Rising Pune Supergiant owner Sanjiv Goenka on Wednesday, rubbished speculations that he had already bought stakes in the Rajasthan Royals franchise. “What kind of a statement is that. The answer is ‘no’,” was Goenka’s reply when asked about the speculation. (Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
Goenka, though, did not rule out the possibility. When asked if the the move could be possible next season, The Kolkata-based industrialist said, “Maybe. You are trying to create a controversy here,” he said.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla has said that Pune and Gujarat will have to go through a proper fresh bidding process to play in next year’s IPL
Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who were banned in 2015 after serving a two-year suspension period for 2013 spot-fixing – will feature in 2018 edition of the IPL.
Indian tennis great Mahesh Bhupathi, who was seated next, came in Goenka’s defence. “He owns another team. Why are you putting him in a position like this in front of the media? You are just trying to create any controversy,” Bhupathi said during a book launch of ‘A History of Indian Sport Through 100 Artefacts’ by Boria Majumdar.
Goenka, however, said it’s time for corporates to get involved in sports in a larger way. “Time has come for corporates to get involved in a larger way in sport. It’s quite apart from the mileage, it’s a responsibility to help younger people, build academies, this is very important.”
Talking from his experience of owning the Pune franchise that has stars like MS Dhoni, Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis and Ben Stokes he said: “Honestly, it’s about dealing with great minds, personalities, understanding leadership strategies. Interacting with Dhoni, Smith, Faf, it’s been an eye-opener.”