The idea of a potential 9th franchise being added to the Indian Premier League (IPL) is gaining some serious steam. Some heavyweights of various industries are eyeing the ownership of the 9th team.
The planning for IPL 2021 has already started. The Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) will have to conduct the IPL 2021 roughly four months from now on. However, a significant decision, which can make the tournament even more interesting, is yet to be made. BCCI is planning to potentially add an extra 9th team.
What started as a vague idea has quickly turned into something substantial as some huge names are targeting the ownership.
The front runners to battle for the ownership
Firstly, one thing is certain now that Ahmedabad city will be included in the IPL roster before anyone else. The names of Lucknow / Kanpur or Pune will only come for discussion if the BCCI decides to increase more than 1 team for IPL 2021 or IPL 2022.
According to reports, Adani Group owned by Gautam Adani and RPSG owned by Sanjeev Goenka will be the biggest contenders for the 9th IPL team. Adani has always shown keen interest in owning the IPL team. Goenka, on the other hand, has already been the owner of the IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants for two years.
Other than Adani and Goenka, South India’s top actor Mohanlal along with one of the business house based out of Southern India have also shown interest in owning the IPL team. The names of the Tata group, Uday Kotak, and Ronnie Screwwala have also been associated with ownership.
The first and really positive indication coming from the BCCI camp is that a full auction will be conducted for the IPL 2021. The auction will be conducted either at the end of December or the first week of January. Reportedly, the BCCI has informally discussed the matter with franchises as well. The final decision will be taken in the next 2-3 weeks according to a BCCI official.
It will be interesting to see a full auction as teams like Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, and Kings XI Punjab would look to build a new skeleton for their team. It will also be beneficial for talented Indian players who have been toiling in the domestic circuit or working under the watchful eye of Rahul Dravid.
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