Amidst all the hype of the World Cup 2019, other cricket news has been drowned in recent times. But Indian cricket fans have something interesting to ponder over. There is news doing the rounds that the Indian Premiere League (IPL), one of the most popular T20 tournaments of the world, is likely to expand to 10 teams from its existing number of 8.
It has been reported that the franchise owners and the league’s other stakeholders had a meeting in London a few days back and the expansion of the number of teams in the tournament was one of the main points that was discussed.
“We discussed increasing the number of teams but it was an informal discussion. Anyway, the teams don’t have the authority to decide on the matter, the BCCI will have to take a call but we are open to the idea,” one of the team officials, who was present at the meeting, was quoted as saying to an Indian news agency.
Now, this isn’t the first time that the IPL would be expanding, if they do. In 2011, the tournament featured 10 teams for the first time with Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors being the new franchises. However, contractual and other issues with the BCCI meant that both Kochi and Pune pulled out of the IPL eventually.
Now, with the idea of a 10-team IPL floating around again, it would be interesting to see how things transpire.
The IPL has grown exponentially since its inception back in 2008. It is one of the most-watched tournaments and players around the globe yearn to be a part of its experience. Back in 2011-12 it was still adapting. But perhaps now would not be such a bad idea to expand the IPL and make it spread its tentacles. Having 10 teams will allow more competition and more domestic and international players to participate and fight it out amongst each other.
For the past few seasons, the IPL has been dominated by a few teams only like the Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. The tournament requires more competitiveness and perhaps two new and strong teams can provide that. Most importantly, we will also get to witness more exciting new domestic talents that would have been hitherto unheard of.
After all, the idea is to grow and spread and not be rooted to one fixed formula.
However, the BCCI would also have to be careful in scheduling the event if it comes to ten teams. More teams would mean more matches and that can lead to a bloated tournament and viewer exhaustion. Also, the players might be strained out too by the end of it. Hence, it would be prudent to devise a schedule that doesn’t go overboard and keeps a fine balance in keeping the interest alive.
For now, though, one has to wait and see how things go in the coming weeks. If a 10-team IPL is indeed confirmed then we might have a very interesting and exciting season of the tournament next year. With the ICC World T20 also scheduled in 2020, things will only get more exhilarating.