Actor, Former Cricketer Buy IBL Mumbai Masters, Burman Family Buys Pune Pistons
A triumvirate comprising former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar, Telugu film actor Akkineni Nagarjuna and former Board of Control for Cricket in India junior selection committee Chair V. Chamundeshwarnath "have formed a consortium that has bought" Mumbai Indian Badminton League team Mumbai Masters, according to Moses Kondety of the DECCAN CHRONICLE. Chamundeswarnath and Nagarjuna "have ploughed in the money while Gavaskar holds equity." Hyderabad District Badminton Association President Chamundeswarnath said, "He is the brand ambassador of the franchise and also a partner." Nagarjuna already co-owns the Superbike Mahi Racing Team "with Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni." The team is gearing up for the auction to be held on July 22 in Delhi, where each franchise will have a Rs.1.5 crore ($15M) cap "to purchase 11 players that make up the squad" (DECCAN CHRONICLE, 7/17). In Mumbai, M. Ratnakar wrote Chamundeswaranath, (better known as Chamundi) who is also the first sponsor of Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal, said that "the owners are keen on getting India's top player in their team." Chamundi: "The auction is just a couple of days away and we would like to have our best player in the team." Incidentally, Nagarjuna "is also the co-owner of the Mahi Racing team" along with Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (THE TIMES OF INDIA, 7/18).
READY FOR LAUNCH: The PTI reported the team "will be called Mumbai Masters." The $1M league "is set to launch on August 14." A total of 90 matches "will be played in the IBL which will feature six franchises." Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Lucknow "are the six cities that will feature in the first edition of IBL" (PTI, 7/18). The PTI also reported the Burman family, promoters of Dabur Group, has bought the IBL Pune Franchise. The Burman family -- which forayed into the field of sports with the Indian Premier League and followed it up with the Hockey India League, "successfully bid and bagged the 'Pune Pistons.'" Dabur Group Dir Mohit Burman said, "Having been actively involved in league sports in the country, we are elated to contribute towards the rise of IBL" (PTI, 7/17).