Sanjiv Goenka’s RP-SG Group claimed the Lucknow franchise for Rs 7,090 crore while international equity investment firm CVC Capital won the bid for Ahmedabad with a Rs 5,625 crore offer as the eagerly-awaited two new IPL teams were unveiled on Monday.
The IPL will increase from eight to 10 teams from 2022 as it seeks to capitalise on its growing international popularity with increased fees for its television and other rights.
The winning bids beat 20 other top Indian conglomerates and international concerns such as the Glazer family, owners of English Premier League giants Manchester United, to secure the new teams.
Sourav Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which runs the IPL, said it was “heartening” to see the teams sold for “such a high valuation.”
“It reiterates the cricketing and financial strength of our cricket ecosystem.
He said the involvement of two foreign bidders, CVC and the Glazers, “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.”
RPGS owns one of India’s top football teams, Mohun Bagan, and used to be part of the IPL with the Rising Pune Supergiants, which took part in the tournament when two teams were banned in 2016-2017 over a corruption scandal.
Members of the two teams were charged with illegal betting and spot-fixing. The IPL has been dogged by other corruption and gambling scandals.
But it attracts huge TV audiences in India, and has spawned T20 tournaments around the globe.
Its brand value was estimated at $6.7 billion in 2019 by the Duff and Phelps financial consultancy.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was estimated to generate more than $11 billion for the Indian economy each year.
Here are reactions to the announcement of the two new IPL teams:
Inputs from AFP