Twelve cities in the running for new IPL franchise as Indian cricket Board invites bids

Agencies - The Indian cricket Board on Sunday invited bids from interested parties to own and operate an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise that will replace Deccan Chargers, terminated for breach of contract.

Bids have been invited for 12 cities - Ahmedabad, Cuttack, Dharamsala, Indore, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Kochi, Nagpur, Noida, Rajkot, Ranchi and Vizag, according to the advertisement that appeared in newspapers.

The party that wins the bid will be able to field a team in the IPL from 2013 edition onwards, and also in the Champions League T20, subject to qualification, said Sanjay Jagdale, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Mumbai Indians owner Neeta Ambani, Bollywood Actor & KKR Owner Shahrukh Khan and IPL Chiairman Rajiv Shukla pictured during a press conference

Mumbai Indians owner Neeta Ambani, Bollywood Actor & KKR Owner Shahrukh Khan and IPL Chiairman Rajiv Shukla pictured during a press conference

However, the BCCI didn't mention for what duration the team would be sold. The Invitation to Tender (ITT) can be acquired on payment of a non-refundable and nonadjustable Rs 5 lakh between 10am and 6pm on any working day Monday onwards from the BCCI headquarters at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Bids can be submitted at 12 noon on October 25, said the tender notice. The payment can be made either through demand draft or pay order, favouring the BCCI. It should be payable in Pune, where BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke resides.

The BCCI did not confirm when it intends to declare the bid winner. "The winning bids will be announced in the manner mentioned set out in the Invitation to Tender," it said cautiously. No mention was made of the base price.

When the BCCI increased the IPL teams from eight to 10 in 2010, the successful bidder, Sahara India, bought the Pune franchise for $370 million - the most expensive of all the teams.

For the other franchise, Kochi, Rendezvous Sports World consortium paid $333.35 million, though it was later scratched for failing to meet their financial obligations. Rajasthan Royals were the cheapest franchise at $67 million.

The BCCI also clarified in the tender notice that all bidding parties would need to fulfil the eligibility criteria and other requirements specified in the ITT.

"The BCCI reserves the right at its discretion to cancel or amend the entire bidding process at any stage and to reject any and all bids without providing any reason. Merely buying the Invitation to Tender does not entitle the purchaser to bid," said the advertisement.

This is the second time an advert inviting bids for an IPL team has been published in a little over a month. The earlier one, which was published on September 6, was issued by the financially crippled Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL), owner of Deccan Chargers franchise, under the aegis of BCCI when the company was looking for a buyer to tide over the financial crisis.

At the time, the BCCI was trying to help DCHL overcome the financial mess it was in. But only one party responded to the tender, and DCHL rejected that over the conditions the bidder had attached to payment issues.

Then, after the BCCI on September 14 terminated Deccan Chargers, the 2009 IPL champions, DCHL responded by moving the Bombay High Court.

The court then appointed an arbitrator, who granted status quo on the BCCI's decision to terminate Deccan Chargers. But the Bombay High Court on Saturday stayed his decision, prompting the BCCI to float the tender on Sunday.

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