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Pune and Kochi are two new IPL teams

Chennai: Sahara Group and Rendezvous Sports, a consortium of business houses, pipped three other corporate biggies to win the bids for two new Indian Premier League teams from the next season.

Sahara Adventure Sports Group was the highest bidder at $370 million (Rs.1,702 crore) and bagged Pune as the host city. Kerala-based consortium Rendezvous Sports bid $333.33 million (Rs.1.333.33 crore) to get Kochi as the other franchisee to make the IPL a 10-team affair from 2011.

“There were five qualified bids and the bidding was extremely competitive. I hope they make good business,” IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi said, announcing the bid results here Sunday.

In the first IPL auction three years back, eight teams were sold for Rs.2,840 crore while this time the two new teams fetched an astronomical Rs.3,035.53 crore.

“It only shows there is no recession for the IPL and it is in the upswing,” Modi said.

Two other bidders in fray, Adani Enterprises and Videocon, who were part of the cancelled bidding process March 7, lost out.

Modi said the Sahara Group had the option of choosing from Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Pune as their home. The corporate from Lucknow picked Pune as its host city.

“Sahara bid for Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Pune and was asked to settle for one city. The franchisees is given for the next 10 years,” Modi said.

He said the base price for bidding was $225 million. He also said that the franchisee fee for the two new teams was for 10 years.

The two new teams will join eight franchisees that have been part of the IPL for three years: Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Deccan Chargers, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.

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