The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) organized its 89th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday morning in Ahmedabad. The meeting produced several key takeaways- the most important one of them being that the board has officially approved for a 10-team tournament in the IPL 2022.
Ever since the conclusion of this year’s IPL in November, speculations have been rife about the format of the upcoming 2021 edition. But for the moment, it seems that the BCCI is comfortable with the existing 8-team model; given that the next season is just less than four months away.
IPL 2021 to remain an 8-team affair; possible expansion to 10-teams in 2022
The decision involved the BCCI’s general body comprising of all the state organizations. It is understood that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah are eager on expanding the IPL; to provide more opportunities to local talent and expand the map all across the country. The state associations concurred with the idea and agreed on expanding the 15th edition of the IPL to a 10-team affair. But the 2021 will remain an eight-team affair; mostly because of the time constraints involved in adding a new team at this stage.
Additionally, the board also unanimously agreed on a one-franchise per region clause. Essentially, states and union territories based around an existing IPL franchise won’t be able to contest for a new team. So the possibility of a Pune-based franchise making a return- which had been a popular speculation leading up to the AGM- stands null and void. Consequently, a variety of other cricket venues, like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Lucknow, Kochi, and Vishakhapatnam become available now.
BCCI undecided on including cricket in 2028 Summer Olympics
Another peripheral aspect that gained traction was the likely inclusion of cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. In recent times, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has expressed eagerness towards cricket being reinstated in the mega sporting event. In fact, a few months back, the ICC sent questionnaires to all member countries to weigh in on the matter.
But for the time being, the BCCI hasn’t decided on the situation and postponed the topic to a future meeting in 2021. Sources suggest that the board members require more clarity about certain key points; like whether BCCI would relinquish its autonomy and merge with the Indian Olympics Association. Additionally, there were some concerns about the revenue sharing model and a likelihood of clashing with the IPL.