The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seems intent on implementing some big changes ahead of the 2021 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Not even a week has passed since the tourney’s conclusion, and it looks like the BCCI’s planning to add some extra teams for the upcoming edition.
As per reports, the Sourav Ganguly-led cricket board is eager to add franchises based around the states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. The board officials have declined to make any official confirmations yet. But according to some reliable news reports, the BCCI will release an official tender on the situation a few days after Diwali (14 November). Popular speculation suggests that Ahmedabad and one of Kanpur, Lucknow, or Pune will host the new teams.
Adani, RPSG groups among interested parties in acquiring new IPL teams
Additionally, the Bangalore Mirror (BM) news-group has gathered that some renowned Indian commercial names are interested to acquire the new teams. A recently released report from BM states that the Ahmedabad-based Adani group and Sanjeev Goenka’s RPSG group are among the major names willing to participate in IPL 2021. Goenka, in fact, has had prior involvement in the tournament and owned the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant team from 2016-17.
The inclusion of two new teams will have several impacts on the 8 existing franchises; the most prominent one being a mandatory mega-auction ahead of IPL 14. But given how unstable the current financial situation is, most franchises would want to avoid such a situation just yet. Certain franchises have, allegedly, conveyed to the BCCI to postpone the new teams and mega auctions by another year.
Ambiguity around venue and mega auctions
Furthermore, this new plan will have to address the ambiguity around the 2021 season’s venue. Sources close to the BCCI have suggested that the board is confident to host the tournament in India next year. However, should the national health situation deteriorate, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can be reconsidered. At the moment, the situation isn’t too clear and has several grey areas that need to be addressed. So presently, it’s best to wait for an official press release from the BCCI.