IPL : Former COO predicts ‘IPL will be 10 team affair from next broadcast cycle’

IPL,IPL News,Indian Premier League,Sundar Raman,BCCI

The Indian Premier League could expand to 10 teams, and 10 weeks, within a few years, the former head of the league has said. Though the fate of the Indian Premier League Season 13 still hangs in balance, that hasn’t stopped the talks over the league’s expansion from taking place. There have been suggestions of the league being expanded from 8 teams to 10 teams a few times and according to former IPL COO, Sundar Raman, it seems like the expansion could happen before the new broadcast cycle. 

“I definitely think that a 10-team IPL is on the horizon in two to three years,” Sundar Raman, the former chief operating officer of the IPL, told Telegraph Sport. “There is a need to expand. IPL is a more mature game now than what it was in 2008.” 

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In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph Sport, Raman said that the time is ripe for the league to be expanded from 8 teams to 10 teams which could see the tournament taking place over 10 weeks in the coming years.The year 2023 – which will mark 15 years since the IPL was founded and would be the year when a new broadcasting deal begins – has long been viewed as an ideal potential date of IPL expansion. The current format of the IPL has eight teams playing a total of 60 games. In 2019, the tournament took 51 days. Raman envisages the structure increasing to 94 games played over around 70 days. 

“The amount of infrastructure that’s available, the amount of talent that is available, and the amount of revenue that these players can earn and make a living out of it requires some serious consideration – and I would think that it is a requirement of the league for IPL to expand. If IPL has to expand and that’s what will grow the game, why not?” he explained.

It is also a fact that the IPL’s expansion could impact the international cricketing calendar considering even the current format makes it difficult for English players to participate in the league. Raman, however, believes that some tweaks would require to be made in the international calendar so that no cricket board misses out on its revenue.

INSIDESPORT VIEW

If BCCI wants to increase the teams in IPL to 10, starting from the new broadcasting cycle – they have to get the same in place by the next year itself. Reason, post the IPL 2021 (Season 14th), BCCI will have to go to the market once again for the new media rights deal. The potential bidders will look for complete clarity on the possible increase in number of matches, duration of IPL and other logistics related to 10 team IPL in 2023. So if 10 team IPL actually has to translate into reality all the work needs to be done by the end of IPL 14.

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