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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

IPL 2016 ! Pune picks MS Dhoni ~ Rajkot picks Suresh Raina

Vivo Electronics Corp. is a  smartphone manufacturer based in Dongguan, Guangdong. Founded in 2009, the company is active in the Asian mobile phone market. We will be hearing more about them as recently BCCI announced it as the  title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016.  Vivo fulfilled their obligation of presenting the bank guarantee to the BCCI and confirmed the title sponsorship rights.  In the coming two IPL seasons (2016 and 2017), vivo and IPL will have extensive cooperation in terms of sports events, on-ground activations and marketing campaign.

IPL may continue to be a hit – but Chennai may not any longer be painted yellow ! ~ people may no longer whistle for CSK ‘“ namma thalai Dhonikku periya visil addinga enna achu ?”

For 2016 – Chennai Super Kings & Rajasthan Royals have been replaced by Pune & Rajkot teams.  The New Rising group owned by Sanjiv Goenka and mobile phone manufacturer Intex won the ownership rights for the upcoming  seasons 2016 and 2017. New Rising  picked Pune as their base while Rajkot will be the home ground for the Intex-owned franchise.

Unlike the sky-rocketing price for IPL players’ auction – it was reverse bidding which selected the two new franchisees.  Under reverse bidding investors were encouraged to bid for lower than the base price of Rs 40 crore set by the IPL. This meant the BCCI would pay a maximum of Rs 40 crore from its central revenue pool to the new owner. The investor who bid the lowest price would eventually bag the ownership rights. Having bid in the negative, New Rising will now pay Rs 16 crore while Intex will pay Rs 10 crore to the BCCI per year of their contracts. Do you understand --  where BCCI had to pay – the franchisee would now enrich the coffers.

Today was a D-day for them.  MS Dhoni was the first pick for the new Pune franchise, owned by New Rising, and his Chennai Super Kings team-mate Suresh Raina was the first player chosen by Rajkot, owned by Intex, at the IPL player draft held in Mumbai. The other four players chosen by Pune were Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Steven Smith and Faf du Plessis. Rajkot's other choices were: Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner, Dwayne Bravo. Both franchises will lose INR 39 crore from their auction purse, and will have INR 27 crore to spend at the auction in Bangalore to make up the rest of their squad. There was place only for one specialist bowler on either side, and it looks like both teams will spend a sizeable chunk of their remaining purse of Rs 27 crore on acquiring bowlers at the auction on February 6.

Going by what the owners had to say, it's evident they considered a variety of factors - brand-building being an important one - before making the final choices.  For those who have not been following - The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India contested annually by franchise teams representing Indian cities. The league, founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2008, is scheduled over April and May of each year.  In 2010, the IPL became the first sporting event to be broadcast live on YouTube. The brand value of the 2014 Indian Premier League was estimated to be US$7.2 billion.

Not all would remember the pioneer in India – the Indian Cricket League (ICL) funded by Zee Entertainment Enterprises that operated in India between 2007 and 2009. The BCCI and the International Cricket Council did not recognize the ICL. To prevent players from joining the ICL, the BCCI increased the prize money in domestic tournaments and imposed lifetime bans on players joining the ICL, which was considered a rebel league.  The BCCI tasked Lalit Modi with starting a Twenty20 league to rival the ICL.   In 2010,  two additional franchises - Pune (Pune Warriors India) and Kochi (Kochi Tuskers Kerala) were unveiled before the fourth season.  Sunrisers Hyderabad came into being when Deccan Charges ceased. 

In 2008 English auctioneer Richard Madley was at the centre-stage as the Nation witnessed some that never occurred before – auction of players ! Bollywood star amidst several Board Chairmans of Corporate World vied in bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars for the services of 77 star cricketers in the auction held at  Mumbai Hilton Towers in Nariman Point.

Much water has flown under the bridge and today 50 players went into the draft and the two franchises could pick anyone they wanted and ask for them. The first player set them back INR 12.5 crores ($1.86m), the next 9.5 crore ($1.42m), third Rs 7.5 crore ($1.12m). fourth Rs 5.5 crore ($0.82m) and the fifth Rs 4 crore ($0.60m). These figures do not necessarily indicate the player's full salary. It is only the amount deducted from Pune and Rajkot's purse. All 10 men picked today will be paid the amount they were originally contracted for by the Super Kings or Royals.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th Dec 2015.


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