: “The Lanka Premier League garnered a lot of interest from some of the biggest stars and the cricket fans from around the world in the first season and therefore I am absolutely delighted to enter the tournament as the co-owner of the Kandy franchise this year.”
“The Lanka Premier League is certainly going to grow and evolve into one of the most sought-after T20 leagues in the world and I am very excited to be a part of the success of the tournament in the upcoming years,” he added.
Pankaj Tripathi is the director of Vernost Technologies LLC which consult and help customers build, manage, develop and support complex & new generation business applications for end-customer & trade.
Solutions such as customer-first, mobile-first, AI-first, commerce-first have been successfully delivered by the company in domains of Customer Engagement Solutions, Digital Payment, Online marketplace, Ecommerce Services, Online Travel Technology & Digital Distribution.
Speaking about the new venture, Tripathi said: “We are ecstatic to be a part of the Lanka Premier League as the co-owner of the Kandy franchise. The LPL has caught the imagination of cricket fans from around the world and we wanted to be a part of the amazing competition in the upcoming seasons.”
“We are eagerly looking forward to engaging with the fans and having a cracker of a season,” he added.
Welcoming the new owners, Anil Mohan, Founder and CEO of Dubai-based production giant IPG, the official promoter of LPL, said: “It’s a huge honour and privilege for me to welcome Safexpay Founder and CEO Mr Ravi Gupta and Vernost Director Pankaj Tripathi as the owners of the Kandy franchise. I am certain that their passion for the game will bolster the Kandy franchise and also attract more fans to the Lanka Premier League in the upcoming seasons.”
The new owners of the Kandy franchise are expecting to construct a strong team for the second season of the LPL in the Player’s Draft, which is set to be held on October 27.
Gupta said, “We will certainly try to acquire a well-balanced team in the Player’s Draft.” While, Tripathi expressed, “Hopefully the team performs to the best of its ability in the season and garners the desired results.”
The inaugural edition of the LPL, which was played in a bio-secure bubble at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota from November 26 till December 16, 2020, reached a cumulative audience of 557 million people through TV, digital-social space, and traditional media outlets.
Sponsors enjoyed a media evaluation (visibility) of $54.5m and title sponsor MY11CIRCLE enjoyed a ROI of 9.85x. Winner of the first edition of LPL Jaffna Stallions tops the valuation chart with $3.98m followed by Galle Gladiators ($3.82m), Dambulla Viikings (Now Dambulla Giants) ($3.54m) Colombo Kings ($3.44m) and Kandy Tuskers ($3.19m).
The LPL matches which were telecast live by Sky Sports, Sony Sports Network, Geo, PTV, and Willow TV in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, UK, US, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand saw 155 million people tuning in to catch live action. On social media, it achieved a reach of 218 million and LPL found 133478 mentions as the league came alive with each and every match with some scintillating performances on the ground.