What is cooking inside BCCI with regards to new format of IPL 2021

IPL fever has gripped India since its start in 2008. It is one of the most awaited tournaments by Indian Cricket fans, and it would not be wrong to say that it has more viewers than other international cricket tournaments. IPL 2020 has recently ended in Dubai, and preparations are already in full swing for next season.

There is news about a change in the format of IPL 2021. Right now, eight teams are playing in the Indian Premier League. As per the new proposed format, ten teams would be playing in the IPL in 2021. It was in 2011 when ten teams competed, and it is just a coincidence that after ten years again, ten teams would be competing with each other. The ten teams would be divided into two groups of five each. It looks more like the pattern followed during the Cricket world cup.

Undoubtedly, more number of teams fighting for this coveted trophy will increase the excitement among fans and IPL fever more intriguing. But there is no clear consent among BCCI officials about the introduction of new teams. BCCI has made it clear that auction a mega auction for the same may take place before IPL 2021. The strong reason to widen the sphere of teams in IPL is giving a platform to as many young talented cricketers as possible. It will also bring tough competition in this exciting and cash-rich league.

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But there are some of the BCCI officials who have raised some genuine concerns against this proposed plan. An official has said that time is too short for the introduction of two new teams as it is a challenging task to bring all stakeholders on the same page. Moreover, the broadcast rights deal with Star channel will end by 2021, and if new teams are introduced in 2022, then it would be more comfortable to renew the broadcast contract. It is a proposed plan for now, and any decision would be taken only at the Annual General Meeting of BCCI that will happen around Christmas this year.

There are two main contenders in the fray for owning new IPL teams, they are the Adani Group owned by Gautam Adani, and RPSG owned by Sanjeev Goenka. Adani’s interests have grown manifold since Ahmedabad having the country’s biggest cricket stadium, and they have expressed their interests in Cricket in the past as well. Goenka group had recently owned Pune Supergiants for two years, and they will grab this chance to be back in the competition.

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Talking about the impact of new additions on the IPL, the suggested alterations will bring changes in terms of the number of matches and complication level of the tournament. It will exclude the need to have multiple tournaments between the same teams as the best teams from two groups will have further competition. But it will increase the complication level as group-wise matches and then play-offs will take place. All in all, it would be thrilling to watch, and all the questions regarding the new IPL format would be addressed by the end of this year.