CHENNAI: It’s a windfall for the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Franchisee rights for the inaugural TN Premier League fetched the association Rs 33.24 crore after tender documents bidding for the eight teams were opened Thursday.
The base price was Rs 1.25 crore, which means the association got about 3.3 times the minimum amount assured. The TNCA will receive this sum for the first 10 years of the T20 tournament.
The bids of Thoothukudi Sports and Entertainment, Metronation Chennai Television and Lyca Productions were over Rs 5 crore. The minimum was Rs 3.3 crore and former opener VB Chandrasekhar won a team by bidding Rs 3.48 crore on behalf of VB Cricket Academy.
“We’re happy that franchise bids fetched 3.3 times the base amount. It’s a healthy sign and shows the credibility of TNCA. It also shows that the enthusiasm for the game is very high,” said TNCA president N Srinivasan, adding that the two-year suspension of Chennai Super Kings from IPL won’t affect the new product.
Tender papers were opened in the presence of all 17 who had submitted bids. “The process was conducted in a professional, fair and transparent manner. I would have loved to be part of it, but bad luck that I couldn’t,” said K Srinath, brother of former India captain K Srikkanth, whose bid was unsuccessful.
The highest bidder, Albert Murali of the Thoothukudi franchise, is confident of breaking even. “Until recently, I was vice-president of TNCA. I resigned to own a team. Five crores may look big, but second year onwards it won’t be an issue. This season, I’m looking forward to breaking even and not at profits,” said the owner of the famous Albert theatre in Egmore, Chennai.
There will be no auctions and players will be distributed among eight teams following a draft system, where the highest bidder gets to pick the first player and so on. It will be held in July. All players registered with TNCA can play and the association is in talks with BCCI to find out if outstation players could become part of it. There will be 27 matches to be played in Chennai, Natham and Tirunelveli. They will be telecast by Star Sports and most of them will be under lights.
Former India opener and selector VB Chandrasekhar is the only cricketer to own a franchise. “I calculated and analysed factors before bidding. The price isn’t too high. I’m looking for sponsorship and should be able to manage the team,” he said, adding that his CSK experience will help.
Thoothukudi Sports & Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Rs 5.21 cr, Thoothukudi
Metronation Chennai Television Pvt Ltd, Rs 5.13 cr, South Chennai
Lyca Productions Pvt Ltd, Rs 5.01 cr, Coimbatore
Kothari (Madras) Int Ltd, Rs 4 .01 cr, Madurai
Ruby Builders, Rs 3.69 cr, Kancheepuram
VB Cricket Academy, Rs 3.48 cr, Thiruvallur
Take Solutions, Rs 3.42 cr, Dindigul
Chettinad Apparels Pvt Ltd, Rs 3.3 cr, Karaikudi
Winner: Rs 1 cr. Runner-up: Rs 60 L. Semifinalists: Rs 40 L.
Other participants: Rs 25L.