IPL 2022: Ahmedabad franchise owners CVC Capital Partners under legal scrutiny?
The IPL 2022 would see two new teams (Ahmedabad and Lucknow). However, Ahmedabad owner CVC Capital Partners has seemingly landed itself in legal scrutiny.
Things are set to get even more competitive in the most luxurious Twenty20 (T20) domestic cricket tournament globally, the Indian Premier League (IPL). From 2022, a couple of new teams would feature in it (Ahmedabad and Lucknow), as it would become a ten-team affair, with the number of matches increasing to 74. While CVC Capital Partners has owned the Ahmedabad team for ₹5,625 crore, Lucknow has been owned by RP Sanjiv Goenka Group for ₹7,090 crore.
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However, barely 48 hours since, some ethical and legal questions have arisen over the parties. RPSG owns Indian Super Super League (ISL) franchise ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB). At the same time, the reigning Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly happens to be its director. Nonetheless, he stepped down from the role on Wednesday itself.
Meanwhile, CVCCP is also under question for being involved in business with international betting firms, reports Hindustan Times. Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi tweeted, “I guess betting companies can buy a @ipl team. Must be a new rule. Apparently, one qualified bidder also owns a big betting company. Does @BCCI not do homework. What can anti-corruption do in such a case?”
As per CVC in the past, it has held a majority stake in Tipico of Malta since 2016. It also had claimed a controlling stake in Sky Betting and Gaming of the United Kingdom (UK) since 2014. However, it is to be noted that while betting is legal in those regions, it does not have similar operations in India, where betting is illegal.
In the meantime, a BCCI official told HT that only after due diligence and legal scrutiny CVC had been cleared to bid and own the Ahmedabad franchise. As per the official, since most private firms have business deals overseas, they are free to hold an IPL side as long as they don’t invest in banned businesses in India.
The report adds that the BCCI was involved in another round of CVC’s legal scrutiny on Wednesday. It was to check on any non-declaration part on its side while bidding. However, the official cleared that none of the bidding parties questioned or objected to the winning bids. Notwithstanding, had the scrutiny been genuine, CVC could have lost out on the franchise, while the third-best bidder, Adani Sportline Pvt Ltd (₹5,100 crore), might have been awarded the side.