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Mahendra Singh Dhoni-linked Rhiti Sports makes IPL bid, goes in vain

Rhiti Sport’s participation in the bidding process took everyone by surprise including the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) members.

MS Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Rhiti Sports, a sports management firm owned by the manager of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, made a bid to gain the event management rights for the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). Unfortunately, Rhiti Sports lost the bid to the current holders IMG.

As reported by the mirror, the bidding took place in New Delhi on 13th of July and Arun Pandey, the friend-cum manager of MS Dhoni was one of the present bidders. There was a total of four bidders and one of them was Arun Pandey’s Rhiti Sports. The other three were Wizcraft, Group of 4 and the current holders IMG.

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Rhiti Sport’s participation in the bidding process took everyone by surprise including the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) members. However, Rhiti sports has been linked to quite a few teams in various leagues, one of them being the Chennai Super Kings. Many believe that legendary skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a co-owner of the established sports management company, but Dhoni’s name was nowhere to be seen in the ownership structure submitted by the company to the Indian cricket board. Rhiti looks after the Ranchi-born cricketer’s commercial interests.

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IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and CEO Rahul Johri were the dignitaries present at the bidding ceremony on Wednesday. Strangely enough, the BCCI has not yet announced the company who was successful in bagging the rights. But it is being believed that the bidding contest was won by IMG, who have been associated with the cash-rich tournament from its inaugural season.

A BCCI source, who was present in Delhi yesterday, said the decision to hand over therights to IMG has been taken in principle but the commercials have not yet been finalised. IMG is currently paid close to Rs 27 crores a year. IPL chairman Shukla and Rhiti chairman Pandey kept themselves away from answering the calls and text messages directed towards them.. “May be the announcement will be made after the commercial deal is finalised,” the source said.

The event management rights necessitate the holders to prepare laws of the league and organise it with the help of the state associations. Having been conceptualised and executed the tournament for the last 10 years, IMG entered the bidding process as the firm favourites.

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