BCCI hovering around the idea of introducing new teams into the IPL Universe, franchises raise early concern

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Indian Premier League has seen the competition between 8 teams for the most of its tenure and much like the 2011 season, the BCCI are contemplating the idea of introducing more franchises to the existing teams. While the board have the financial resources, talent and diversity at hand, the current team owners strongly believe that work needs to be done before such a big change can be brought into force. 

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The BCCI are yet to decide whether to introduce one or more than one franchise into the well-oiled IPL ecosystem. If the board moves ahead with the plan of increasing the number of teams, a full-fledged auction will have to be carried out to bring balance to all sides before the 14th edition of IPL.

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Current franchise owners had a number of issues with BCCI’s latest proposal ahead of the next IPL which will be flagged off in India during the April-May window. Dilution of existing talent, finding the right balance and the salary purse are some of the key issues that the teams have questioned so far.

Franchises raise concern against IPL’s expansion plan

Teams are already finding it difficult to ensure quality. If we look at most IPL squads, around seven to nine players form the core while two to three players per squad are rotated to find the right balance. Now, if eight franchises are increased to 10, that quality further gets diluted.

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IPL’s core – the very essence of having a salary purse every year – is to ensure the overall quality of all eight franchises remains somewhere at the same level, regardless of an individual franchise’s spending capacity. If two extra teams draw from the same pool of cricketers at the auction, can the quality be guaranteed,”  ask the franchise owners

Overall, the franchise owners are not keen to the idea of breaking the balance already set in place in the tournament with eight franchises. An owner of the franchise openly claimed that the BCCI have not approached them or informed them about any sort of expansion.

“We have not been informed anything about any increase in the number of franchises. Whatever info we have that is through the media reports. See, BCCI has all the right to increase the teams but at this stage when every stakeholder has taken some pain on account of Covid-19, our personal view the addition should only happen in 2022 when the new media rights deal will be in work”, said owner of one of the IPL franchise.
Another concern which rises with the expansion is the media coverage and rights. The inclusion of an extra team will give rise to 16 additional matches which in turn means Rs 872 crore to BCCI from Star as part of the extra licensing fees.

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