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.