BCCI to discuss having 10 teams in IPL’s next edition
The Indian Premier League (IPL) could be in for an expansion from eight teams to a possible ten, after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that it will deliberate over “approval on inclusion of 2 new teams to the Indian Premier League” during the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) on December 24.
The first and last time that the IPL was a 10-team competition was back in 2011, when Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers were added to the roster after their owners agreed to pay Rs 170 crore and Rs 150 crore per year, respectively. The deals were considered to be over-valued, given that the collective worth of the new franchises was more than that of eight original franchises of the time put together. They did not last long – Kochi was terminated after their only season in 2011 and Pune lasted until 2013.
The Ahmedabad-based Adani Group, which lost out in the bidding war during the 2011 expansion, are known to have expressed interest again, with the hope of making the newly renovated Motera Stadium (which boasts of seating 110,000 spectators) their home. So have the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, which ran the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise for two years (2016-17).
It remains to be seen whether the BCCI will be able to add two new teams or only one to the mix, given that the next IPL is only four months away. But an approval from its general body will pave the way for such a move. “I would be surprised if the valuation of the new franchise, whenever it comes on board, is anything less than Rs 300-400 crores per year,” said a former BCCI official, familiar with the ongoing developments.
That would be a significant raise from the Rs 85 crore per year paid to the BCCI by Sunrisers Hyderabad, the last team to join the IPL via a tender process.
Impact on internationals
An IPL expansion would also have immediate implications for world cricket, with the league taking more days off the international calendar and lucrative contracts on offer for 16 more overseas players, if two additional teams do come in. In 2011’s 10-team IPL, BCCI had devised a 74-match schedule with teams divided into two groups. Now there are talks of playing the league in a 94-match window, which would allow the current home and away format to remain unaffected.
However, such a move would entail 34 more games, which can only become commercially attractive if not too many additional double-headers are added to the schedule. “It would mean finding more days at the cost of international cricket. BCCI will try and use it’s good relations with ICC member boards,” said a BCCI source.
More teams and more matches would mean more money for the BCCI, and even the existing franchises will benefit with a greater pay-out from a richer IPL-revenue pool. “It would also mean more supply for the market forces, with the sponsors having more choices to make. So, there could actually be some correction in sponsorship values,” said a franchise executive.
However, the BCCI continues to face problems on past decisions on the IPL front. Two suspended teams, Kochi Tuskers and Deccan Chargers, have won arbitration cases against the Indian cricket board. In the last round of out-of-court negotiations with the BCCI, Kochi was willing to scale down its compensation demand from Rs 1700 crore to Rs 800 crore on the rider of being reinstated in the IPL. BCCI also has to pay Chargers Rs 4800crores, as per the arbitration ruling.
Talk of Olympics
In other important matters on the agenda of the AGM, the BCCI will discuss Indian cricket’s Future Tours Programme and formulate its stand on inclusion of cricket for the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028. Three vacancies in the national selection committee also have to be filled, after Jatin Paranjpe, Sarandeep Singh and Devang Gandhi completed their terms.
Then there are also the matters of filling up the vacant vice-president’s post, reconstituting the IPL Governing Council and appointing BCCI’s representative at the ICC. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah’s tenure have come to end as per the new constitution, but the board has sought an amendment to the rules by filing a petition in the Supreme Court. The next hearing on the matter is on December 9. But the amicus curiae, PS Narasimha, has been quoted by IANS as saying that only some interlocutory applications will be taken that day.
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