IPL announce two new teams for 2016
Suspended franchises Chennai and Rajasthan replaced after corruption scandal
9 December 2015, 07:34 AM AEST
Teams from the western cities of Pune and Rajkot won an auction Tuesday to compete in cricket's Indian Premier League, replacing two franchises that were banned over a corruption scandal.
The Twenty20 tournament's chairman Rajiv Shukla said that New Rising, a subsidiary of the Sanjeev Goenka group, bagged the Pune franchise, while Delhi-based Intex Mobiles picked up the Rajkot team in open bidding.
Shukla said the owners had not paid the usual franchise fees to tournament organisers for the right to field teams, but would instead forgo payments from a central pool of money made up of cash from TV rights and sponsorship.
"This speaks to the enduring popularity of the tournament, that instead of us paying them money they are going to pay us," Shukla told reporters after the auction in New Delhi.
Watson might have a new club for the first time in 2016 // BCCI
New Rising have agreed to pay around $US3.4 million ($A4.68 million) annually for the Pune franchise for the next two years and Intex will pay around $US1.5 million ($A2.06 million) for the Rajkot team.
The auction followed the decision by India's cricket board to ban the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals from the glitzy tournament for two years on the recommendation of a Supreme Court-appointed panel.
The 2013 IPL season was mired in controversy after police launched legal proceedings against several officials from the two teams and three Rajasthan Royals' players for illegal betting and spot-fixing.
Five players from each of the Chennai and Rajasthan franchises will be drafted into the new teams on December 15, while the rest will feature in an auction in Bangalore on February 6, Shukla said.
Dhoni won't be in CSK yellow next season // BCCI
Both Chennai and Rajasthan are expected to return to the IPL after their bans end following the 2017 edition.
The new buyers have ensured the IPL will remain an eight-team event for at least the next two years.
"We are very excited to be associated with a popular brand like the IPL," said Intex director Keshav Bansal.
The barred Chennai Super Kings, led by India's World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, are the most successful team in the IPL's history, having won the tournament in 2010 and 2011 and finishing runners-up on four occasions.
Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural event in 2008 under the captaincy of Australian spin legend Shane Warne, but have failed to make the final since then.
The Royals featured Australians Steve Smith, Shane Watson, James Faulkner, Ben Cutting and Kane Richardson, while CSK had Mike Hussey and Andrew Tye.
Since its launch in 2008, the IPL has become hugely popular by paying mega salaries to big-name internationals who perform against a glamorous backdrop of dancing girls and Bollywood stars, who part-own the teams.
But despite attracting big audiences, it has been dogged by scandal, including allegations of corruption, spot-fixing and crooked umpires.