Two more franchises have been added to the world's biggest and richest Twenty20 league after the new owners spent a combined total of more than $US1.6 billion ($NZ2.23b) to acquire their teams, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said on Monday.
The business conglomerate Sanjiv Goenka's RPSG group won the bid for Lucknow in the Indian Premier League with an offer in excess of US$932 million (NZ$1.3b) while the private equity firm Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners), will own Ahmedabad after making a bid of more than US$692 million ($NZ965m).
"It is heartening to see the inclusion of two new teams at such a high valuation, and it reiterates the cricketing and financial strength of our cricket ecosystem," BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said in a statement.
"True to IPL's motto of 'Where Talent Meets Opportunity', the inclusion of two new teams will bring more domestic cricketers from our country to the global stage."
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It will be the second time that RPSG group has owned a team in the IPL. It also owned Rising Pune Supergiant which competed in 2016 and 2017, when the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals franchises were banned.
Irelia, which has offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas, has been involved in Formula 1 and recently bought stakes in Spain's football league, La Liga.
There were seven other bidders for the two new franchises that also included Avram Glazer's Lancer Capital. The Glazer family owns Manchester United.
The 2022 IPL season will comprise 10 teams taking part in two groups of five.