The Karnataka Premier League (KPL), a carbon copy of the highly successful Indian Premier League (IPL) that’s counting its revenue by the billion, got off to a rollicking start with eight bidders buying franchises for eight teams at stake by putting down eye-popping amount late on Wednesday night.
Front-ranking land developer Brigade Group bought team Bangalore Urban in a fiercely fought auction war, forking out a whopping Rs 7.2 crore, nearly Rs 2 crore more than the Bangalore Rural bid and nearly double that of the Mysore and Shimoga bids, which went for Rs 3.25 crore apiece.
Of the eight successful bidders, at least three are realtors, one politician and others are into business.
That the fast-food version of the game is here to stay was more than evident by the continuous footfall at the KSCA portals which saw nonstop activity from Wednesday morning, when the bids opened, till 4 pm, the deadline to drop in closed bids. The next few hours were akin to a textbook Twenty20 finish: bidders dreaming of commanding teams were seen biting their nails as the KSCA officials zeroed in on the top eight. And the result was worth the wait.
The KPL kicked off a storm of interest from a wide swathe: leading film personalities to politicians from North Karnataka to industrialists who wouldn’t mind sinking in a couple of crores in a new business, never mind the recession. Legends Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath, however, had a word of caution: the KPL should be better scripted without playing into the hands of those whose are not familiar and passionate about cricket.
The action in the middle is set to begin in a month.