The RP – Sanjiv Goenka Group has returned to the IPL fold by successfully winning the bid for making a new IPL team. the BCCI had announced in its AGM that the IPL will be increased from the existing 8 team tournament to a 10 team tournament. They will now be split into 2 groups of 5 each and the tournament will now no more be in a round-robin format. The speculation, ever since the tender documents were released about who would be the new owners and where the team would be located, finally came to an end on October 26 when BCCI declared the final results.
The Sanjiv Goenka conglomerate paid a whopping INR 7090 crores which are nearly a billion dollars to buy rights for the franchise. They were the highest bidders and naturally got a preference to pick their host city.
The management decided to go with Lucknow. In an interview, he said that he was aware of the amount of money being spent and was confident about the franchise growing and giving manifold returns. We look at 4 reasons why Lucknow could go on to become a blockbuster franchise.
1. Hub of Cricket
Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state and cricket is loved in this state. Additionally, Lucknow got a wold class 50,000 seater international stadium called Ekana Cricket Stadium. Therefore, a cricket-crazy city with brilliant infrastructure is a perfect recipe for a successful and popular IPL team.
2. Strong Domestic System
Every IPL team prefers having local players in their squad to build a strong connection with their fans and give the team a connection with the city. Therefore, KKR roped in Sourav Ganguly and Dravid was roped in by Bangalore when IPL had started. Recently KL Rahul and Ahswin have played for their respective cities in the IPL. UP has a strong cricketing system at the professional level. Players like Shami, Bhuvi, Raina and many others can be targeted to build a strong team with local connections.
3. Perfect Management
The Goenka’s are known to go out all guns blazing. In 2016 and 17 they had taken the Rising Pune Supergiants and built a world-class squad filled with the biggest superstars. Dhoni, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, and many others were all part of the team. they made it to the finals of the 2017 season and narrowly lost. Therefore, even in Lucknow, they will go out of their way to make a team that challenges one and all.
4. Potential to become the most loved franchise
Today the biggest franchises in IPL are Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata and that is major because of the love and adulation of their fans. These teams have huge fan followings. Lucknow has become a bustling metro with a huge middle-class population. It is also the capital of the most populous state. Yet, to this day the people of UP have been starved of the opportunity to support their own team. However, now every match would be houseful in Lucknow because people will have the financial ability to pack a stadium and they are finally getting the opportunity. This is the first team from UP and the state being the most populous state in the country with a vibrant cricketing culture will ensure that the Lucknow franchise has a humongous fan following.