BCCI approves 10-team IPL from 2022
A BCCI source informed that the board will back the International Cricket Council’s bid for cricket’s inclusion in 2028 Olympics after some clarifications from International Olympic Committee.
The proposal to add two more teams to the Indian Premier League was on Thursday passed unanimously at the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s Annual General Meeting, which also agreed “in principle” to back the plan for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics and named Chetan Sharma chief selector, but did not discuss the contentious issue of conflict of interest surrounding the endorsement deals of its president Sourav Ganguly.
The expansion of IPL will take the Twenty20 league back to a 10-team contest for the first time after 2011 -- it may not happen immediately with the next edition around four months away but definitely by 2022. “The IPL GC will work out the modalities regarding scheduling for up to 10 teams,” said BCCI secretary Jay Shah, according to a BCCI media release. “With the approval of the general body, the IPL Governing Council has enough time to float tenders, inviting the two new teams before IPL 2022,” another senior BCCI official elaborated.
Once 10 teams join the fray, the league phase of the IPL could stretch to 70 matches (if they choose the 2011 format) or even 90 matches (home and away), instead of the current 56 played on a home-and-away basis at the moment. “These details will be worked out by the IPL GC in due course,” the official added.
More teams will bring in more money for BCCI on current valuation, lead to more associations getting staging fees, involve more players, and consequently more pay cheques. Tenders will be floated to invite new teams, with cities from all those state units where current franchises don’t have a home base -- such as Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Lucknow, among others in fray. In 2011, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors India joined the league. Kochi Tuskers was dissolved after running for just one season while Pune Warriors were functional till 2013.
Watch | IPL 2022 to be played among 10 teams: BCCI decides during 89th AGM
CHETAN SHARMA CHIEF SELECTOR
Chetan Sharma, India’s 1987 World Cup hat-trick hero, was announced as the new chairman of India’s senior selection committee. The Madan Lal-led Cricket Advisory Committee, after interviewing 11 candidates, recommended Chetan Sharma (North), Debashish Mohanty (East) and Abey Kuruvilla (West) as new additions to the selection committee. They will be given one-year terms. Sunil Joshi and Harvinder Singh are the other members. Sharma, 54, becomes the chief selector having played the most Tests (23) among the committee members
T20 WORLD CUP STAYS
The Board members were told that the T20 World Cup 2021 will stay in India, a state unit official who attended the meet said. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given the board time till December 31 to get tax exemptions from the government, else it could be moved to UAE. “Efforts are on to seek tax relaxations from the government. If not, ICC will be informed that BCCI would be ready to take a proportionate hit (approx. $100 million) from its share of ICC kitty,” the official said.
DECISION ON OLYMPICS NOT FINAL
The Indian board did not take a final decision on giving a nod to cricket being part of Olympics 2028, with backroom work in progress to retain BCCI’s autonomy. “In principle there are no objections, but we need more clarifications from the International Olympic Committee,” said a former office bearer who attended the meet. If cricket becomes a part of the Olympics, then the Sports Code would require BCCI, the richest sports body, to come under the aegis of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as a national sports federation. Registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, the BCCI functions as a private autonomous body.
Following a previous communication to the state units, BCCI office bearers reiterated in the meeting that the resumption of cricket in India will depend heavily on the success of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament that will begin on January 10 at six venues in a bio-secure environment. If the tournament goes incident-free, a BCCI source said efforts will be made to have more cricket, including the Ranji trophy, with the season possibly extended till May. The BCCI release said that it will “form a working group in order to compensate the players, match officials and others involved in cricketing activity if they are not able to participate due to cancellation of cricket matches/tournaments owing to COVID-19.” “The state units will be given a lump-sum amount to be paid to the players proportionately,” Jaydev Shah, president of Saurashtra cricket association said. The amount is yet to be decided though.
Before the meeting, there were murmurs of concern among some state units over BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s personal endorsements coming in direct competition with the board’s central sponsors. However, no member raised the issue at the meeting. Ganguly is the brand ambassador of My11Circle, direct competitors of IPL 2020 title sponsors Dream11. He also promotes Classplus, an ed-tech platform that competes with BCCI jersey sponsors Byju’s. Both sponsors have raised no objections. Ganguly also features in an advertisement promoting JSW Cement, whose parent company co-owns the Delhi Capitals IPL franchise.
Ganguly did not respond to texts seeking comment.
The BCCI has a long and troubling history of office-bearers getting involved in conflict of interest -- most prominent being former Board president N Srinivasan owning an IPL franchise through India Cements, starting from when he was BCCI treasurer.
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