(Taken from Guyana Times)
Indian business tycoon, Dr Vijay Mallya, owner of the famed Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), is in discussions with officials of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (Hero CPL) regarding his involvement with the “Biggest Party in Sport.”
Chief Operations Officer of the Hero CPL, Pete Russell, during a wide-ranging interview with Guyana Times Sport on Wednesday, confirmed that talks are ongoing between the two parties ahead of the start of the fourth edition of the League.
“We’re in discussions with Dr. Mallya, who is very much involved with the RCB team, and we’re hopeful at some point that he may be involved in CPL, whether he would be involved in CPL as an owner or just involved in another capacity, but that’s an ongoing discussion,” Russell stated.
He added, “Again, for us it’s great that we have all these people interested in owning teams in the Caribbean Premier League, and the fact that they’re IPL owners. I think it is more testimony to the fact that they like what they see and they want to be part of it. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re more IPL owners down the road.”
Dr Mallya, speaking to the Mumbai Mirror last month, said he was “studying the CPL economics”, but denied suggestions he was on the verge of purchasing the CPL franchise, Barbados Tridents.
Dr Mallya, the chairman of the UB Group, indicated that he had met with CPL officials, but had not bought any interests in the Caribbean T20 domestic league.
He told the newspaper that until he “understood the CPL, which is very different from the IPL”, he would not be engaging in any deal.
“I have not bought any CPL team. I am currently studying the CPL economics. I understand that the Barbados team is owned by CPL itself and is not a franchise,” Mallya told the Mumbai Mirror. “I am categorically telling [you] that I have not done any deal. I met the CPL organisers to understand the model. Just because I am studying the model, all kinds of rumours spark off.”
CPL has already attracted Indian business interest, with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, taking over control of Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel last season.
Dr Mallya already has significant interests in several sports entities. He is part of a consortium which owns Formula One team Force India and his UB Group also owns Indian “I-League” professional football clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
The UB Group is a multibillion-dollar company based in Bangalore, and is India’s largest beer producer. ([email protected])