Ambani, Mallya in race to own IPL T20 teams
MUMBAI: Industrialists Anil Ambani and Vijay Mallya, football teams from the English Premier League, some members of the American National Basketball Association, two foreign banks with operations in India and as yet unnamed investment bankers are among those who have expressed interest in owning cricket teams in India.
Sources said these parties had submitted their bids to the Indian Premier League, a body created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to stage the T20 format of cricket matches.
BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi said, “All I can confirm is that the Tatas and the Mahindras are not among the bidders. But many business houses, investment bankers and film personalities have expressed their interest in bidding for a team.”
TOI had reported in its November 5 edition that Hollywood star Russell Crowe was one of the interested bidders.
Matches under the IPL banner are scheduled to be played during April 2008. Under the format, interested parties can bid for one of the eight teams that will represent an Indian city.
The floor price for each team has been set at $50 million, Modi said. While 15 bidders have said they will bid only for Mumbai, nine have expressed interest in Delhi. Until now, 90 bidders have expressed their intention to participate in the auctioning that will be telecast on television, Modi added.
Having done that, the successful bidders then get to bid for players of their choice. According to Modi, the pool of players the bidders can compete for will include the top 50 cricketers according to ICC’s current rankings and every player in the current Indian team. Players ranked higher up on the listings will command as much as $300,000 while those lower down the rung can take home roughly $100,000.
The caveat here is that “iconic Indian cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly can only play for their home teams”, Modi said. Else, he explained, the sentiments of fans in their home state could be hurt.