'Kochi won't be at loss in IPL players auction'

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/ipllogonew1.jpg' class='caption'> Rendezvous Sports World, which has bought a Kochi-based IPL franchise, asserted that it would not be at a disadvantage during the players' auction.

Updated: March 28, 2010 12:19 IST
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Rendezvous Sports World, which has bought a Kochi-based Indian Premier League franchise, on Sunday asserted that it would not be at a disadvantage during the players' auction for the IPL Four season to be held in September.

"I don't think the others (franchisees) will be spending so much (in the auction) as there is an issue of retaining players also. The teams will be retaining seven (4 Indians + 3 foreigners) players. But they will still be spending from their purse of USD 7 million on retaining these players," Keshav P T, from Film Waves, one of the companies to have invested in the franchisee, said at a press conference here.

As far as allocation is concerned, our case is different as all our players would be new, he said.

Keshav said while the team will not be expected to get the best of the players in the first auction, nothing could be taken for granted.

"The advantage of being the first, has gone to the eight teams that came in earlier. We have entered when the IPL has already proven itself. So that is the premium that we pay. So we don't expect to get the best of the players in the first year but we will try our best.

As far as not getting the best players is concerned it cannot be taken for granted at this point of time. There will be definitely some opportunities for us," he said.

"We have seen in the IPL matches that lot of players have come up and performed well. It's not necessarily the established players who are the best. We are definitely looking at the best composition of the side," Keshav said.

On whether the team had a wish-list of players, he said, "We don't know the players who are available. So we can't make a list. A decision will be taken after IPL-3."

Keshav said the team has not been given any particular catchment area. "We have no specific catchment areas. We will go for players who would not be retained. As for locals we are looking for players from Kerala as we want to promote the sport in that state," Keshav said.

RWS felt an icon player would be good to have as far as marketing of the team was concerned. "Its very important to have an icon player. It is eventually around him that you will market your team around. But if you look at the teams, they are using a bunch of players unless you are talking about someone like Sachin (Tendulkar). Overall, I think an icon will be good to have," Keshav said.

RSW, which spent a gigantic sum of USD 333.33 million, to buy the Kochi-based franchisee said, it was not expecting any immediate profits.

"It is a matter of long term view. We are here for the long haul and we do not expect to make profits in the first year. Obviously no one will say no to profits but we are in here for a long haul. There are many teams who are still going in losses so we are prepared for that," Keshav said.

Asked whether RSW will consider launching an IPO to recover the huge investment, Keshav said, "investors are there for the long haul. The businessmen here can take care of the team. We don't rule out anything in the future but for the first couple of years, we are not even taking that (IPO) in consideration."

On the occasion, RSW CEO Shailendra Gaikwad said one of the reasons for the group to choose Kochi was because of the untapped potential in Kerala.

"It gives us an opportunity to bring the game to Kerala, which has been untapped from the cricket point of view. Furthermore, the global spread of the game does well to attract people who are settled in places like UAE and Gulf," he said.

Talking about the consortium who bid for the franchisee, he said, "we are like-minded business entities who have come together with a common objective - to participate in the IPL."

RSW is primarily involved in promoting sports in India and across the globe. It is a sports management company with a cricket academy at Solapur, Maharashtra.

Some of the players in the consortium include - Anchor Earth, a part of Anchor group of companies, Film Waves, a company promoted by Harshad Mehta of Global Rosy Blue Group, real estate group Parinee Developers, Vivek Venugopal, part of the Elite and Cholayil group of companies, and Anand Shyam Real estate, which is part of the USD Sur Gems group of companies.

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