The Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament will see the beginning of the 13th season and it has come a long way – especially since it started as an experiment back in 2008 and now, is the most viewed game of all time! Along the way, it’s had some bumps and teams have gone for a toss but IP will always continue to motor on and carry the flag of the game. One such team that couldn’t continue to push through was the Gujarat Lions. 

What Had Happened To Gujarat Lions?

What happened to Gujarat Lions?

In the cricketing world, controversies are common within different teams that gained popularity and then had to be disbanded. After Rajasthan Royals were banned for two years in lieu of their spot-fixing scandal, the Gujarat Lions were introduced as the replacement. 

They were owned by Intex Technologies making the Lions a franchise cricket team based in Rajkot, Gujarat, India. The team played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and succeeded in playing two IPL seasons in 2016 and 2017. 

In fact, they were one of the eight teams competing in the 2017 Indian Premier League. The Gujarat Lions were captained by Suresh Raina and coached by Brad Hodge.

They finished third in their inaugural season but could redo their performance in 2017. They were forced to disband in 2018 when Rajasthan Royals came back to the fold. Gujarat Lions won’t return in 2020. 

Is Gujarat Lions in IPL 2020?

Gujarat Lions is no longer part of IPL(IPL). Four other teams that are no longer part of this journey include: 

Deccan Chargers

Deccan Chargers who faced financial problems and under Deccan Chronicle Holdings Pvt Ltd, was disbanded. Later, Sun TV Network won the bid for a franchise based in Hyderabad and the team was renamed Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

Kochi Tuskers Kerala

The Kochi Tuskers Kerala also won’t participate in this IPL 2020 as the franchise was shown the door before IPL 2012 owing to the fact that the owners were not able to provide a 10 percent bank guarantee to the BCCI. The owners were Kochi Cricket Pvt Ltd which was a consortium of companies and had acquired the services of VVS Laxman, Mahela Jayawardene, Parthiv Patel, Ravindra Jadeja.

Pune Warriors India

Another lost team is the Pune Warriors India who along with Deccan Chargers and  Kochi Tuskers could not perform as expected and had to disband owing to financial disputes with the BCCI. It was owned by Sahara Group Sports Ltd.

Rising Pune Supergiant

And finally the Rising Pune Supergiant which was originally a replacement team for suspended Chennai Super Kings in 2015, went on to reach the play-offs in 2016 and made it to the finals in 2017, were forced to be disbanded once CSK were readmitted to IPL in 2018.

Who is the captain of Gujarat lions?

Known for his aggressive batting and ability to win matches, Suresh Raina became the captain of the Gujarat Lions. 

The Indian southpaw has been a prominent feature in barring two seasons with Gujarat Lions when the franchise was suspended. Here are some interesting things to know about the ex-captain: 

  • At the age of 23, Suresh Raina was the youngest captain for India in the T20I format. In addition, he also became the second youngest player to lead India in any format, the youngest being Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi at the age of 21.
  • He was the first Indian batsman to score a 101 against South Africa at the 2010 World Twenty20 in West Indies for T20I cricket. Only one other Indian player has a hundred in the T20 format – Rohit Sharma. 
  • He was also the first Indian batsman to hit a century in all 3 formats of the game. Raina has hit 5 hundreds in ODIs and a solitary one each in T20Is and Tests. Another batsman to have achieved this feat for India is ODI opener Rohit Sharma. 
  • He is the son of a military officer from Jammu & Kashmir. His father, Trilok Chand, is a retired military officer born into a family of Kashmiri Pandits. He has 4 siblings: brothers Dinesh, Naresh and Mukesh and elder sister Renu.
  • Raina played for India at the 2004 U-19 World Cup where India ended up being semi-finalists. He played alongside future Indian players like Shikhar Dhawan, Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu. 
  • Raina was praised for never missing out on a single match for his franchise at the Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings. Even CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has missed just 3 IPL games for his team, can’t beat his teammate in this regard.
  • He holds the highest record for scoring the most runs in an IPL career. Raina has 3,699 runs under his belt in the 132 matches that he has played and his runs have come at a very good average of 34 plus. This includes a century and 25 half-centuries and a highest score of 100 not out.
  • He owns a Porsche Boxster Limited Edition luxury car, which he bought in the year 2013 on the occasion of his father’s birthday. 
  • Why a yellow Porsche? Because it matches with the colour that represents his IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings! 
  • Raina lent his voice to a Bollywood track in a 2015 film named ‘Meeruthiya Gangsters’; it is a romantic number titled ‘Tu Mili Sab Mila’. 
  • Not only does he sing, but the Indian batsman is also capable of playing the saxophone, a talent he displayed on a popular TV show recently.

Who owns Gujarat Lions IPL?

Keshav Bansal once owned Gujarat Lions IPL. 

The Gujarat Lions were owned by Intex Technologies. Keshav joined the logistics department of Intex and was promoted to the company’s marketing team in a few years. An ambitious personality, Keshav’s goal was to turn Intex into an international brand. To achieve this goal, he was instrumental in bringing leading actors like Farhan Akhtar, Mahesh Babu, Suriya, and Sudeep as ambassadors for the company. 

At the age of 24 years Keshav Bansal was instrumental in buying Gujarat Lions and becoming the youngest ever IPL owner. The franchise cricket team he owned represented the Indian state of Gujarat as one of the replacements for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who were both suspended for two seasons due to illegal betting by their respective owners.  

Here are some fun facts about the ex-owner of Gujarat Lions, Keshav Bansal: 

  • The story goes that a young Keshav took less than 20 minutes to convince his dad, Narendra Bansal, the chairman and managing director of the company to buy an IPL team.
  • Keshav was born and brought up in Delhi in a 15-member joint family. He studied at The Heritage School in Vasant Kunj and later studied at the Manchester School of Business before joining the IILM Institute of Higher Education in New Delhi.
  • A sportsman himself, Keshav Bansal took part in state-level squash tournaments. The businessman is also a fitness enthusiast and used to play football in his school days.
  • A dynamic leader by nature, he held his first press conference at the age of 20 years when Farhan Akhtar was appointed as Intex’s brand ambassador.
  • He himself is a keen sports lover and is one of the most active owners in the Indian Premier League, going personally to events with his players.
  • Keshav Bansal was awarded many awards like ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013’ award by NCN Magazine, ‘Amity Leadership Award for Business Excellence’, 2016 and was also included in GQ India magazine as one of the 50 most influential young Indians.