Orissa Premier League to kickstart from May 22

The Barabati Stadium will be the home ground of the Cuttack Barabati Tigers which is one of the most expensive teams of the OPL Getty Images

Cuttack: May 12, 2011

Noted Oriya film star Anubhav Mohanty was made the brand ambassador of Orissa Premier League (OPL) T20 cricket tournament, scheduled to be played in five venues across the State, from May 22 under the aegis of Orissa Cricket Association (OCA).

Announcing this, the OPL governing body declared the names of all the ten teams and colours of jersey of the participating teams in the first edition of the tournament.

The governing body on Wednesday night also made a change in franchisee ownership of Dhenkanal team due to technical reasons. Instead of Panchanan Mohanty, the team would be owned by T Prasad Rao Thora.

It was decided that the matches would be played at five venues – Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Angul and Paradeep. While Cuttack would be the home venue of Cuttack, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal teams, Bhubaneswar would be home venue of Bhubaneswar, Puri, Berhampur and Balasore teams.

The Cuttack team, owned by Mahadev Pati for Rs 35,00,400, would be known as Cuttack Barabati Tigers (CBT) and the colour of its jersey would be golden yellow and black.

Bhubaneswar team is named as Bhubaneswar Jaguars and the jersey colour would be deep navy blue.

Similarly, the Keonjhar team has been named as Kasvi Power Rangers, Dhenkanal as Cooperative Kings, Jagatsinghpur as Jagatsinghpur Sparks, Puri as Puri Emperors, Berhampur as Bhanja Veers, Angul as Angul Tuskers, Balasore as Balasore Baghas and Rourkela as Western Samurais. Each of these teams has also picked up their own colours of jerseys.

While the auction for teams was over last week, the franchisees would pick up the players on Friday. At least 300 players in five categories would go under hammer to be picked by the team owners who are allowed to spend only Rs 8 lakhs to purchase 18 players, including a minimum of eight players from Grade ‘E’ whose base price is fixed at Rs 10,000.

Earlier, much to the surprise of many, the teams were purchased at prices as high as 14 to 15 times that of base prices. The bidders did not mind to loosen the purse string to own a team for price as high as Rs 55 lakh even as the base price for the same was pegged at Rs four lakh.

While LG Infrastructure Private Limited won the race for Bhubaneswar team for a whopping Rs 54,999,99, Kasvi Power and Steel Pvt Ltd bagged Keonjhar team for Rs 49 lakh. The lowest of the ten successful teams, Angul, Balasore and Rourkela went for Rs 27 lakh each, seven times the base price.

LG Infrastructure Pvt Ltd owns the Balasore team. Similarly, Maa Banbhori Mineral Ltd was the proud winner of the race to own the Rourkela team. Panchanan Mohanty of Dhenkanal had own the native team for a magical price of Rs 45,45,045, his bid was cancelled and it went to next bidder. Paradeep-based Arindam Sharkal owns the Jagatsinghpur team for Rs 36,05,000. Mahadev Pati of Cuttack was lucky to win the race from over seven bidders to own the Cuttack team for Rs 35,00,400.

Among other teams, which would play in the first edition of OPL this year, are Puri and Berhampur teams that are owned by Orison Overseas Pvt Ltd and Infocity Lifestyle Pvt Ltd for Rs 36 lakh and Rs 34 lakh respectively.

However, other venue-based teams like Sambalpur, Kendrapara, Jharsuguda and Jajpur were unlucky to be part of the first edition of the T20 OPL tourney as the owners of these teams bid amount did not match others.