Pune Bag Ruturaj Gaikwad; Becomes The Costliest Franchise | All You Need to Know About Maharashtra Premier League 2023
Ruturaj Gaikwad will captain the Pune franchise in the inaugural Maharashtra Premier League (MPL), a T20 tournament set to begin on June 15. The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA)-backed tournament received bids totalling a staggering Rs 57.80 crore for six franchises in the auction conducted on Sunday, June 4, with the Pune franchise going for a record bid of Rs. 14.80 crores and also securing the winning bid for Gaikwad as their icon player.
MCA president Rohit Pawar revealed that the state received bids from over 20 entities in the franchise auction, adding that the amount received by the winning bidders was more than thrice the Rs. 18 crores that they were expecting for the six teams.
He went on to explain that they had followed a completely transparent process to win ownership of a franchise via an open-bid system. As per an MCA statement, the tournament will be broadcast live on DD Sports as well as online platforms.
In addition to the Pune franchise, which is now owned by Pune-based organisation Pravin Masalewale, the tournament will include teams representing Kolhapur, Nashik, Sambhajinagar, Ratnagiri, and Solapur. These six franchises will feature in the first three editions of the tournament.
Veteran batting all-rounder Kedar Jadhav will represent the Kolhapur franchise, which was bought by the Punit Balan Group for Rs 11 crore. U-19 World Cup winner Rajvardhan Hangargekar was snapped up by the Sambhajinagar franchise for a sum of 8.7 crores, while the Ratnagiri team went for Azim Kazi for a price of 8.3 crores as their star player.
Maharashtra Premier League Icon Players:
- Pune - Ruturaj Gaikwad
- Kolhapur - Kedar Jadhav
- Nashik - Rahul Tripathi
- Sambhajinagar - Rajvardhan Hangargekar
- Ratnagiri - Azim Kazi
- Solapur - Vicky Ostwal
The six-team tournament will begin on Thursday, June 15, with all matches to be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Ground located on the outskirts of Pune.