By BQ Desk
Indian Premier League team Delhi Daredevils will now be co-owned by a unit of the $11 billion JSW Group after it announced a partnership with the team’s current owner, the GMR Group.
JSW Sports Pvt Ltd. will acquire 50 percent stake in GMR Sports Pvt. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the GMR Group, according to a media statement. The sale is subject to approval from the Board of Control for Cricket in India “and satisfaction of other customary conditions precedent”, the statement added.
GMR Sports was established in 2008 as a subsidiary of GMR Holdings for the purpose of owning and operating the Delhi IPL-franchise. Since then, it has also bought UP Yoddha, which is a Lucknow-based team competing in the Pro Kabaddi League.
“This relationship between GMR and JSW opens up powerful synergy going forward for both the groups. It is symbolic of immense potential for sports and cricket in particular in the region,” said GMR Corporate chairman Grandhi Kiran Kumar in the statement.
Despite boasting of high-profile players such as Virender Sehwag, AB De Villiers, Kevin Peterson, Glenn McGrath and Daniel Vettori, Delhi Daredevils has never managed to reach the finals even once. For the last five seasons, it remained at the bottom half of the league table.
The stake sale by GMR comes at a time when the Delhi team is undergoing a complete overhaul before the eleventh edition of the IPL begins in April. It has brought back former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir as the new captain. Former World-cup winner and Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has been roped in as the new coach. In the latest player auctions, the franchise retained two Indian youngsters Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. They also bagged India’s under-19 team captain Prithvi Shaw, who led the colts to World Cup glory.
“After having nurtured the franchisee for the last 10 years, we believe the time is right for us to take it to newer heights,” Kumar said. “We believe JSW as a partner will bring significant value to the franchise with their wealth of diverse experience.”
This is JSW Sports’ first foray into cricket. The unit already owns Bengaluru Football Club, that has won two titles in India’s top flight football. They also own Pro Wrestling Franchise Bengaluru Yodha and newly-acquired Pro Kabbadi League Haryana Steelers.