The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreeing to have one ICC event every year surprised many. But now it is being revealed – that BCCI’s change of heart was a mere ‘trade-off’ as the Ganguly-led board was looking to increase the window of the IPL from next season.
After the general meeting on June 1, the ICC announced that it would expand and host one event every year — something that BCCI had opposed. It is reportedly a trade-off that the BCCI agreed on it as it seeks to expand IPL, inducting two new teams. More teams mean more matches & more matches would require a longer window for IPL 2022. According to reports (via Insidesport), BCCI has got informal approval from ICC on the same.
Earlier, BCCI, ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), and CA (Cricket Australia) opposed ICC’s proposal, increasing ICC tournaments, and bringing back the ICC Champions Trophy. However, all three have agreed as per a Cricbuzz report.
This is a complete U-turn from the earlier stand of the Indian board. Sourav Ganguly, BCCI’s president said that ICC should follow FIFA’s World Cup model and stick to the “less is more” mantra. But things have changed since.
What would an expanded IPL look like?
With the BCCI approving the expansion of IPL from 8 to 10 teams from IPL 2022, the Indian board needed to increase the window from the current 54 days to at least 76 days to accommodate at least 76 matches. While the BCCI yet to decide on the expanded format if it will be round-robin or five teams in two groups. For round-robin format, a total of 94 matches will be played (including the playoffs and the final). For 62 days or less, BCCI will need to have a lot more doubleheaders – which will not go down well with most of the commercial stakeholders.
An expanded tournament would most likely raise the excitement in the cricketing world and the involvement of new franchises looks like an interesting prospect. But it is important, that if IPL 2021 were not to be completed it could damage the brand for the years to come.