Two new Indian Premier League teams will enter the competition from next year after being bought for a combined $2.3 billion at auction.
- The two new teams were bought at an auction behind closed doors in Dubai
- A representative of Manchester United’s Glazers was among the unsuccessful bidders
- Ahmedabad will play at the new Narendra Modi Stadium, which can hold up to 130,000 people
The Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises will compete in the competition from the 2022 season, which will have 10 teams and 74 matches where each side will play seven home and seven away games.
The league had approved a proposal last December to add two franchises to the world’s richest Twenty20 competition, which has an estimated brand value of $9 billion.
The Ahmedabad team will play at the new Narendra Modi Stadium, which boasts a world-leading seating capacity of 132,000 people.
The RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) Group, which owned the now-defunct Pune franchise for two IPL campaigns, bid 70.9 billion Indian rupees ($1.25 billion) for the Lucknow outfit while CVC Capital Partners bid a little over 56 billion Indian rupees for the Ahmedabad side.
“It is good be back in the IPL and I am delighted,” RPSG owner Sanjiv Goenka said.
ESPNcricinfo reported that 22 companies had purchased the tender document but only nine were at the bidding process that took place behind closed doors in Dubai earlier in the day.
A senior BCCI official confirmed that among the bidders was a member of the Glazer family, which owns Premier League giants Manchester United.
“The Invitation to Tender process included two interested bidders from outside of India, which strongly emphasises the global appeal of the IPL as a sports property,” Sourav Ganguly, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement.
“The IPL is proving to be a wonderful instrument in globalising the game of cricket. I am keenly looking forward to IPL 2022.”
The BCCI had set the base price for the new teams at 20 billion Indian rupees.
The eight-team competition was halted close to its halfway stage in May after two franchises reported COVID-19 cases.
The second half was subsequently shifted to the United Arab Emirates, with Chennai Super Kings led by former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni winning their fourth IPL title by beating Kolkata Knight Riders in the final in Dubai.