Ahmedabad, Lucknow set for official inclusion in IPL family

Despite the COVID-19 surge, the BCCI hopes to conduct the mega auction on February 12 and 13.

IPL GC Chairman Brijesh Patel said the board would release the LoI after Tuesday's meeting.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Ahmedabad and Lucknow will be formally included as part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) family on Tuesday. The IPL governing council on Tuesday will ratify the much-delayed formalities due to confusion over the legality of the Ahmedabad promoters.

“It has been decided to release the Letter of Intent (LoI) to the Lucknow and Ahmedabad promoters after Tuesday's GC meeting,” Brijesh Patel, the IPL governing council chairman, told Sportstar on Monday.

Though the RPSG Group (Rs. 7,090 cr.) and CVC Capital Partners (Rs. 5,625 cr.) were announced as the owners of the Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises respectively, the formalities were delayed due to confusion over CVC Capital's eligibility.

READ| IPL 2022: CVC-owned Ahmedabad franchise eye Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan

There were doubts regarding CVC Capitals' alleged involvement in the sports betting business, which led to the BCCI consulting legal luminaries, including Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General of India. 

Since the bidding process had specified both the teams would be awarded simultaneously, the LoI to the Lucknow franchise was held up.

The GC will determine the details about the deadline for pre-auction picks to the new teams, the auction date and venues for IPL 2022.

“The GC will take a call on the nitty-gritty about the other issues in the lead-up to the IPL,” Patel said.

With the existing eight teams having announced their retained players, the BCCI is likely to ask both the new teams to submit the list of their three pre-auction picks by January 26. While K.L. Rahul is among the front-runners to lead the Lucknow franchise, Ahmedabad promoters are negotiating with Hardik Pandya to be the face of the team.

Despite the COVID-19 surge, the BCCI hopes to conduct the mega auction on February 12 and 13. The GC is likely to discuss the option of either holding a virtual auction or staging an in-person event overseas.

The GC is likely to shortlist the Mumbai-Pune corridor, with four stadia, as the most viable option for the IPL’s 15th edition in April 2022.

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