Reliance Industries is likely to be the next bigwig to join Hockey India League. According to sources, the business house will be the new owner of the Mumbai franchise after Dabur reportedly terminated its contract with Hockey India. “As per the recent developments, there are discussions being held with the Reliance group to take over the Mumbai franchise. An official confirmation is expected within a month,” a source told Mail Today.The Dabur group had pulled out of the league citing financial reasons. However, Hockey India has denied this even as it has been trying to find a new owner in its place. “After the success of the first two editions, the top officials were looking at expanding the league in the next season. So, after the Mumbai franchise pulled out, they did not want the team to be removed and hence started looking for possible owners to replace them. However, there is nothing confirmed as yet,” he said. The league, which was looking to expand from six teams to eight next season, suffered a huge setback after two of the six current teams withdrew. Besides Mumbai Magicians, Ranchi Rhinos also exited due to an alleged tiff with Hockey India over the franchise fee.While the players of the Mumbai team have already signed fresh auction forms for the mini-auction slated for next month, the players of the Ranchi team have not been informed about the future course of action.”We have only received an email from Hockey India stating that the Ranchi owners have withdrawn. There was no mention about the auction. We are yet to sign the auction forms,” a Ranchi Rhinos player told MAIL TODAY.advertisementNew Pune franchiseMeanwhile, Hockey India, on Friday, officially announced the inclusion of a new Pune-based franchise in the league. With the coming in of this franchise, there are now five teams in the fray, after the withdrawal of Mumbai Magicians and Ranchi Rhinos. The Pune franchise has been brought by a businessman, Anirban Sarkar.