Close this search box.

Player auctions, fierce bids precede matches in condos

Mumbai: Inspired by the 15-year-old IPL and spurred by both local enthusiasm and larger trends in sports entertainment, cricket leagues in condominiums are flourishing. “It was fuelled by the passion of players who would or still participate in local cricket matches and drew inspiration from the electric atmosphere of events like the IPL. It’s not only the thrill of competition but also the aspects of socialising, camaraderie, fitness and sportsmanship that sparked the idea of replicating it within their own societies.

Thanks to social media and live broadcasts on platforms like YouTube, it quickly captured the imagination of residents,” said Manish Tarkar, founder of SportsNext India, a sports event management company that has been helping housing complexes organise and execute these cricketing leagues in a professional way.

Bhavik Mota, one of the masterminds behind the Ashok Tower Premier League (ATPL) and a proud member of last year’s winner Team Bahubali, agrees. “We’ve had our annual multisport events with towers competing against one another. The idea of replicating IPL came from people wanting to experience something aspirational—to strategise, bid, build a team, and play—and that too at a fraction of the actual cost.”
Raheja Vivarea in Mahalaxmi has seen its participation and sponsorship go up ten fold over the three editions they’ve hosted over the Republic Day weekend every year. “From Rs 5 lakh sponsorship and a 40-player league we saw sponsorship go up to Rs 50 lakh and 250 players this year,” says Apurva Seth of Vivarea Premier League’s organising committee.


Months preceding the match, residents engage in player auctions and fierce bidding wars to assemble dream squads with names that channel the fervour of IPL city franchises—Avengers, Royals, Warriors and Titans to Dabbangs, Pathans and Bahubalis while an auctioneer wields the gavel.

In the team auctions, residents bid real money to secure team ownership. For player auctions, teams receive virtual money or a ‘kitty’ of points, which they use to buy players, divided into categories based on their skill and performance potential while practice matches are organised to allow team owners to size up the players firsthand before bidding on them. “It adds thrill and owners can also rope in sponsors, who gain visibility and help cover expenses such as uniform, training and equipment,” says Tarkar.
The sponsorship varies based on the scale and typically, bids for a franchise start at a base price of Rs 75,000 and can go up to Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. Apart from onground banners, there’s space available on the jersey sleeves for sponsors to showcase their brand.

Charu Thapar, executive director, property and asset management, APAC, JLL, a global real estate services company that handles property management across 70 odd premium complexes in the city, said the popularity of such premier leagues in housing societies is drawing sponsorship from MNC banks, security and investment companies now.

Sports agencies such as Tarkar’s oversee a myriad of tasks including auctions, tournament formats, appointment of experienced match officials, social media management, audiovisual coverage, match setup, prize distribution ceremonies, and post-event celebrations. “Plus, we develop apps and websites with digital player profiles specifically tailored for building-specific premier leagues,” adds Tarkar.
In the months leading up to the tournament, the playground buzzes with activity reminiscent of Shivaji Park — players practising their swings and shots under the watchful eye of coaches and physiotherapists—specially deployed for the tourneys.


The typical duration varies from T5, T10, and T20 matches that typically last between two to six days. All matches are played with tennis balls, and team members span all age groups and genders with dedicated overs for women and kids.

The league kicks off in style with an opening ceremony featuring celebrity hosts and commentators. “We’re talking about big names here like Chaitynya Sant, a seasoned commentator, along with celebrity show hosts such as Kunal Pant and Namita Suchdev,” says Tarkar. “There are fireworks with a DJ playing music in between overs. The match is broadcast live on YouTube for residents unable to join,” adds Mota.
Some societies have grounds while others need to book one. “Apart from Ashok Tower Premier League, other notable premier leagues include Era Cricket Carnival at Marathon Era in Lower Parel, One Avighna Premier League at One Avighna, Parel and Esquire Premier League by Oberoi Realty in Goregaon,” says Tarkar. “For those societies in Agripada, Mumbai Central, Shreepati Towers in Grant Road, we book local turfs or Central and Western Railway ground in Parel and Police Gymkhana, Marine Drive.”

“IPL style cricket tournaments in residential complexes that have access to playground facilities have turned out to be an excellent way for Resident Welfare Associations to create opportunities to build a strong community network. Most of the new buildings that have come up with dedicated playgrounds are implementing automated lighting systems for optimal visibility during evening matches, using IoT sensors to monitor pitch conditions and creating amphitheatres or community halls,” says Thapar.

Related Posts