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Pune and Kochi New teams for IPL 2011

Business conglomerate Sahara bagged Pune while little known consortium Rendezvous Sports World Limited clinched Kochi as the Indian Premier League, on Sunday, unveiled two new teams joining the cash-awash Twenty20 league from the 2011 season.
IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi said Sahara Adventure Sports Group made an identical $370 million bid for three cities, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Pune.

"They made the highest bid for all three cities and were asked to choose one of the cities. Accordingly, Pune will be their home ground," Modi told reporters.

Rendezvous made the second highest bid, on Sunday, and their offer of $333.33 million was enough to land the Kochi franchise, Modi said.

"In all, five groups qualified for the bid. The bidding was extremely competitive and I hope they make good business," Modi said.

Interestingly, these two new franchises were sold for an amount which, when combined, is bigger than the worth of the original eight franchises put together.

Apart from the two successful bidders, other groups which took part in the bidding were Adani Groups, VC Digital Solution (Videocon) and a Pune consortium.

Sahara's bid for Pune was way better than what the Adani group ($315 million) or the Pune consortium ($261.3 million) had to offer.

Modi dismissed speculation that Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor had financial interest in the bid for Kochi franchise and said the minister's role was confined to "facilitating" the bid.

"Mr Tharoor was involved in facilitating and trying to get a team from Kochi to bid. He is an ardent fan of the game who wanted a team from Kochi and his role ends there," Modi said.

The cities in the fray were Pune, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Kanpur, Dharamsala, Vizag, Rajkot, Cuttack, Baroda, Kochi, Indore and Gwalior.

The Videocon group apparently had the backing of Bollywood superstars Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor but they failed to bag a team.

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