The Indian cricket board’s plan to accommodate two more franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) from the 2022 season is likely to leave cricket boards around the world worried as an increase in the number of teams will mean the tournament will be extended by 10-15 days to accommodate more matches. The extended phase will overlap with Future Tours Programme (FTP).
According to Hindustan Times, the tournament will become a 74-match event with teams divided into two groups of five each.
“We are not ready for 94 matches yet,” HT quoted a BCCI official. “Our broadcasters are not ready. There are issues around overseas player availability and finding a suitable window. We will consider a bigger window in future years.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has no official window for the IPL which means that teams playing series during IPL date either have to make do without their IPL-bound players or they have to plan their series outside the IPL schedule.
“A lot of series are lined up in March and June 2022, the months in which the tournament (normally played across April and May) could be extended to in case of increase in the number of matches. That has to be taken into consideration,” said a former member of the IPL Governing Council to IANS.
The ICC, which has no dedicated window for the IPL since it is a domestic event, confirmed to IANS on Monday that the upcoming meeting of its Board on July 15 will not have the extended IPL on its agenda.
It means that the boards will have to sort it out on their own.
India and eight other countries, that send players to IPL, will be playing in the months of March, May, and June next year as per the ICC’s 2018-2023 FTP.
Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, India, New Zealand, and Afghanistan are scheduled to play international cricket in March 2022 while England and New Zealand are expected to play cricket in May 2022.
Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, India, and England are scheduled to play in June and July.
Although Pakistan, Netherlands, Ireland, and Zimbabwe are also scheduled to play international cricket during the phase, their players don’t feature in IPL. Pakistan players are barred while the other three teams’ players don’t generally find takers from IPL franchises.
The current FTP schedule has been made till March 2023. The 50-over World Cup will be held in India in the months of February-March. It means that the IPL 2023 may have to leave out March start and may have to extend the IPL 2023 to June.
As of now, Ahmedabad looks to be certain to get a new franchise.
On Monday, a report in the Times of India said that the BCCI has already prepared a blueprint for accommodating two new teams.
It said that the tender documents for new franchises will be out in mid-August, the new franchises will be introduced in mid-October, the mega auction will be held in December while the tender document for media rights sale will be brought out in mid-January.
RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, as well as Adani Group, are expected to be frontrunners to buy the two new franchises.
Here is a list of tours as per ICC FTP for 2022 & 2023 that may overlap with the IPL:
February-March: Australia’s tour of Pakistan (2 Tests, 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is)
March: Bangladesh tour of South Africa (2 Tests, 3 ODIs); India’s tour of New Zealand (3 ODIs); Afghanistan vs Australia in India (3 ODIs)
April-May: Ireland tour of Zimbabwe (1 Test, 5 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
May: England tour of Netherlands (3 ODIs)
May-June: New Zealand tour of England (3 Tests)
Jun-July: Australia tour or SL (2 Tests & 5 ODIs); Bangladesh tour of West Indies (2 Tests, 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is), NZ tour of Ireland (1 Test & 3 ODIs), India tour of England (3 ODIs & 3 T20Is)
Feb-March: ICC World Cup