The night games in the Indian Premier League may have an early start from the coming season.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has proposed to start the second header for the day at 7 pm, an hour earlier than the previous seasons when the late matches would start at 8 pm. The board is awaiting a nod from host broadcaster Star India.
The proposal for the early start, floated at the IPL Governing Council by chairman Rajeev Shukla, got an instant approval from the franchisees. “It was just a thought (starting game at 7pm) and everyone welcomed it but first we need to speak to the broadcaster and take their nod. We will work on modalities then. There have been many centers where travelling is a major concern. All the issues were discussed and we all thought to start the game but early,” Indian Express has quoted Shukla as saying.
However, the final implementation will be subject to an approval from Star India. The Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Media-owned broadcaster has acquired the IPL media rights for an awe-inspiring INR 16,347.5 Crore for the 2018-2022 five-year cycle.
The 8 pm games often go past mid-night and the viewership is often declined even as the excitement builds up towards end. If the 7 pm start gets a green signal from the broadcaster, the afternoon games too might see an early start at 3 pm, instead of the conventional 4 pm.
Meanwhile, the IPL GC has cleared the proposal to allow a mid-season player transfer on the lines of European Club football. The IPL Chairman said that the idea that was welcomed by all franchises.
“Every IPL owner agreed to have this in the forthcoming season. It will give chance to those players who are good but are not getting opportunities to be part of playing XI of any IPL side. We are having an IPL governing council meeting soon to finalize all these points,” Shukla added.
Shukla though maintained that everything will have to be approved by Star India, the host broadcaster. The IPL governing council is scheduled to meet in New Delhi on December 5.