After the conclusion of IPL 2020, the attention has already shifted to the next campaign. The success of staging IPL 2020 surely has given the organizers to stage the 2021 campaign in an even better manner. Reports since the final on Tuesday this week have been hinting that there are going to be significant changes in the competition next season.
The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) is planning to add another team to the league next season. According to the latest update from The Times of India, BCCI is set to float the tender for the ninth team after Diwali, the third week of November.
The introduction of a new team will likely lead to a major auction to make sure that there is a strong pool of players available for the ninth team. There have been murmurs about the big auction, but BCCI is yet to make an official announcement. The board is yet to comment on reports suggesting that the league is going to be expanded to nine teams.
An increase in teams will attract more sponsors as the league is set to become even bigger and more players will participate in the tournament. Moreover, brands will enjoy longer exposure on digital platforms and stadiums since the number of games is set to increase.
BCCI will have to be better at executing plans to introduce a new team than they did last time. Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers could hardly survive for more than two years and both teams were dissolved. Meanwhile, Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions only existed for two years, replacing Chennai Superkings and Rajasthan Royals during their respective bans.
The timing of adding a new franchise is peculiar. Considering the effect of the pandemic on various industries, BCCI would have received much bigger bids for a new team in the future. However, the prospect of expanding the best T20 league is enticing for fans. The idea is right from BCCI, but time will tell whether the execution will be sound.