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RPSG and CVC Capitals win Lucknow, Ahmedabad bids for new IPL teams (ld)

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Dubai, Oct 25 (IANS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced that RPSG Ventures Ltd. and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) have won the ownership rights of Lucknow and Ahmedabad teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The RPSG Ventures Ltd. were awarded Lucknow as their home base with a winning bid of a whopping Rs 7,090 crore. CVC Capital Partners took Ahmedabad as its home base with a second-highest bid of Rs 5,625 crore.

“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 seven home and seven away matche”,” said a release by BCCI.

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BCCI President Sourav Ganguly expressed his happiness in welcoming two new teams to the IPL fold. “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 ecosys”em.”

“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.”

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Overall, ten parties entered the fray with bids to own franchises in the IPL. The bidders got a chance to choose from six centres — Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Cuttack, Dharamsala, Guwahati, and Indore — to make their home base. Other bidders for IPL teams included Adani Group, Kotak, All Cargo Logistics, Capri Global, Lancer Capital, Avram Glazer, Hindustan Media Ventures Limited, and Torrent Sports Ventures Pvt Ltd.

“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 “ew teams,” said BCCI Secretary Jay Shah.

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This will be the second time that RPSG will be owners of an IPL franchise after owning the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2016 and 2017 seasons of the IPL when Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were serving a two-year suspension after the 2013 IPL corruption scandal came into limelight. They also own Indian Super League (ISL) team ATK Mohun Bagan and RPSG Mavericks Kolkata, a team competing in the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) league. Their home stadium in Lucknow, Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, has a capacity of 50,000 spectators.

“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. I extend my heartiest congratulations to RPSG Ventures Ltd. and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. for securing the rights to operate the two teams. We had a wonderful 14th season and the 2022 season will see a “ew beginning,” said Brijesh Patel, Chairman of the IPL.

For CVC Capital Partners, a private equity and investment advisory firm, this will be their first foray into the cricketing world. They also invested in Formula 1 and sold their stake in 2017. They recently bought a minority stake in Spanish Football League La Liga apart from a long-term deal with Six Nations Rugby. Their home stadium in the IPL will be Narendra Modi Stadium, with a capacity of 1,32,000 spectators.

“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. We received tremendous interest after the ITT was floated with many conglomerates putting their hat into the ring. I congratulate RPSG Ventures Ltd. and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. for placing the highest bids and winning the rights to own the IPL teams. I also thank all the bidders for showing faith in the BCCI and IPL. This is the start of an exciting chapter, and I can’t wait for the big auction to see how the n”w teams shape up,” commented BCCI Treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal.

–IANS

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