Thursday, January 24, 2008

Leading Industrialists and Bollywood Stars to own IPL Teams.

What do Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mohali, and Delhi have in common apart from being cities of India?

These are the 8 cities that will be fielding a team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) set to get underway across India in April.

What do Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya, Shahrukh Khan, Priety Zinta, and Ness Wadia have in common apart from being one of the rich and famous in India?

They are the proud owners of teams taking part in the IPL.

For the benefit of our Non-Indian and Non-Pakistani readers, Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in the world and owner of one of India's largest companies - Reliance Industries. Vijay Mallya is owner of Kingfisher, which manufactures beer and operates the Kingfisher airlines. Mallya is also one of India's richest people. Shahrukh Khan and Preity Zinta are film actors with Shahrukh Khan arguably the best actor India has today. Ness Wadia is Priety Zinta's boy friend and is the heir to the Wadia empire of Bombay Dyeing.

(Uncle J, do you think Priety is Hot?)

Earlier today, the BCCI opened the sealed bids for franchises of the teams to take part in the IPL. Mumbai was the highest selling franchise, which Mukesh Ambani won for a bid of $111.9 million! That was followed by the Bangalore franchise that was won by Vijay Mallya for $111.6 million. Shah Rukh Khan won the bid for Kolkata for $75.1 million, while Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia won the Mohali franchise for $76 million.

The full list of franchisees and the amounts paid for the teams can be viewed here.

The bidding that took place today made the BCCI richer by $723.6 million!

For the high profile bidders this is just the start as now they get involved in a bidding war for players, which include as many as 79 international stars including Shane Warne, Glen McGrath, Sachin Tendulkar, Shoaib Akhtar, Ricky Ponting, and a whole lot more.

The IPL gets underway in April and it already looks very exciting, especially with the high pofile franchisees. I wonder what the teams will be called? SRK's Kolkata Baazigars? Mallya's Bangalore Kings? What do you suggest these teams be called?

Make your pitch on this post...

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11 Pitched:

  1. Uncle J rod said...

    Yes, but i'd crack on to the owner of Kingfisher first, i love that beer.

  2. Anonymous said...

    this is fantastic ... there is a buzz around IPL which was missing from ICL.
    the concept of "icon players" and bidding for players - that's amazing. they are modelling it on the lines of football in Europe ... and that can only be good for the sport.
    btw - SRK is not their finest actor ... he may be the biggest one (undouobtedly), but there certainly is one more khan who takes the honours for the "finest" in the business.

  3. Q said...

    Uncle J - U enjoy the beer then, I'll take Priety ;-)

    Anonymous - Thats why I said 'arguably the best'. SRK is definitely the most popular but I agree there are others finer than him including the Khan u mention.

    The buzz with respect to IPL is definitely much more than that of the ICL. Its bigger in terms of the players, the money involved, the number of matches, and everything else. I think the fact that SRKs team will be taking on Ambani's or Mallya's just adds to the overall excitement associated with the league.

    I dont know how many of the 79 players will play though. The Aussies and Pakis are not free at that time I hear...

  4. amk said...

    As far as I care this is the end of cricket as we know it. A country with a good league cannot produce a good national team; look at the English cricket and football team. You might say that Aussie's are the exception, but even in there league system its country, state and then material benefit.
    What I am trying to say that too much money is bad for the long term betterment of the game. I agree that cricketers have a short playing career and they need to make money, but look at the amount invested but by whom. These are shrewd business man they would like to see the return. So they question would arise where is the time for the players to fit another tournament? They would indeed have to make some sacrifices, and would it be the country or the mighty dollar?

  5. Q said...

    You make sense AMK. There is already friction within the Australian ranks as they are supposed to be touring Pakistan at the same time when IPL is planned. The Aussie cricketers have claimed that Australia comes first but then this is IPL's first year. When say its year 5 of the IPL and the prospect of making millions, the cricketers might as well make the millions.

    Honestly as a kid I always used to make my fantasy World XIs and pit them against each other in 'book cricket' - the IPL is making that fantasy into a reality. And if it flourishes more than international cricket i for one would not mind.

    As long as test cricket on the side lives on the rest of the years cricket could be SRK's XI comprising of sachin, ponting, afridi, sangakkara against Mallya's XI with hayden, smith, pieterson, gayle...

    I'd watch that over any ODI any day.

  6. Ottayan said...

    None of the 'khans' are India's best actors. There are a whole lot of actors in Bengal and in Malayalam who are more decorated ( awards) than these two imposters.

    However, if the push comes to shove, I will agree that Aamir is a decent actor.:)

  7. Q said...

    Ottayan, I don't watch or follow Bengali or Malayalam films so I wouldn't know. But i see that u feel very strongly against the Khans, why?

    I do know that Rajnikanth is bigger than all Bolly stars.

    I just heard SRK speak about his latest acquisition - the Kolkata team. He was asked that hes invested $75 million so he must see a lot of returns in this. He replied by saying that the business model that he looked at is not that lucrative. 20% of the profits will go to the BCCI and 80% to the franchisee. SRK said he didn't do it to make lots of money but because he loves cricket.

    I doubt that any of these people would have invested so much if they didn't see the returns. But SRK did say one things that makes a lot of sense - he said "the 1$100 million invested by Ambani and Mallya is peanuts for them. I don't think they are in this to make money and do good business. They make billions everyday. They are doing this for their love of cricket".

  8. Soulberry said...

    I heard a rumour...Priety Zinta could be bidding no-holds barred for player rights of Symo and Ricky for her Mohali team, if they sign up for IPL..

    Kingfisher is a nice one Uncle J, but you must check out Thunderbolt.

    I tend to agree with AMK on the value of it all. Leagues like this are wonderful for the Associate members and countries that need a leg-up.

  9. David Barry said...

    I pretty much agree with Q. The IPL is going to be awesome. If T20 kills off ODI's (and I hope it does - ODI's are meaningful for about two months every four years, and far less entertaining than T20), then there should be enough gaps in the calendar so that the IPL and Test cricket can happily co-exist.

  10. Q said...

    SB - Symo and Ricky are both part of the roster of players who have signed up for the IPL. We will find out next month how true this rumour is - mid Feb has been marked for bidding for players by the franchisees - thats going to be quite interesting.

    David Barry - with u cent percent!

  11. Obaid said...

    I think this is good for the game... I mean where would we be in the world of soccer if we didnt have our Real Madrid's, ManUs, Boca Juniors etc

    I know soccer is a different game but it would be a good experiment to create these mixed teams. The only arguable question is the format of the game... 20/20 vs 1 day. Im ok with 20/20 for now since its shorter and more exciting

    Im also ok with less frequent engagement at the national level.. i.e. test cricket occurring as frequently as it does, but maybe ODIs should be scrapped.

    Imagine a world where Harbhajan and Symmonds played on the same team :) And then playing test cricket against each other a few days later... brilliant!

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