Deccan Chargers bowler Dale Steyn (centre) celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket during an Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match in May 2012. Regional television network Sun TV has won an auction to buy the team based in Hyderabad after the cash-strapped Deccan Chronicle group was forced to sell.
©AFP/File - Noah Seelam
NEW DELHI (AFP) - Regional television network Sun TV on Thursday won an auction to buy the Indian Premier League team based in Hyderabad after the cash-strapped Deccan Chronicle group was forced to sell.
Sun TV, owned by the Chennai-based Maran group, put in the highest bid of $15.9 million a year for the rights to the franchise in the lucrative Twenty20 league that was founded in 2008.
"The IPL Governing Council met earlier today in Mumbai to open the bids for a new IPL franchise," the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement.
"Sun TV network have won the Hyderabad franchise for an amount of 850.50 million rupees ($15.9 million) per year."
It was not known whether Sun TV will retain the team's previous name of the Deccan Chargers.
The Deccan Chronicle media group, which bought the Chargers before the inaugural IPL season, was thrown out of the league due to financial violations including failure to pay players' salaries.
The Sun TV network runs 32 channels, mainly in south Indian languages, which reach 95 million households, according to its website. The network is also viewed in 27 other countries.
Among the players signed up with the Hyderabad franchise are Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka, South African fast bowler Dale Steyn and Australian batsman Cameron White.
The Chargers won the tournament in 2009 but finished second-last this year.
The new franchise will join the eight other teams from Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi, Mohali, Pune and Jaipur in the sixth edition of the IPL scheduled for April-May next year.
The IPL has attracted large television audiences and many of the world's best players such as Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen, but it has also been dogged by controversy.
The Kochi Tuskers were expelled last year over a financial dispute, while an attempt to eject the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab over breaking ownership rules was blocked after a court battle.
IPL founder Lalit Modi fled India for London after being sacked in 2010 over allegations of corruption and money-laundering that are still being investigated by the Indian government.