Pune, Rajkot to replace CSK, RR in IPL 9

The Pune franchise was bought by Kolkata-based Sanjiv Goenka's company New Rising, while the Rajkot bid was won by Intex Mobiles.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: December 9, 2015 5:02:09 am
BCCI’s Shashank Manohar and Anurag Thakur. BCCI’s Shashank Manohar and Anurag Thakur.

Pune and Rajkot have emerged as the new franchises in the Indian Premier League for the next two years, the BCCI announced Tuesday. They will replace Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who are currently facing two-year suspensions imposed by the Supreme Court-mandated R M Lodha panel following the 2013 IPL corruption scandal.

Sanjeev Goenka’s New Rising won the bid for Pune, while Intex will represent Rajkot. Goenka owns the power and retail giant CESC Ltd while Intex makes mobile handsets and IT accessories.

The teams were sold through the reverse bidding process for which the base price was set at Rs 40 crore, and bidders had to quote an amount less than the base price. According to the BCCI, New Rising and Intex were picked as they submitted the only “negative bids” — they won’t avail of BCCI funding. Goenka will pay Rs 16 crore for the franchise, while Intex will pay Rs 10 crore per year.

“They won’t take a single penny from the BCCI. In fact, they will pay the BCCI,” said BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur.

BCCI president Shashank Manohar said since the two new franchises declined to accept money from the central revenue pool, it will help the board earn profits in excess of Rs 300 crore.

“What we had calculated was that BCCI pays franchises around Rs 70 crore in the first year out of the central revenue and Rs 75 crore in the next year. So that makes it Rs 145 crore for one team. Now that Rs 145 crore is going to be safe because they are not accepting that central revenue. In addition, they are paying us Rs 26 crore for two years,” Manohar told reporters in Delhi.

Sources told The Indian Express that these two franchises have “in a way, bailed out the BCCI at a crucial time”. According to conservative estimates, the two franchises will spend close to Rs 100 crore on the IPL every year for the next two years.

The owners of both these teams said that they hope to be associated with the IPL post-2017, too, once their two-year terms expire. This is, perhaps, the biggest motivation for these two interim franchisees, sources said.

Asked whether New Rising was willing to suffer losses and look at the IPL as an investment, Subhashish Mitra, the executive director, said “We have done our arithmetic.”

Intex owner Keshav Bansal, on the other hand, reckons that the basic idea is to be associated with IPL and see the whole venture as a brand-building exercise.

“Look, getting associated with the IPL is really great for us in terms of the brand-building exercise. But to be fair, it will be tough for us to break even in two years,” Bansal said.

The interim franchisees will select the players of CSK and RR through a draft system. The players will be divided into two groups —capped and uncapped — the top names will be sold through the draft system. The draft pick will be held on December 15.

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