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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Team Amdavad may star in IPL-4

The fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that is to be held in 2011 may see a team from Ahmedabad playing in the series. Two new teams are to be added for the 2011 edition and, according to IPL vice-president Niranjan Shah, Ahmedabad is the favourite for the ninth team. Currently, IPL matches are played by only eight teams.

Shah, who is also a senior official of the IPL governing council, said that the ninth team to be inducted for the IPL series will be an Ahmedabad team.

"The last time the auctions were held, Ahmedabad had lost to Jaipur very narrowly," Shah said. "But this time, that is not going to happen as the IPL's success has encouraged many Gujarati businessmen to consider bidding for the ninth franchise."

Ahmedabad was unlucky when the IPL franchises were auctioned in 2008. It finished just behind Jaipur which was picked up by Emerging Media at $67m. Ahmedabad was ninth in the auction where eight teams were selected for the first three editions of the IPL.

The Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium at Motera can accommodate more than 50,000 people and it has ultramodern facilities, ranging from floodlights and a gym, to indoor wickets and a turf wicket.

Giving full marks to the Motera stadium, the Rajkot-based IPL official said, "Infrastructure-wise, Ahmedabad is second to none. The facilities provided here are world-class. Of the grounds on which IPL matches are currently played, not many have the facilities that the Motera stadium offers. So I guess there will be many people bidding for Ahmedabad this time."

When asked for their assessment of Ahmedabad's chances, BCCI sources said Shah is a very effective cricket administrator.

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