Lucknow and Ahmedabad formally joined the Indian Premier League (IPL) bandwagon after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) awarded them the franchise rights on Monday. While the choice of cities by the nine bidders who entered the fray was along expected lines, there was a huge surprise with regard to owners for the respective franchises.
While the RPSG Group, the Kolkata-based business conglomerate, paid a whopping ₹7,090 crore for Lucknow, CVC Capital Partners, a European equity firm with diverse interest in sports, pipped favourite Adani Group in the race for Ahmedabad.
The Adani Group submitted identical bids of ₹5,100 crore for Ahmedabad and Lucknow while CVC Capital came up with bids of ₹5,625 cr. and ₹5,166 cr. for Ahmedabad and Lucknow respectively.
The show-stopper, however, was the Sanjiv Goenka-promoted group that was desperate to return to the IPL fold. As a result, it went with a bid of ₹7,090 each for Lucknow and Ahmedabad, it also submitted a ₹4,790 crore bid for Indore.
Being the highest bidder, RPSG Group was given the choice of preferred base. Once it went ahead with Lucknow, CVC Capital, which had submitted the bid through its subsidiary Irelia Company Pte. Ltd., was awarded Ahmedabad as it was the second-highest bidder.
RPSG’s bid for Indore was the only other bid received for the other four cities — Dharamshala, Cuttack and Guwahati the others — that were also made available as a base to the prospective bidders.
With the addition of two teams, the BCCI announced that the IPL will become a 10-team affair with a total of 74 matches to be played in each edition.
The bids were opened in the presence of the IPL governing council members, chaired by Brijesh Patel, and the BCCI office-bearers after the technical proceedings were overseen by BCCI’s interm chief executive Hemang Amin.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told reporters after the proceedings were completed at Taj Dubai that the BCCI was “not surprised” at being assured of an additional revenue of more than ₹12,500 crore over the next 10 years. He informed that “the money will go back to Indian cricket for improvement across levels.”
The two IPL franchises, just like the original eight in 2008, have been awarded ownership rights in perpetuity with franchise fees to be paid in 10 equal annual instalments.