The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made contact with Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General of India, in order to seek his study on the investments made by CVC Capitals Ltd. in foreign betting firms, as reported by Cricket Addictor. Last month, the organization had successfully bid for a new Indian Premier League franchise based in Ahmedabad but was later brought into scrutiny on the back of its stakes in British betting firms.
With the Indian Premier League set to accommodate two new franchises in the 2022 edition, auctions were held in October for their ownership. The RPSG Group won the bid for the Lucknow team, while CVC was awarded the Ahmedabad franchise on the back of a INR 5,625 crores stake, edging out the likes of the Glazer family and Adani Group.
CVC Capital Partners is a private equity and investment advisory firm with investments across the globe amounting to approximately USD 111 million in secured commitments. This includes stakes in some major betting companies based abroad as a part of its diverse portfolio. However, while gambling and betting are illegal activities in India, many countries allow the same to be carried out under a certain framework.
The league’s founder Lalit Modi, who was ultimately ousted himself for alleged wrongdoings involving the bidding process for new franchises in 2010, tweeted, “I guess betting companies can buy a @ipl team. must be a new rule. Apparently, one qualified bidder also owns a big betting company. what next - does @BCCI not do their homework. What can Anti corruption do in such a case ? #cricket [sic]”.
While initial reports stated that the BCCI had given the transaction the green signal, investigation is still underway into the matter. The cautious approach is owing to the IPL’s previous involvements in some major scandals regarding betting and match fixing, including a 2013 bust up which eventually saw its two franchises Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings being suspended from the league for two years.
Tushar Mehta, the legal representative of the board on any matters not concerning the Government of India, has reportedly asked the BCCI to seek a second legal opinion on the matter as well.
“While it couldn’t be confirmed if the board has indeed gone in for a second opinion, those in the know have indicated that the matter is going to be settled soon, with a committee of legal experts at work,” Cricbuzz quoted Mehta saying.