Ali Tareen, the son of one of the wealthiest businessmen and politicians in the country, has won the ownership rights of the sixth team in the Pakistan Super League. According to the PCB, he has won the ownership rights for seven years after significantly exceeding the reserve price of USD 5.21 million per year. Tareen's bid of USD 6.35 million won out against a South African consortium, which bid USD 3.5 million for the rights. It isn't yet established whether this is inclusive of 26% tax.
Alamgir Tareen, the Pepsi franchise owner in South Punjab, is the biggest shareholder, while Ali Tareen and Taimur Malik, a Dubai-based lawyer from Multan, are the other major shareholders. Combined, they own over 80% of the sixth franchise, with Ali to take up a role as Director Operations.
The ownership rights of Multan Sultans was terminated by the PCB this year after the Schön Group, a Dubai-based enterprise well-established in the real estate business, failed to pay their annual fee of USD 5.2 million. Tareen, after securing the rights, confirmed the team's name would stay as Multan, though it remains unclear if it would still be called Multan Sultans.
Ali Tareen's financial clout emanates from his father Jehangir Tareen, has established JDW Group, a company that has overseen the development of one of the largest sugar mills in the country. Jehangir Tareen was a key political and financial backer of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, headed by current Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Ali dabbled in politics last year, contesting a by-election in his native Lodhran, a key constituency in South Punjab, after his father was disqualified from holding political office. He was ultimately unsuccessful, and has since focused on promoting cricket in the province, and has championed the promotion of grassroots cricket in the country.
The players selection process for the sixth team was completed last month in the draft process. The PCB-led selection team notably snapped up Steven Smith. They also retained Shoaib Malik, likely to be retained as captain, apart from purchasing Shahid Afridi in the Platinum category.
Tareen is yet to take a decision on whether he would retain the management structure and personnel that have been at the franchise since last season, when they finished fifth and narrowly failed to make the knockout round.
Separately, two petitions were filed in Lahore's High Court, alleging the bidding for the Sixth Team was invalid. An investment group from Hong Kong Abelena Capital Limited with a local office in Lahore raised questions about the legality of the bidding process. Another group, Metac General Contracting Company, claimed they were the rightful owners, having finished second in the bidding last year to Schon Group. Both petitions were rejected.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent