IPL: From Pune to Lucknow - the return of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group

On Monday, the Kolkata-based business tycoon returned to the corridors of Indian cricket by bagging the Lucknow franchise of the IPL for a record Rs 7090 crore.

Goenka, known for his passion for sports, is one of the owners of the ATK-Mohun Bagan, which is among the top teams in the Indian Super League and had previously ventured into other sports as well.   -  PTI

After owning the Rising Pune Supergiant for two seasons - in 2016 and 2017 - the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group is back again in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

On Monday, the conglomerate bagged the Lucknow franchise of the IPL for a record Rs 7090 crore, and Goenka is excited about the new innings. “It is an initial step and now, we need to build a good team and perform,” he told Sportstar soon after buying the Lucknow franchise.

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With Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals serving a two-year suspension for their alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal, Goenka bagged the Pune outfit in 2015 and had initially named Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the captain.

After a mediocre outing in the 2016 edition, Goenka took a bold decision ahead of the 2017 season by removing Dhoni as the captain and appointing Steve Smith for the top job. While Dhoni had a successful outing in the 2017 season, the Supergiant, too, had a dream run in the tournament under Smith’s captaincy.

The side reached the final of the IPL in 2017 before going down to Mumbai Indians by one run. While it was a heartbreak for the team, the franchise owner Goenka had indicated that he would be keen on owning a team "whenever there would be an opportunity."

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Over the last few years, there have been speculations on Goenka aiming to buy stakes in a franchise, but nothing materialised.

But on Monday, the Kolkata-based business tycoon finally returned to the corridors of Indian cricket. “I am delighted. It is good to be back again…” he said.

Along with Lucknow, the group had also put in bids for Ahmedabad and Indore, however, it managed to grab the Lucknow team and will be having its home base at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium.

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The Ekana Stadium in Lucknow.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Goenka, known for his passion for sports, is one of the owners of the ATK-Mohun Bagan - which is among the top teams in the Indian Super League - and had previously ventured into other sports as well. But after a successful stint in the IPL, Goenka had expressed interest in returning to the cash-rich tournament.

Since then, there have been several efforts by the group to get involved in the IPL again. It took the group four and a half years to return and with a record bid, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group did make a roaring comeback.

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