The Indian Premier League (IPL) has gone through various layers of expansions ever since its inception in 2008. Even as the thirteenth season of the cash-rich league hangs by a thread, there does exist room for its extension. According to former IPL COO, Sundar Raman, the expansion could happen in terms of the number of teams in the next 2-3 years.
Interestingly, the tournament did have more than teams than eight in two editions. The 2011 season had ten teams while the subsequent two affairs had nine teams. In 2011, two new sides in Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers Kerala came into being. As per Sundar Raman, the prospect of ten teams in the high-octane Twenty20 league is likely to take place in the next two or three years.
In an interview with the Telegraph Sport, Sundar said that with the amount of infrastructure, the talent available, and the various revenue stakeholders could make, that calls for the league to grow. Sundar believes that when considered all these nuances, he is in favour of its expansion.
“I definitely think that a 10-team IPL is on the horizon in two to three years. There is a need to expand. IPL is a more mature game now than what it was in 2008,” Sundar Raman said.
“The amount of infrastructure that’s available, the amount of talent that is available, and the amount of revenue that these players can earn and make a living out of it requires some serious consideration – and I would think that it is a requirement of the league for IPL to expand. If IPL has to expand and that’s what will grow the game, why not?”
Sundar Raman emphasises on all the boards to reap the benefit of the IPL:
Increasing the number of teams would naturally mean there are more number of games that comes into play. Hence, the ex-IPL COO wants everything to be adjusted in a way that all the cricketing boards get the benefit financially, and hardly anyone gets left out.
“Increasing the IPL could create conflict and therefore the middling boards will not be able to have their international matches. That is something that, yes, being thought of honestly – yes maybe that’s an issue. But how can we make sure that everyone – Pakistan or Sri Lanka or Bangladesh or Zimbabwe – can benefit financially? I don’t know the answer to that. But I believe at some point those questions will be asked and maybe multiple points of view will help us find that answer,” Sundar Raman maintained.