The Indian Premier League key stakeholders – the franchisees, host broadcaster Star Sports, the central sponsors and the Board of Control for Cricket in India – are a relieved lot as the Committee of Administrators has succeeded in convincing the Ministry of Home Affairs and the other Central agencies concerned to allow the IPL 2019 matches in India between March 23 and May 12.
The IPL 2019 venues and schedule still remain a tricky issue though.
The decision sets the ball rolling for the IPL Season 12. While the commercial stakeholders heave a sigh of relief over the clarity to expedite the preparations and sales process, there remain some concerns. Albeit, nothing of great significance when compared to the challenges of the games outside India.
“This was the basic clarity we needed to reach out to our commercial partners and sponsors. On-ground activations and commitments are among the key deliverables for the team sponsors. As the ROIs for them are not the same if the league is hosted outside India, the values change drastically,” a senior franchisee executive told Insidesport.co. “However, it is not an absolute clarity. The home and away format works the best for the league. If the league is staged on a caravan model, it will be difficult to sustain the local interest for a prolonged duration.
“Considering the fact that the Lok Sabha elections will clash with the IPL schedule and the league will have to be finished before the third week of May (to give players time to prepare the World Cup 2019), I will say the board is doing the best possible in everyone’s interest. This is not an ideal scenario, so we shouldn’t expect too much. We as the franchisees are happy that the administrators have taken everyone into confidence. We all are on the same page.”
The games at home and the caravan model is an absolute win, win situation for the broadcaster as this drastically cuts down the production costs. The broadcaster now awaits the details on the match dates and venues.
The BCCI it is learnt has an understanding with the Central authorities that the IPL match dates will not clash with the Lok Sabha poll dates in States and the cities. The board reportedly has shortlisted 20 venues. However, a final decision will only be made after the General Election dates are announced.
The BCCI has reportedly identified smaller cities like Dharamshala, Pune, Kanpur, Lucknow, Rajkot, Raipur, Ranchi, Indore, Thiruvananthapuram, Visakhapatnam, Cuttack and Guwahati as the alternate venues alongside the home grounds of all the franchisees – Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Delhi and Mohali.