IPL 2021: BCCI likely to stick with eight teams for next season

After successfully organizing the tournament in the United Arab Emirates, the talk surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been about the addition of the new team for next season. There were reports in Indian media suggesting that IPL 2021 will be having a ninth team from Ahmedabad. However, the recent update suggests that things are unlikely to change drastically in the format of IPL.

According to The Times of India, IPL will be sticking with eight teams for the next season. The report also insists that two new teams are likely to be added from 2022. The final decision regarding the format of IPL 2021 is set to be taken at the annual general meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Ahmedabad next week.

If there are eight teams in the IPL next season, then BCCI might not go ahead with a big auction early in 2021. Since a new team was going to be added to the league, a mega auction made sense. However, there is very little time left for the new season, so a big churn of players is not ideal for all teams. A smaller auction is likely to go ahead where players such as Dawid Malan and Tim Seifert are likely to be in demand.

Previously, the Goenka and Adani group of industries have been suggested as favourites for the ownership of the new teams. Both industries will now have to wait for one more year before investing in the IPL teams. Since the pandemic has shaken the international schedule, the move to stick with eight teams makes sense. There will be a much clear picture of the overall cricket schedule in 2022, helping BCCI to expand the IPL successfully compared to previous instances.

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