The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced two new franchises for the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday. As a result, the marquee tournament will now be a 10-team competition, beginning from the 2022 edition. According to the BCCI, Sanjiv Goenka-helmed RP Sanjiv Goenka group (RPSG) emerged as the highest bidders to purchase the Lucknow team with a bid of over Rs 7000 crore. Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad franchise was bought by the CVC Group.
While speaking to Republic Media Network's Executive Editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy and Senior Editor Deepti Sachdeva, RPSG founder Dr Sanjiv Goenka was delighted to announce that his group had won the bid for the IPL auction for new teams. When Niranjan asked him for his first reaction, Sanjiv Goenka said, "Thank you so much. It feels good to be back in the IPL. It is the first step. We now have to work towards building the team. Good team and performing on the pitch." The RPSG group had earlier bought the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise from December 2015 to May 2017.
When asked if it has been his long-term plan to purchase an IPL team, since they have been involved in Indian sports, the RPSG founder replied, "Yes. We had an IPL franchise for two years when we ran the Rising Pune Supergiants. We run a football team called ATK Mohun Bagun. And now this is an entry into UP where we distribute power. And we run multiple retail stores. So this is something we're looking forward to."
When Sanjiv Goenka was asked as to how will they build the IPL team, he responded by stating that they will need to begin the planning soon. However, he did state that they hope to bring some existing talent and some new talent. The RPSG founder ended the conversation by stating that the work for building the new franchise begins now.
According to various reports, over 22 entities had purchased the bid documents. However, not all were present during the bidding process of the two new teams. The biggest individuals and groups among the bidders included Jindal Steel, Torrent Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma, Avram Glazer (Manchester United's owner), Adani Group and RPSG.