The Indian Premier League 2020 concluded on November 10 with Mumbai Indians lifting the fifth title in seven years. Considering the 2020 season was concluded late in the year due to the pandemic, there is very little time for the next campaign.
After successfully staging the competition in the UAE, the Board of Cricket for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to make major changes to the competition in 2021. According to The Hindu, BCCI is planning to add a ninth team to the competition. This report also insists that there is going to be a big auction for players rather than a condensed one next year.
The New Indian Express is reporting that the ninth team is likely to be Ahmedabad. Considering a big auction is planned, teams have less time to discuss plans for building the team for next season. Teams are likely to have options to retain few players and have the right to match options for important players during the auction.
It is not the first time IPL is expanding the league. They introduced Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers in 2010. However, both teams had to be dissolved in a few years. After Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years from IPL, Rising Pune Super Giants and Gujrat Lions were introduced in 2015 to make up for eight teams.
The addition of the ninth team will considerably increase the number of league games. It remains to be seen whether the tournament will be hosted in India or again moved to the UAE. In the past, player auction used to take place in December, however this year it is likely to take place later due to the conclusion of last season in November. The introduction of these changes will make the league even more competitive and entertaining to watch.