CVC Capital set to get all-clear for the Ahmedabad IPL team

CVC Capital Partners, an investment firm, that won the bid for the Ahmedabad-based IPL franchise is set to get the all-clear from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reported Indian Express. CVC Capital will be given a ‘Letter of Intent’ soon as the three-member legal committee has given the green signal, a BCCI source was quoted by the newspaper.

Last week, we reported that BCCI had approached a retired Supreme Court judge for an opinion on this matter. CVC was the second-highest bidder when two new IPL teams were auctioned this October. CVC had won the rights to own the Ahmedabad franchise for Rs 5,625 crores, while Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG Group bagged the Lucknow franchise for Rs 7,090 crore. A day after CVC was announced as the successful bidder for the Ahmedabad franchise, reports emerged that they have links with betting companies abroad.

On the day CVC won the bid for the Ahmedabad team in October, former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi had questioned the BCCI decision on allowing betting companies to buy IPL teams.

Under the ‘portfolio companies’ list on the CVC Capital Partners’ website are Tipico, a sports betting and online gaming company, and Sisal, an Italian betting gaming, and payments, consumer/retail company. The CVC has invested in Formula 1, football, and rugby and IPL franchise ownership will be their first entry in the Indian cricket market. Globally, there is an increased demand to ban betting companies from sponsoring sports like cricket and football.

In the BCCI annual general body meeting this month, the BCCI office-bearers had apprised the members about the CVC development. The members were informed that CVC has two funds, European funds, and Asian funds. While its European funds have links with (sports) betting companies, where betting is legal, its Asian fund is clean, a BCCI official was quoted in media reports. The IPL investment is through the Asian fund.

BCCI also obtained expert advice which has gone against awarding the franchise to the next-highest bidder, should the cricketing body decide to cancel the allocation of the franchise to the CVC Capital. The BCCI, apparently, will have to conduct rebidding which may derail a lot of IPL planning.

Now with CVC set to get all clear, the cricket governing body has also decided to extend the deadline for the two new IPL teams to sign three players before the mega auction set to be held in February. The earlier deadline for new teams to sign players was December 25.

As per a PTI report, BCCI is planning to hold the two-day mega Indian Premier League auction on February 7 and 8 in Bengaluru, a senior BCCI official said on Wednesday. “Unless the COVID-19 situation worsens, we will have the IPL mega auction in India. The two-day event will be held on February 7 and 8 and like other years, we plan to hold it in Bengaluru. Preparations are underway,” a senior BCCI official was quoted by PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The IPL media rights tender is also set to be delayed. “The IPL Media Rights tender for the cycle 2023-2027 will be released immediately after the appointment of two new IPL teams which is scheduled to be announced on 25th October 2021,” the BCCI had said in a media release after a governing council meeting of the IPL on September 28.