The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday gave its approval for the addition of two new teams to the Indian Premier League (IPL) from the 2022 edition. There were several reports suggesting that the BCCI might add the two new teams from the next year only but the Indian cricket board has eventually decided against it.
Ten teams fighting it out for the title in IPL is not new although it happened for just one season in the past. In 2011, a total of ten teams had participated after now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors India were added to the tournament. In the following two seasons, a total of nine teams had participated before the tournament returned to its original eight-team format from 2014.
Thanks to BCCI’s final decision on the new teams, the 2021 season of IPL will be played with the regular 8 teams, much to the relief of the franchises. All the eight franchises were reportedly against the addition of the new teams from 2021 because it would have the mega auction compulsory. And with the franchises not getting enough time to prepare for the auction, they vehemently opposed the extension of IPL. The auction for the next season is likely to be a mini one.
“At this point, the 10-team IPL, if BCCI intends to conduct it in 2021, will be a hurried one given that the tendering process and a mega auction will be difficult to organise in such a short span of time. It is only fair that the approval is taken and the big 94 match tournament is held in 2022,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by India Today on the eve of the meeting.
In another big decision taken at the AGM, the BCCI has also expressed its interest in pushing for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics. There were also discussions about women’s Test cricket, a call on which will be taken by the apex council.