Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor were to buy an Indian Premier League (IPL) team. Not any more, it seems. The chote nawab is upset that the bidding was cancelled at the last moment and that new regulations were suddenly brought in.
The auction took place in Mumbai yesterday. Saif and Kareena were present at the bidding for new teams (Pune, Nagpur and Ahmedabad). It is learnt that the duo along with Kareena's sister Karisma Kapoor and her husband Sanjay Kapur and Videocon's Venugopal Dhoot are interested in buying the Pune team. Now, with the auction being cancelled and a change of rules set to take place, Saif's very upset and isn't interested in bidding anymore.
Says Saif, "Yes, we were interested in buying the Pune team but the bidding process was cancelled and the rules were changed. Kareena and I had submitted our bid and there was one other person but Lalit (Modi) cancelled it. It would've been great if we could have bought the Pune team and entered the IPL as I love cricket too (his dad is one of India's former cricket captains, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi)."
A fresh auction will now be held eight days later, but the chote nawab may not place a bid. Saif says bluntly, "Whether we will still be interested or not will depend on how the rules have changed and what value the teams will be sold at. It has to be at a certain price. It's an investment for us and we have to buy something that's worth something. We can't end up losing money if it's not a sound investment."
Saif feels that there are many reasons for the cancellation of the auction. "It's all internal trade, internal issues within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the IPL and big business and politics (involving Chief Ministers) and heads of multi-national companies -- something that's beyond my understanding."
A new system
Elaborating on what made the couple change their minds, Khan says, "The whole bid was cancelled with no explanations given. It's politics and big business. In the new system, you don't need to be a billionaire or have 100 million in your bank account as guarantee to bid for an IPL team. In the last bidding, when the Pune and Ahmedabad teams were being auctioned only two people were bidding for the teams. Now with the changed scenario, there will be many bidders for one team.
Saif's father, the Nawab of Pataudi, is a member of the Governing Council of the IPL. Maybe he could talk to him? Saif says, "My father isn't part of this... It's something to do with the BCCI and Lalit Modi."
Preity Zinta, Shahrukh Khan and Shilpa Shetty are B-Towners who already own IPL teams. It was rumoured that Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn were also keen on buying IPL teams.
New IPL rules
Earlier only groups with a net worth of $1 billion (approx Rs 4,500+ crores) were proposed to be allowed, and the bidders had to provide a bank guarantee of $100m to just participate in the bidding process. These two clauses have been dropped for the new bidding scheduled for March 21. Modi has now set a new condition that a $10 million advance performance deposit would be submitted 24 hours in advance by March 20. The successful bidders would also need to be ready to pay 10% of the amount that they bid, within 48 hours of being awarded the franchise. The base price of each team would now be $225m .
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