RPSG, CVC Capital win bids for Lucknow, Ahmedabad IPL teams

RPSG, CVC Capital win bids for Lucknow, Ahmedabad IPL teams | Acrux Sports

The RPSG Ventures group and international investment firm Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners) have won the ownership rights of the two new franchises in the IPL. The RPSG Group have picked Lucknow as their home base with a winning bid of a whopping INR 7090 crores while CVC Capital, the former owners of Formula 1, opted for Ahmedabad with a second-highest bid of INR 5625 crores.

The base price for the two new teams had been set at INR 2000 crores and the two winners placed bids 350 and 250 percent more than that reserve quotation. "A lot of planning and calculation has gone into our bidding. I give credit to personal staff for winning the bid," Sanjiv Goenka, who previously owned the Rising Pune Supergiant told Cricbuzz.

A total of nine parties entered the fray with bids to own the two franchises on Monday (October 25) at the Taj Dubai. The bidders also got to choose from from six centres - Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Cuttack, Dharamsala, Guwahati and Indore - to base their team in. The lowest bid was, incidentally from Manchester United's Glazers family under the Championship Cricket LLC umbrella, about whom much has been written in the recent times. The Premier League club owners placed just about INR 4000 crores, an extremely conservative stand considering that every other party placed much higher bids. The lone bid for a city other than Ahmedabad or Lucknow also came from RPSG who bid INR 4790 Cr for Indore.

The biggest surprise of the day, besides the staggering winning bids from the two winning parties, was the failure of the Adani Group, considered favourites to win the Ahmedabad franchise. They went over INR 5000 crore but nowhere near the winning bids. Capri Global, Al Cargo Logistics, HT Media, Kotak and Torrent Sports Ventures were the other parties who participated in the process, which lasted for over five hours. There is no immediate information on what happened with Aurobindo Pharma, whose representatives too had gone to Dubai to take part. They were eyeing, without success, the Lucknow team.

In all, there were over 20 interested parties, including companies like Rhiti Sports. But most of them are learnt to have failed to meet the qualification criteria of INR 2500 crore net worth and INR 3000 crore turnover, set by the BCCI.

All parties were asked to submit two envelopes - one for personal and financial credentials and the second for the bid. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had its legal and audit officials first check the credentials of the bidders and only after they were deemed to be in order, were the second envelopes, containing the bids, were opened.

"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 ecosystem," BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said.

"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."

IPL 2022 to feature 74 matches

"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 7 home and 7 away matches," the BCCI said in a statement later.

It is likely to replicate the model used in the 2011 season, which also featured 10 teams, and had teams split into two loose groups. During the league phase, each team played seven home and seven away games. Each team played the other four in their group both home and away (eight matches), four of the teams in the other group once each (four matches, either home or away), and the remaining team in the other group twice, both home and away. The 70 league matches were then followed by four Playoff games.