Dubai:An Indian businessman in the UAE and one of the stakeholders in Rendezvous Sports World which bought a Kochi-based Indian Premier League franchise recently said the multi-million investment would turn out to be money well spent and beneficial to Kerala.
Harshad Mehta, one of the Dubai-based stakeholders in Rendezvous Sports World, said his interest lies in transforming Kerala.
"The sport and the format of IPL, which combines cricket and entertainment, would ensure that it (investment) remained unaffected. IPL plays a version of cricket that finishes the match in about three hours. In that format, spectators can enjoy quick run-scoring along with cheerleaders, music and plenty of entertainment," he said.
"Cricket will inspire all Keralites. Rendezvous Sports would like to promote the team overseas and hopes expatriate Indians will back the side. Many of the expatriate Indians in the Middle East come from Kerala.
The group will try to draw celebrities from Bollywood and from Malayalam film industry to add glamour value to the team's image," he was quoted as saying in "The National" newspaper.
He said he was sure the team would do well when it gets to play in the next edition of the IPL in 2011.
Rendezvous Sports World won the bid for Kochi franchise with an offer of USD 333 million, the second-highest price ever for an IPL side.
Its tender beat four others and their winning offer was a close second to the USD 370 million paid for the IPL Pune franchise.
Mehta is the chairman of the Dubai operations of Rosy Blue Diamond, which makes the Orra brand of jewellery but his stake in IPL Kochi franchise is personal.
He declined to disclose the size of his stake in the Rendezvous Sports World group.
"We are just a group of friends and associates who wanted to be part of this and decided to invest together," he said.
The businessman has been based in Dubai with his family since 2003 and his company operates from the Jebel Ali free zone.