The 89th Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on December 24 is set to approve the addition of two new franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) ahead of the 2021 season, according to reports. At least three corporate giants — a Gujarat-based energy firm, a Kolkata-based industrial conglomerate and a prominent banker — are in contention to enter the bidding war.
“Approval on inclusion of 2 (two) new teams to the Indian Premier League,” states one of the 23 points on the agenda for the 89th AGM, accessed by an Indian publication. The ninth team could be based in Gujarat per the same report. Recently, the Motera stadium in Gujarat underwent a renovation which increased the capacity to 110,000, making it the largest stadium as per capacity.
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There are also reports that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has hinted to the franchises to prepare for a mega-auction which could take place in early 2021. A maximum of six venues — Ahmedabad, Kochi, Guwahati, Lucknow, Pune and Dehradun — are likely to be offered in the bid document this time around.
Some reports also stated that the Board will also try and offer a stake or a team to promoters of the now-defunct Kochi franchise as a compensatory measure. It is learnt that the BCCI owes more than Rs 5000 crore to Kochi promoters after a court-appointed arbitrator ruled against the board for wrongful termination.
The BCCI has reportedly listed a total of 23 matters to be discussed at the AGM including the election of the vice president following the resignation of Mahim Verma, who held the post after being elected unopposed last year. The AGM will also have a discussion over the future of President Sourav Ganguly and secretary Shah, with a hearing at the Supreme Court over their fate will be held on December 9.
The board members are also set to hold a talk on the potential inclusion of cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics while the state associations are also scheduled to be briefed on certain matters pertaining to ICC, NCA, 2021 ICC World T20 and India’s Future Tours Program. The BCCI Annual General Meeting in September tried to lay out a blueprint for the resumption of domestic cricket in the country.
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