Cricket

Pune, Rajkot join the IPL bandwagon

The Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council painted a rosy picture of the tournament while announcing the two news teams — Pune and Rajkot — as replacements for the suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). The next season of IPL will be held from April 9 to May 29 (opening and final match in Mumbai) and the new players’ auctions would be conducted in Bengaluru on February 6.

Pune and Rajkot will be franchises for a period of two years. Would the IPL be a ten-team tournament in 2018 when CSK and RR return to the fold? “We have not taken a call on this as of date. CSK and RR stand suspended till 2017. This bidding is only for two years and these teams (Pune and Rajkot) will not continue.

The tender document specifically states this,” Board president Shashank Manohar said here on Tuesday.

New Rising, the Kolkata-based businessman Sanjiv Goenka’s company, bought the Pune franchise, while Rajkot was won by Intex Mobiles through reverse bidding. The others in competition were Harsh Goenka of RPG properties, Axis Clinicals and Chettinad Cement. Twenty-one candidates had obtained the Invitation To Tender (ITT) but only five turned up.

“New Rising would be picking up the first player. The second player would be picked up by Intex. Likewise they would take five players (four India-capped players) out of 50 from both the teams (CSK and RR). Thereafter, the other franchises would be allowed to release their players and a new auction of the released players and the remaining players would be held in February,” Manohar informed.

“The picked players cannot be traded,” added IPL GC chairman Rajeev Shukla. “The trading window is open from December 15 to 31 and teams will have to release their players by 31st.”

On Dharamsala as the venue for Kings XI Punjab, the Board secretary Anurag Thakur said, “The catchment area belongs to Kings XI Punjab. If they want to play games in Dharamsala, they can. They have had some issues with the local government. If they are able to resolve that we have no issues.”

No conflict of interest

When asked if there was a conflict of interest in Sourav Ganguly being part of the IPL Governing Council and Atletico de Kolkata, the ISL team owned by the Goenka Group, Manohar noted, “When a person can influence the process of decision making, then only there is a conflict of interest issue.

“You can’t stretch it to absurd levels. In the present case, New Rising gave a closed bid and Sourav Ganguly had nothing to do with it.” On giving the IPL a clean image, Manohar promised strong steps. “We are making efforts from our side. I met the Maharashtra Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) 10 days back and requested him for a dedicated unit that would give its inputs so that we have the information beforehand and can curb this menace.

“We had a meeting with the police authorities and soon everything would be in place. Police can intercept telephonic conversations between two people and interrogate anybody, we can’t.

“With the police powers and government help, we will be able to deliver a clean game to the cricket-loving public of India.”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 12:31:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Pune-Rajkot-join-the-IPL-bandwagon/article10040319.ece

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