x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

IPL purse strings get tight

If, as expected, the Chargers are wound up after the Indian board's working committee meeting, a new team is unlikely to be anything like as expensive.

The Deccan Chargers are looking for a new owner.
The Deccan Chargers are looking for a new owner.

At the height of his powers as the Indian Premier League's commissioner, Lalit Modi boasted that the tournament was "recession proof".

Now, with one expansion team, the Kochi Tuskers Kerala, lasting just a season before being expelled, and others embroiled in ownership-related controversies, that hubris has come home to roost.

Yesterday, the Deccan Chargers, owned by Deccan Chronicle Holdings, rejected a bid of nine billion rupees (Dh596 million) for the franchise. They had announced an invitation to tender bids on September 6, but there was only one interested party, PVP Ventures, who finance movies. The price and terms offered by them were unacceptable to the owners.

Given that the parent company is now 50bn rupees in debt, it seems a strange decision with the creditors hovering. The Chargers have not been able to pay players for the 2012 IPL season. Neither have the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

It is too early to say whether these are cases of businesses poorly managed or of the IPL boom bursting, but the sums being thrown around a few years ago are now a pipe dream.

The cost of the Pune Warriors, one of the expansion teams that joined the league in 2011, was US$370m (Dh 1,358bn). If, as expected, the Chargers are wound up after the Indian board's working committee meeting tomorrow, a new team is unlikely to be anything like as expensive.

Back in 2009, the Chargers won the IPL in South Africa. Three years on, they face extinction.

sports@thenational.ae