Mumbai Indians are reigning IPL champions © AFP

With all contracts, sponsorships and players up for grabs in Indian Premier League (IPL), the upcoming 2018 edition is turning out to be quite exciting. The IPL has retained UK-based management International Management Group (IMG) as their events rights holders. IMG has been with the IPL since its inception in 2008, and will continue to be till 2022. They came on board with an INR 27 crore deal with INR 2 crore per year till 2017. IMG gained hike in annual contract during the 2009 edition, taking home INR 33 crore, while it was downed to INR 28 in the 2012-13 editions.

According to a report in cricbuzz.com, the new deals will a pay rise of 40 per cent for the next 5 years than their earlier contracts had offered. It has been learnt that BCCI will be paying INR 167.5 crore to the company. The media rights tender will be floated on July 17, for a period of 5 years. Other names eyeing the events rights contract were Rhiti Sports, co-owned by MS Dhoni; Wizcraft, an event-management company that looks after Bollywood events; Group of 4, a company with logistical prowess. IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and other high table officials opened the bids that saw IMG take top spot.

On Friday, BCCI also welcomed IPL franchises – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) – back into the league. The two franchises completed the 2-year suspension imposed by the Supreme Court appointed Justice (Retd.) Lodha Committee, and are eligible for participation.