Mumbai: Industrialist Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Group is re-looking to acquire an existing franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T-20 cricket tournament. “We are looking at IPL as a big opportunity. There are a couple of franchises, which we know, are looking to exit. So, we are actively looking at that,” Sajjan Jindal’s son Parth Jindal told reporters at a group function in Jaigad recently. IPL 2017 revised Schedule: Fixture, Dates, Match Timings and Venue Details
He, however, did not divulge which these two franchises are. JSW Steel Chairman Sajjan Jindal had in 2015 said that his group was planning to acquire an IPL side. At that time, there was speculation that the group could acquire Royal Challengers Bangalore owned by Vijay Mallya. However, the USD 11 billion steel and power conglomerate had later put on hold its plans to acquire an IPL cricket team in the wake of betting scandal hitting the star-studded cricketing league.
Parth said there is a surge in interest in IPL of late that is reflected in the recent deals, like the one signed by Chinese mobile handset maker Oppo. He further said there is also a talk of a soon-to-be sealed TV deal being signed at three times the earlier size. “The IPL will be a profit-making venture. I think all IPL teams will make money,” he said.
Parth said the diversified JSW Group otherwise looks at sports initiatives from a brand-building perspective and as a commitment towards the country, but cricket will be a commercial venture. “Cricket does not need any investing, (it) has enough money already,” he said.
The 10-year-old IPL held during the summer holidays attracts a good viewership. Some of the IPL teams are owned by prominent industrial groups.