Cricket

Exclusive: RPSG's Goenka looking at other teams to remain in IPL

sanjiv-goenka Sanjiv Goenka | via Commons

Rising Pune Supergiant owner Sanjiv Goenka has indicated his eagerness to remain invested in the Indian Premier League as franchise owner post 2017 too. Revealing this, in an exclusive interview with THE WEEK, Goenka, whose Pune-based franchise has reached the finals of the ongoing IPL season, expressed his satisfaction with the returns on his investment in the IPL and praised the brand created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

When asked whether he would like to continue as team owner in the IPL, Goenka said, “We had a two year window and that's what it is. We had a good time.” However, when pressed further on whether he would look to invest in any of the old franchises, if such an opportunity arises, he responded in an affirmative, “ Yes, it is an option.”

Although Goenka did not reveal anything beyond this, THE WEEK has learnt from a source inside IPL that he is already in advanced stage of talks with Rajasthan Royals team owners.

RPS and Gujarat Lions were included for a two-year period after the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee handed a two-year ban on the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals after the IPL 2013 spot fixing investigations. The last IPL General Council meeting held in New Delhi on May 7 decided that the two new teams—RPS and GL—would not get an extension beyond two years.

Raj Kundra, husband of actress Shilpa Shetty, was banned for lifetime from any cricketing activity as per the quantum of punishment decided by the Lodha Committee. Chennai Super King's Gurunath Meiyappan too was handed the same punishment.

According to BCCI sources, RR and Priety Zeinta-owned Kings XI Punjab are two teams which could get new owners. The IPL rights cycle for the next five years is set to be announced post the completion of the ongoing season. In fact, one senior board official even said while GC had decided it will stick to eight teams in the new rights cycle, there was also a clause that if the board felt after first two years to expand the league to 10 teams, then it should be allowed to do so.

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