The Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday launched its campaign to expand the world's richest cricket tournament by seeking bids to run two new franchises.
The IPL had said it would increase the tournament from eight to 10 teams for the 2022 season.
Sports industry experts have said a backer may have to commit to a $300 million budget to get a franchise as well as pay fees up front.
But major Indian groups including the Adani mining and trading conglomerate are said to be waiting to enter.
"The governing council of the IPL invites bids to acquire the right to own and operate one of the two new teams proposed to be introduced to take part in the Indian Premier League from the IPL 2022 season, through a tender process," the IPL said in a statement.
Candidates have until October 5 to ask for tender details and a decision could be made the same month.
The cash-rich IPL has battled with the coronavirus pandemic for the past two years.
In 2020, the whole tournament was moved to the UAE. This year the event was suspended in April as a devastating Covid-19 wave hit India and it will now be completed in the UAE from September 19.
The IPL and the Indian cricket board stand to make more than $100m a year from the expansion through increased fees and media rights.
But increasing the IPL to 10 teams will mean more matches and making the foreign players commit to a longer tournament.
The International Cricket Council and other major cricket nations have expressed some concerns that a longer IPL will eat into an already crowded international calendar.
The eight teams currently play each other twice and then the top four go into playoffs for the final.
Media reports said IPL chiefs will probably split the league into two five team groups and hold playoffs for the final, which would mean the current 60 match tournament would be spread over 74 matches.
Ahmedabad, Kochi, Lucknow, Pune, Ranchi have been spoken of as the cities likely to be the base for the new teams. Adani is based in Ahmedabad.
The IPL's ambitions to become a global leader have been boosted by deals such as the move made in June by Redbird - a US capital fund which has stakes in Liverpool football club and the Boston Red Sox baseball side - to buy 15 per cent of the Rajasthan Royals franchise.