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RPSG Ventures Ltd

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy, Image Credits: Twitter
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BCCI Concludes CVC Capital Fit To Own An IPL 2022 Franchise

BCCI concluded that CVC Capital was “fit” to own an IPL franchise after lengthy discussions between the BCCI and CVC Capitals. The confusion over CVC Capital’s bid for the Ahmedabad franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) seems to be over.

The BCCI, on October 25, announced RPSG Group and CVC Capital Partners as the owners of two new IPL franchises. While RPSG Group bagged the Lucknow franchise for INR 7090 crore, CVC picked the Ahmedabad franchise with a winning bid of INR 5625 crore.

CVC Capital
CVC Capital

Lalit Modi Had Pointed Out That Even Betting Companies Can Buy An IPL 2022 Team

However, CVC Capital’s bid ran into trouble after former IPL chairman Lalit Modi lashed out at the Indian cricket board over their decision. He took a dig at the BCCI, tweeting that a “new rule” must be allowing “betting companies” to buy an IPL team.

“I guess betting companies can buy an IPL team. must be a new rule. apparently, one qualified bidder also owns a big betting company. what next? does BCCI not do their homework? what can Anti-corruption do in such a case? #cricket.”

Lalit Modi
Lalit Modi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Lalit Modi, the former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman, on Tuesday, made serious allegations against one of the owners of the two new IPL teams that joined the lucrative league on Monday, saying that ‘even betting companies can buy team’.

With this auction, the BCCI is set to get richer by Rs 12690 crores after Kolkata-based business tycoon Sanjiv Goenka’s RP-SG Group claimed the Lucknow franchise for a whopping Rs 7090 crore, while international equity investment firm CVC Capital won the bid for Ahmedabad with a Rs 5600 crore offer.

BCCI Seemed To Resolve All The Issues Signing A LOI With CVC Capitals

On Wednesday, though, the BCCI seemed to have resolved all the issues with CVC Capital. According to reports, CVC has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the BCCI to own the Ahmedabad franchise. Earlier, apart from Lalit Modi, a report also claimed that CVC Capital was under the scanner for links with betting companies.

“CVC Capital Partners has run into trouble for its links with betting companies. It has been pointed out that CVC Capital have invested heavily in betting and gambling companies. BCCI’s attention has been drawn to CVC Capital’s business activities and it was strange that these were not noticed during the long “verification stage” before the financials were opened on Monday evening.”

While announcing RPSG Group and CVC Capital Partners as the two owners of the new IPL franchises, the BCCI also confirmed that IPL 2022 will be a 10-team tournament.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

IPL is already tainted due to the 2013 betting and match-fixing scandal. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned for two seasons after some of their top officials were charged by the Supreme Court for corruption. Under the circumstances, to award a new team to a foreign company with massive interests in betting and gambling, could be suicidal for BCCI.

A total of 74 matches will be played in the upcoming edition of the T20 league, wherein each team will play 7 home and 7 away matches. Before IPL 2022, there will be a mega auction, which will see most of the players going back into the bidding war. As per media reports, each franchise will be allowed to retain no more than 3-4 players ahead of the mega auction. The franchises are also expected to be given the option of the Right To Match (RTM) card.
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Sourav Ganguly To Step Down As ATK Mohun Bagan Director Since The Football Team In ISL Is Owned By RPSG Who Successfully Bid In IPL 2022

Sourav Ganguly faces new questions of conflict of interest as the co-owner of a football team (ATK-MB) and Sanjiv Goenka, whose RPSG Ventures Ltd made a successful bid of Rs 7,090 crore for the Lucknow IPL franchise at the high-stakes auction in Dubai on Monday.

According to Indian Super League (ISL) football club ATK Mohun Bagan’s official website, Sourav Ganguly is a member of its Board of Directors with Sanjiv Goenka as chairman. Sourav Ganguly has initiated the process of standing down from his role at Atletico de Kolkata Mohun Bagan, one of the two most venerable and popular clubs in Indian football, which is part of the Indian Super League.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Sourav Ganguly Decides To Step Down As ATK Mohun Bagan Director

To avoid potential conflict-of-interest controversy, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has decided to step down as director of ATK Mohun Bagan, the football team owned by RPSG Ventures Ltd. This Indian business conglomerate on Monday bid a record INR 7,090 crore (USD 940 million approximately) to buy the Lucknow IPL franchise.

“The team was owned by Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd. consisting of former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, alongside businessmen Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka, and Utsav Parekh,” the website states.

A senior BCCI member confirmed that it was “a clear case of conflict “. “Ganguly is the president, he needs to understand. This is not the first time that he has been in this situation,” the member said.

Sanjiv Goenka (File photo| AFP)
Sanjiv Goenka (File photo| AFP)

Sanjiv Goenka and Sourav Ganguly didn’t respond to calls and text messages with queries on the conflict-of-interest issue. In addition to being one of the directors on the Mohun Bagan board, Sourav Ganguly is also a shareholder. Questions are raised over his involvement in the franchise auction process as BCCI president despite his football association with one of the bidders.

In an interview Tuesday, responding to a question on whether his association with Ganguly could raise potential conflict of interest, Sanjiv Goenka said: “Well, I think he (Ganguly) is going to step down from Mohun Bagan completely.” Asked when that would happen, he said: “I think today.” Goenka then said: “That is for Sourav to make the announcement. Sorry, I pre-empted it.”

Sourav Ganguly has been BCCI president since 2019 and has a say in all important decisions taken by the board. In the redrafted BCCI constitution following directions from the Supreme Court, the Justice RM Lodha committee listed several potential associations that came under the conflict of interest purview.

“When the BCCI, a member, the IPL or a franchisee enter into a contractual agreement with entities in which the individual concerned or his/her relative, partner or close associate has an interest. This is to include cases where family members, partners or close associates are in positions that may, or maybe seen to compromise an individual’s participation, performance and discharge of roles,” it states.

This is not the first time Sourav Ganguly has faced questions over conflict of interest.

Sourav Ganguly Had Earlier Faced Questions Over Conflict Of Interest In 2019 Too

Last year, he had put out an Instagram post wearing a JSW Cement (Jindal Steel Works) T-shirt and claiming to be “at work” as the company’s brand ambassador. JSW Sports, a wing of the business conglomerate JSW Group, is the joint owner of IPL’s Delhi Capitals.

Sourav Ganguly insisted that his new role as the brand ambassador of JSW Cement did not overlap with his duties as BCCI president. In 2019, Sourav Ganguly was found to be in positions of conflict for holding more than one post in Indian cricket. He at the time was president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, an advisor with the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, and was also working as a TV commentator.

Sourav Ganguly and Rishabh Pant were together for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019 (IANS Photo)
Sourav Ganguly and Rishabh Pant were together for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019 (IANS Photo)

Later, a formal complaint was filed by Sanjeev Gupta, a former Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) member, but the matter is yet to be heard. The BCCI, incidentally, hasn’t appointed a new Ombudsman and Ethics Officer after Justice D K Jain’s term ended in June 2021.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Sourav Ganguly Unsurprised By High Bidding Numbers For 2 New IPL 2022 Franchises

Sourav Ganguly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President on Monday, said he was not surprised by the bidding numbers which the various interested parties submitted for the new franchises.

The bids were submitted by the authorized representatives of the interested parties in Dubai. BCCI announced the following successful bidders (subject to definitive documentation and other formalities being completed): RPSG Ventures Ltd. – Lucknow (for INR 7,090 crores) and Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners) – Ahmedabad (for INR 5,625 crores).

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Sourav Ganguly: BCCI Isn’t Surprised By The Bidding Numbers As IPL Is A Big Brand

This deal means a huge reward for not only the Indian board but also for the development of Indian cricket at the grass-root level as well as per Sourav Ganguly. The BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said this money will be used to prosper Indian cricket, and they were not surprised because of the brand of IPL sparks in the globe.

Sourav Ganguly in a press conference after the announcement while replying to a query said: “We were not surprised actually, this (IPL) is a big brand and we are extremely happy that Indian cricket is moving forward. That is what is important for us. Congratulations to Sanjeev and CVC for being number one and number two but we look at Indian cricket and that’s what our job is. The more Indian cricket prospers, the better it is.”

Sanjiv Goenka (File photo| AFP)
Sanjiv Goenka (File photo| AFP)

“All the money goes back to Indian cricket. That’s what we are here for, we want Indian cricket to go forward and it has gone a long way forward in the last few years. This is the 14th season of IPL and the brand has grown and I think it is a great sign for us,” BCCI President Sourav Ganguly added.

Business tycoon Sanjiv Goenka and international equity investment firm Irelia Company Pte Limited (CVC Capital) shelled out a combined Rs 12,715 crore (approx $1.7 billion) to win the bids for two new IPL teams, a windfall that far exceeded BCCI’s expectations on Monday.

Brijesh Patel: Goenka Group Was Highest Bidders For Both Ahmedabad And Lucknow, And They Preferred to Take Lucknow

The BCCI was hoping for a cumulative bid in the range of Rs 10,000 crore but, to their surprise, earned Rs 7090 crore from Sanjiv Goenka’s RP-SG Group for the Lucknow franchise, while CVC capital forked out Rs 5625 crore for the Ahmedabad team. As a result, the two new sides Lucknow and Ahmedabad, will take part in the 2022 IPL.

IPL Governing Council (GC) chairman Brijesh Patel stated: “We had nine bidders, all of them were qualified. CVC group quoted 5,625 crores for Ahmedabad and 5,116 crores for Lucknow. RP Goenka ventures quoted 7,090 crores for Ahmedabad, For Indore 4,790 and for Lucknow 7,090 crores.”

IPL chairman Brijesh Patel (TOI Photo)
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel (TOI Photo)
“The highest was the Goenka group and they were highest for both Ahmedabad and Lucknow. And they preferred to take Lucknow as their franchise. CVC was second highest and they got Ahmedabad for 5,625 crores,” he informed.

The new franchises will participate in IPL from the 2022 season onwards, subject to the bidders completing the post-bid formalities as specified in the ITT document. The IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play seven home and seven away matches.

Sanjiv Goenka, who owned Rising Pune Supergiants for a period of two years- 2016 to 2017, when Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended owing to spot-fixing charges, was elated to be back in the IPL. Rising Pune Supergiants lost the 2017 IPL Final to Mumbai Indians by 1 run, which was the team’s last game in the IPL.

This is the first time the BCCI is adding two new franchises to the 8 teams since Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala had joined the league in 2010 before both franchises were terminated.

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