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BCCI likely to introduce only one IPL franchise

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Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most-attended cricket league in the world. Thirteen seasons of IPL tournament have been played. The current winners of IPL tournament are the Mumbai Indians who won the 2020 season. There are total 8 teams currently in the League. In the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in December, the members of BCCI had given approval for the addition of two new IPL franchises. However, as per current update, BCCI is now thinking of being conservative.

Instead of 2 franchises, they are more likely to add only one new franchise. They may restrict the Indian Premier League (IPL) to only nine teams for now. The decision to add only one franchise is totally in regards to maintain the quality of the tournament, which means ensuring quality cricketers are available to make for a 10-team pool.

As per BCCI, the teams are already finding it difficult to ensure quality. If we look at the current IPL squad, seven to nine players form the core. The remaining two to three players are rotated to maintain the quality. This has been a tough task with the current 8 teams. So, if the franchises is increased to ten, the quality would be more diluted. However, there have been some arguments from the development perspective that the ecosystem of quality will only increase with talent and manpower.

BCCI official has suggested that overseas players in the team should be increased. They believe there are quality overseas players who are unable to play due to restrictions every season. Hence, they are more likely to increase overseas players in the franchises.

As IPL being an India-centric domestic tournament, they have to wait for agreement for the move from BCCI and most importantly IPL governing council who manages the in and out of IPL Premier League. BCCI is dealing with an issue that two seasons are left for the new IPL rights cycle. It would be required to change the entire format of the tournament if adding the two new teams. Negotiating with IPL’s partners. But if only franchise is added, it will mean 74 matches and the BCCI reckons it as more feasible. Keeping this in consideration, BCCI is not disturbing the applecart for the time being. By this, they will also get time to resolve the legalities involving arbitrations with Deccan Chargers and Kochi Tuskers.

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