Two new teams for IPL cricket

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued a tender to acquire the right to own and operate one of the two new teams for the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Those interested in the tender documents are able to purchase them for ₹10 lakh (US$13,700) by 5th October.

The Times of India reports that the BBCI stands to rake in ‘at least ₹5,000 crore’ (US$684 million) if the bids go to plan, adding that ‘plenty of large business conglomerates’ are showing interest. Adani Group, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and Torrent Pharma have all been linked with bids.

‘Any interested party wishing to submit a bid is required to purchase the ITT [invitation to tender],’ a statement from the BCCI read.

‘However, only those satisfying the eligibility criteria set out in the ITT and subject to the other terms and conditions set out therein, shall be eligible to bid. It is clarified that merely purchasing this ITT does not entitle any person to bid.

Reports that the Twenty20 IPL competition was looking to expand its number of teams from eight to ten initially emerged in July 2019, before the plans resurfaced this July.

The two new franchises are set to compete in the tournament from the 2022 season. Both are expected to be finalised by this December, according to India’s Economic Times. The newspaper adds that Ahmedabad is most likely to host one of the franchises, with the refurbished stadium at Motera serving as the team’s home ground. The venue is currently the largest stadium in the world with a seating capacity of 132,000 spectators.

The Times of India also reports that Lucknow, the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, is also in contention. The news outlet notes that the city is situated in a region that accounts for more than 50 per cent consumption of live cricket in the country on television.

The addition of two more teams would likely alter the IPL’s current format. According to the Hindustan Times in July, the tournament is set to be divided into two groups of five and the number of matches will increase to 74 from 2022. The latter stages of the competition will reportedly stay the same.

The remainder of the 2021 IPL season resumes on 19th September in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after it was postponed in May due to the surge in Covid-19 cases across India.

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