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September 14, 2009

Can't afford an IPL team? Buy one at KPL or MPL

Business Today has an article, titled "IPL Copycats", on new state level 20:20 teams in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The KSCA, however, is not the first to have launched a 20-20 league of their own. The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) has already done it, roping in the Sakaal Media group for the Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) in April-May this year. The MPL, with a prize money of Rs 10 lakh, had eight franchisees who played a total of 31 matches in 14 days. But the player of the tournament had to be content with two wheels, not four: a Yamaha motorcycle. The total cost of organising and playing the games was a measly Rs 1 crore.

Just as in the IPL, the MCA teams, too, have catchy names—Devgiri Emperors, Sinhagad Supremos, Sindhudurg Sailors and Torna Tigers. But, unlike the IPL’s mish-mash, no players from other states played in either league. Also, the players in the local leagues have three-year contracts and a franchisee owner has to buy all the 14 players within a budget of Rs 6 lakh.

This kept player bids at reasonable levels, compared with the bankruptcy-inviting numbers at the IPL, where the likes of Kevin Pietersen were bought for a record Rs 7.5 crore. So, Aditya Dole, the first player to be auctioned by the MCA, was bought for Rs 65,000 by Pratapgad Warriors. Ameya Shrikhande, Vishal Bhulare and Sangram Atitkar were bought for Rs 1 lakh each. The MPL had its stars: 10 players fetched over a lakh each.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at