Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is among the 90 bidders for a franchise from among the teams competing in the $3 million Indian Premier League (IPL) next year, a top Board official said on Tuesday.Even as some of the top business names have been mentioned among bidders, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, whose name was also doing the rounds, will not be allowed to bid, as the Board will bar current cricketers from bidding for a franchise.
“Shah Rukh Khan has bid for a franchise,” the official told IANS.
According to the official, England-based Lord Swaraj Paul is also in the fray. “There are a lot of prominent businessmen and personalities among the 90 bidders we have received so far,” he said.
While the franchisees will also bid for the players, some ‘iconic’ stars like Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly will play only for home teams.
The other prominent bidders are business tycoon Vijay Mallya, Anil Ambani and Hollywood actor Russel Crowe, a cousin of former New Zealand cricket captain Martin Crowe.
The floor price for the bidders has been fixed at $50 million.
Mumbai, the game’s hub and home to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters, and Delhi, where the board was formed in 1928, are amongst the big favourites with bidders.
A final decision on the teams, the league format and other related issues would be taken at an IPL governing council meeting Nov 17 in Jaipur.
The IPL, conceived by BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi and backed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and all 10 Test-playing nations, will comprise 56 matches in Twenty20 format.
Many of the world’s top cricketers, like Australians Shane Warne and Glenn McGarth, South Africa captain Graeme Smith, Pakistan’s Mohammed Yousuf, New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene, have signed to play in the IPL.
IPL will feature eight teams, with each playing home and away games against the others. After the league matches, the top four teams will play in the semi-finals with the grand final scheduled towards April-end.
Each franchise/team will have a squad of 16 players registered with the BCCI and drawn from its central contract pool. Moreover, each team will also feature under-21 players and those from the BCCI’s annual contract.
All matches will be played under floodlights at BCCI-designated stadia across the country for a total prize purse of $3 million, making this the richest cricket tournament in the world.
There will be eight franchises for the first year and the IPL hopes to double that number to 16 by 2010.
BCCI launches ‘Indian Premier League’ of Twenty20 against Zee’s ICL
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) launches its first Professional venture in the form of Twenty20 league, which will be called ‘Indian Premier League’ (IPL). With this announcement the Board has definitely called the shots in reply to Zee group’s promoted Indian Cricket League (ICL). This new concept was made public among the hot shots of World cricket at a press conference here on Thursday.
The launch has been attended by all the members of Test playing nations including ICC President Ray Malli, Indian cricket stars Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble and Skipper Rahul Dravid. New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming along with Australia’s Glen Mcgrath and Shane Warne were also present on the occasion. They have confirmed their association with the league.
According to the BCCI Vice President Lalit Modi the IPL will work in a similar pattern to Britain’s English Premiership League where clubs will be the franchisees of BCCI and players of the said clubs will be sold and purchased like any professional club. BCCI has penned down a draft and format of the IPL.
Eight clubs will play in the IPL’s first season, starting in April 2008 next year, with a tournament among the clubs which will last for 44 days and all the matches would be played on home and away basis. A total of 59 matches will be played with 177 hours of entertainment with a Super Saturday in which both the semi-finals and the final will be played on the very same day. The total prize money for Indian Premier League will be $3 million.
Its final leg will be called ‘Champions Twenty20 League’ and all the finalists from across the World will play in this Champions League. The champion team in the Champions Twenty20 league will get $5 million, highest ever for a cricket event.
The league will be run by separate Governing body which will independently manage the affairs of the IPL, which comprises IS Bindra, Chirayu Ameen, Arun Jaitly, Rajeev Shukla, MAK Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar Ravi Shastri and Lalit Modi as their members. The integration of accounts of IPL will be done on annual basis. There will be separate office for the IPL at the MCA’s newly constructed Cricket House.
The Champions Twenty20 league is slated to be played in the first week of October 2008. The aim of the league is to revitalize domestic cricket. Apart from India, Six domestic teams from three nations have confirmed their participation in the first Twenty20 League which included Australia, England and South Africa.
All these things will be run under the rules and regulations of BCCI. There are certain mandatory guidelines for the franchisees to follow:
- Clubs (Franchisee) should have their home ground.
- Each club can have a maximum pool of 16 players.
- Clubs must have four Under-21 youth players in their Pool of 16.
- Four players must belong to the territory where club was located or instituted.
- Each foreign player will be named ‘designated player’ and will be purchased through open bidding among the clubs for their next season.
- All the matches will be played under floodlights.
- An Inter and Intra division should be played among the said clubs.
- Intra division matches would be played on weekends while inter division matches will be played on weekdays.
The clubs will be formed by the BCCI and the franchisees have to pay the Board to form a club. There will be two divisions for the franchisees namely South and North. All the franchisees will be given territorial exclusivity so that nobody can interfere in their own area regarding player’s registration etc. The last but not the least as all the matches will be played under the rules and regulations of ICC.
ESPN, Nimbus, Sony bid for IPL telecast
The country’s leading sports broadcasters — ESPN, Nimbus and Sony — have made presentations to Board of Control for Cricket in India on their marketing plans for promotion of its upcoming Twenty20 Indian Premier League ahead of a tendering process for telecast rights expected to start by the month-end.
According to sources, the three broadcasters made presentations, in Jaipur two days back, on their plans on how to promote the upcoming IPL. The successful bidder will be announced by the first week of next month, the sources added.
Neo Sports Broadcast Pvt Ltd Chief Executive Shashi Kalathil said Neo Sports made a presentation to the cricket board.
Cricket is a good property for us and IPL promises to add value. The only concern that we have is how would it fit into the international cricketing calendar,” he said.
Set Max business head Sneha Rajni also confirmed that the channel made a presentation but declined to divulge its plans on promoting the new league. ESPN officials however declined to comment. A close fight between the three broadcasters is expected, with cricket becoming a hot broadcast property, especially after India’s success at the Twenty20 World Cup.
Kalathil, however, said with the international cricket calendar already congested, the broadcaster needs to know where IPL will be fitted.
Yet, if the league can take the following of the game to beyond just 11-12 players to 50-60, it could become a huge success,” he added.
Nimbus currently holds rights for both domestic and international matches to be played in India till 2010, while ESPN has rights for ICC matches from 2007-15, including two World Cups and three Champions Trophy and two Twenty20 World Cups.
IPL, which will be competing with Subash Chandra’s promoted Zee Networks breakaway Indian Cricket League, is expected to attract leading current players from cricket-playing nations.
Already 34 top players, including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid and Stephen Fleming have been signed up.
The six-team format has also attracted interests of celebrities such as Shahrukh Khan and top corporates such as Future Group, Bharti and Anil Ambani.
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