‘Approval’ to be sought at Dec. 24 AGM; bidders likely to be offered choice of six venues
A decision on adding two new teams to the Indian Premier League is set to be made during the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on December 24.
“Approval on inclusion of 2 (two) new teams to the Indian Premier League,” states one of the 23 points on the agenda for the 89th AGM, accessed by The Hindu. The manner in which the item is phrased hints that it’s all but certain that two new teams will be added ahead of the 2021 edition.
The BCCI hierarchy is keen on expanding the IPL and it’s not just because of the interest evinced by several corporates. It is learnt that the Board also views the addition of teams as an opportunity to compensate the promoters of the now-defunct Kochi franchise by offering them a team or a stake in a team. The BCCI owes the promoters more than ₹5,000 crore after a court-appointed arbitrator ruled against it for wrongful termination.
The Hindu understands that unlike in 2010, when a long list of eligible venues was presented to prospective bidders, a maximum of six venues — Ahmedabad, Kochi, Guwahati, Lucknow, Pune and Dehradun — are likely to be offered in the bid document this time around.
At least three corporate giants — a Gujarat-based energy firm, a Kolkata-based industrial conglomerate and a prominent banker — are understood to be bracing themselves to enter the bidding war.
AGM venue uncertain
The agenda does not specify the venue for the AGM, implying that the meeting will be held at the headquarters in Mumbai. However, if the government authorities in Maharashtra do not give clearance, the meeting may be held in Ahmedabad, Kolkata or Chennai.