The Indian Premier League (IPL), nation’s most popular annual domestic twenty-twenty contest, has finally got its two new teams to feature in the upcoming tournament. The two new franchisees, Pune and Rajkot, have won the bids and successfully replaced Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the next year’s IPL.
According to media reports, the upcoming Indian Premier League or IPL 9 is scheduled to start from 9 April onwards. The grand finale of the tournament will take place on 29th May. While the auction of players for IPL teams will be held in Bangalore on February 6, 2016.
The owner of the Rajkot-based team is the Intex group – popular electronic and IT brand while Pune team has been owned by the Kolkata based corporate baron Sanjiv Goenka’s company New Rising. Interestingly, the latter is also co-owner of the Atletico de Kolkata, the Indian Super League (ISL) football franchisee alongside former test captain Sourav Ganguly.
“Sport is something we are getting more and more committed to and we have seen the potential of business in sports. We have already got into football; this is our foray into cricket. For us Pune worked the best as it offered the best economic sense,” Sanjeev Goenka stated to Times Now news channel after winning the bid.
The fresh bid by the IPL for two new teams was initiated due to the suspension of CSK and RR for the alleged involvement of some of their co-owners in the IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy – which was investigated by the Supreme Court appointed Justice (Retd) RM Lodha committee and asked for the suspension of Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings for two years – it reduced the total participating teams from 8 to 6 in the IPL.
Sources revealed that Pune and Rajkot can purchase players with a minimum of Rs. 40 crore to a maximum of Rs. 66 crore while the top players of RR and CSK will be sold through the draft system. Both teams will participate in the draft to retain their share of players.
“They won’t take a single penny from the BCCI. In fact they will pay the BCCI,” the report quoted BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur told media after a meeting of the IPL’s Governing Council in New Delhi on Tuesday. It is stated the two new teams; Rajkot and Pune, won’t get a part of revenues that established franchises get from the IPL’s central revenue pool.
It has also been recently announced that VIVO, the leading Chinese Smartphone giant, will be the title sponsor for IPL 9 and 10 to be held in the year 2016 and 2017 respectively.