In what comes as a major boost for 2008 IPL champions a group of prominent executives have brought stakes worth 235 crores in Rajasthan Royals. According to a report, Philip Jansen, the BT Group chief executive, Ron Kalifa, the former Worldpay vice chairman, and Ed Wray, one of the founders of the betting exchange Betfair, have agreed to become shareholders in the Rajasthan Royals outfit. The businessmen are acquiring their interest through the vehicle Emerging Media, which is 100% controlled and run by Royals co-founder Manoj Badale and which now owns 51% of the Royals franchise.
The Royals were founded more than a decade ago by Lachlan Murdoch, the co-chairman of News Corp and executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation, and Mr Badale, a builder of technology companies through Blenheim Chalcot, the venture builder he co-founded with Charles Mindenhall.Sources said that the new investors in Emerging Media had backed a £25m fundraising which had enabled it to substantially increase its stake in the Royals.Alongside the fundraising, Andrew Strauss, the former England cricket captain and now chair of the England and Wales Cricket Board committee responsible for developing the professional game, is understood to have agreed to join the Rajasthan Royals board of directors. News of the fundraising comes just hours before the Royals are due to begin their IPL campaign with a clash against the Chennai Super Kings, one of the favourites to win the competition.This year's competition is being staged in the United Arab Emirates, with its timing and location both altered as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. This year former Australian captain Steve Smith will be leading the Jaipur franchise.