The next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is likely to be an extended one due to the addition of new teams. The BCCI is all set to approve the addition of two new franchises in the coming days and make IPL 2021 a ten-team affair.
According to a report in Cricbuzz, the approval will be done at the BCCI Annual General Meeting (AGM), set to be held on December 24. A notice with regards to the same has already been sent to affiliated units by the BCCI, signed by secretary Jay Shah.
Ten teams playing in the IPL is nothing new. In 2011, a total of 10 teams played in the tournament while in the following two seasons, nine teams participated in the tournament. The next edition of the competition is more than likely to have ten teams too.
There were reports suggesting that the BCCI might add one team for the next season before adding another ahead of 2022 season. However, it is highly unlikely and will definitely face stiff opposition from the other franchises because adding two new teams at two different times will mean two mega auctions.
Addition of two new teams will bring a spate of changes to the tournament and one will be definitely the format in which it has been traditionally played. According to the current format, all the teams get to play 14 league games and each of the 8 teams play against every other twice.
However, the addition of the two new teams is likely to change the format. According to TOI, the addition of two teams will mean the IPL having to undergo a format change and revert to the one that was in use during the 2011 edition when ten teams played.
As per the format used in 2011, the ten teams will be divided into two groups of five. In the group stage, each team will play 14 games – facing the other four teams in their group two times each (one home and one away game), four teams in the other group once, and the remaining team two times.
A random draw was used to determine the groups and who plays whom across the groups once and twice. Each team played the team in the same row and the same column twice, and all others once. The top four teams then made it to the playoffs. The format was definitely complicated but it saved a considerable amount of time for the BCCI.
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