Bidders line up to purchase OPL teams

Cuttack: Bidders in large numbers showed interest in purchasing teams for the first edition of the Orissa Premier League (OPL) T20 cricket tournament, scheduled to begin here from May 22.

On the first day of selling bid forms at Orissa Cricket Association (OCA), at least 37 forms were sold as enthusiastic bidders lined up to own OPL teams. The bid will remain open till May 9 and OPL organisations are expecting a keen contest among the biddres to become franchisees.

Sources said corporate houses, media houses, mine owners, educational institutions and individuals purchased the bid forms on the opening day and their seriousness to own a team was palpable as some of them purchased more than two forms.

While OCA has shortlisted at least 14 venue-based teams, only ten teams on the basis of highest bid would be allowed to play in the first edition of the tournament. The base price for a bidder to own a team is fixed at Rs 4 lakh.

Similarly, the franchisees would be allowed to limit their expenditure to Rs 8 lakh to purchase the players. Each team would be allowed to purchase 18 players, of which a maximum of 12 would be graded players, while the remaining six would be from their catchment areas.

The OCA is going to release a list of around 300 players who would be graded from A to E on the basis of their past records. The bidding for players is scheduled on May 13. The base price of a grade A player is fixed at Rs 60,000, B is Rs 40,000, C Rs 30,000, D Rs 20,000 and grade E player (from local catchment areas) have a base price of Rs 10,000. A team would be allowed to field a maximum of eight players from grade A,B,C,D and a minimum of three players from grade E.

The teams would be separated in two groups and each team of the group would play two matches with each other, one at home and the other at away venue. The top two teams of the groups will move to semifinals. There would be a total of 44 matches, including two semifinals and a final. The inaugural match, the semifinals and the final would be played under floodlights at the Barabati stadium. The champions will pocket a cash prize of Rs 4 lakh while the runners up will get Rs 2 lakh.