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?