Hyderabad aiming to build a solid fan base for IPL

By Abhishek Roy, IANS

New Delhi : After spending a staggering $112 million in buying the franchise and players for the Indian Premier League (IPL), Hyderabad team owners Deccan Chronicle are now out to build a solid fan base for their powerful team.

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Deccan Chronicle, the leading newspaper from Hyderabad, has some of the big names in world cricket like Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist and local hero V.V. S. Laxman. They won Symonds for a whopping $1.35 million, the highest amount paid for an overseas player.

So with the great names in business, they are hoping that they would not only recover the millions spent, but also make handsome profit. It is only a matter of time.

Team spokesperson J. Krishnan told IANS that Deccan Chronicle would recover the money from the central telecast rights fee and from local franchise revenue.

“The central revenue will be from the IPL board, which will distribute the TV rights revenue. The local or the franchise revenue will come from gate money and in-stadia advertisements. We will get a big chunk of in-stadia ads and the rest of the amount would be shared by the IPL and the state association.”

Krishanan said all investments were made keeping long-term strategy in mind. “Now the aim is to build a broad fan base for the team. The big names in the team will help us do that.”

Happy with the players they bought at Wednesday’s auction in Mumbai?

“Absolutely, the $5.8 million amount spent in buying 11 players was made in the right direction and it was the best we could have.”

Deccan Chronicle was the second highest bidder at the auction after India Cements which spent $5.9 million in buying players for their Chennai Super Kings team.

“If you look at the players we bought, I think we have one of the best balanced teams. All the players have proven record and I think Hyderabad will be a good competitive team,” said Krishnan.

Asked if buying controversial all-rounder Symonds was a planned move, he said: “We were aware of the fact that Australians won’t be available for the first year owing to their international commitments. So we bought him only keeping the long-term interests of the team in mind because players are contracted for three years. Now his presence will certainly make a difference to the team. He is a very popular player.”

Krishnan also said despite Laxman’s exclusion from the national one-day and Twenty20 side, he will add to the weight of the team as captain. Laxman also showed his generosity by declining to be an iconic player and get 15 percent more than the highest paid player in the team. It also helped the franchise as it could shell out more money to raise a good team.

Besides 11 players bought during auction, the Hyderabad team will look to promote local talent in the catchments area extending to even Orissa.

“We feel IPL is all about promoting local talent and we will do it and nurture it. Local Ranji Trophy players and under-22 players will get a chance and they will be paid according to the IPL norms,” Krishnan said.

According to IPL rules, a Ranji Trophy player should be paid $50,000 while an under-22 cricketer $20,000.

Krishnan also disclosed that India’s fielding coach Robin Singh will be the coach of the team but declined to names of physio and fitness trainer. “We are in the final stage of appointing Robin. About physios and fitness trainer, we have quiet a few names,” he said.