Kavya Maran – the off-field face of Sunrisers Hyderabad

Kavya Maran (Image: IPL)

All of a sudden, there is a buzz around the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) team, on and off the field. If it’s skipper Pat Cummins who has led from the front and piloted the team into the IPL 2024 final for a date with Kolkata Knight Riders, Kavya Maran, the franchise CEO, is also in the news, big time. 

This writer has spent the last 24 hours and more in Chennai, the home of a famous IPL franchise – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) – to understand the mood of the city. To say that many are morose would be stating the obvious, as CSK’s hopes of back-to-back titles were trampled on by Royal Challengers Bengaluru last weekend.

Indeed, the conversation veered around to SRH, the rising sun in IPL. For those not well-versed with how Chennai loves celebrities, from Rajanikanth to Kamal Haasan, there is a craze for well-known figures. In the latest instance, since CSK are not in the final, there has been a swing towards SRH, to borrow a pollster’s phrase, what with the General Elections on in India.

So, is Kavya really in the news or is this sudden hype? After all, she has not shot to prominence overnight just because Sunrisers are doing well in IPL 2024. Some passionate cricket fans who were willing to forget that CSK and MS Dhoni will not figure in the final were prepared to talk about her.

It is impossible not to mention which family she comes from, as her father, Kalanithi Maran, is a big industrialist and media baron. He is the owner of the well- known Sun TV and a few more channels, which have a prominent presence in Tamil Nadu.

Down South, especially in TN, movies, music, entertainment and the IPL are consumed in equal measure. Of course, the IPL is in just its 17th year, but as a brand, Sunrisers have become popular. Yes, the team base is Hyderabad, but the way Kavya has found the limelight is now being discussed in the same breath as a certain Preity Zinta at Punjab Kings and Shah Rukh Khan at Kolkata Knight Riders.


Kavya is a former student of Chennai’s elite college, Stella Maris. After graduating in commerce from there, she then went to study in New York. Obviously, the Master’s degree she earned from New York’s Stern School Of Business has helped polish her admin skills.

RevSportz spoke to a few cricket gents, those who run clubs, as well as stockbrokers who are now investors based in Chennai. “Kavya may be new for some as the SRH team has been doing well,” said R Raghavan, a big investor. “If you ask me, I know for sure she was doing serious work even in Sun TV where she had a major role to play with planning serials.

“I think she has been well known for a long time, as her work in the TV channels has been talked of. Yes, with cricket and SRH, she has become the face of the franchise, which has been doing well.”

There is no dilemma, really, for those who still doubt if Chennai will root for KKR or SRH at Chepauk on Sunday. This southern metropolis already knows Kavya and the entire family, what with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) being the ruling party in the state. As far as Kavya is concerned, the TV cameras will pan on her and social media will post her pictures. On Friday night, after SRH won, she was doing a jig in the dugout. And, why not?

Don’t forget, she is from Chennai, grew up here and is good at her work. And if by design or fate, it is SRH in the final and not CSK, everyone in the franchise is lapping up the attention. For the record, no IPL team owner is in the business for charity. Kavya was very much part of the SRH group at the mini auction in Dubai, and looks likely to have a significant role to play as each franchise charts a course for the future at the mega auction before the 2025 season.