IPL 2021: What makes 2021 different from the previous seasons?

IPL 2021 is going to witness some major changes despite largely being the same tournament that has been a big hit amongst fans for more than a decade.

With the annual blockbuster cricket event of India set to make its appearance on the televisions in less than a fortnight, VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 is believed to return with a certain number of changes in its various spheres. The changes in the 14th edition of the tournament have been largely due to the pandemic.

Distinct change in decision making regarding venues in IPL 2021

Unlike in the previous edition of the Indian Premier League which happened in the United Arab Emirates from the scratch till the end, the tournament will see a return to India. Despite its return to India, IPL is set to be held behind closed doors after a revised decision by the board gave the final verdict. The decision from the cricket board is due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases across the country, which potentially suggest that India is going through the second wave.

From the artificial crowd noise to strict protocols in team bio-bubbles, IPL 2020 was very different from the previous editions. However, the upcoming edition too is going to be unique in certain ways, with stricter protocols being introduced along with a few amendments in the existing regulations to smoothen the flow of events. Conducting the tournament for the second time without spectators will yet again come with a toll, with each franchise fearing a loss of Rs 25-35 crore due to the absence of ticket sales.

“Yes, after last year’s loss, we are a bit worried about this year’s revenue loss as well. I would say the loss could be around Rs 25 crore. But more than that we are going to lose our fans. That’s our biggest concern,” Chennai Super Kings CEO Kashi Viswanathan said.

Apart from this development, there has been a significant change in this season’s IPL. All the matches will be held in neutral grounds in India, which is first such scenario for IPL when organized in India. There will be no home and away matches, with all the matches being held at only six allocated venues that will include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata. Along with this big change in venues, there will be a total of 11 double headers where six teams will play three afternoon matches & two teams will play two afternoon matches.

“One of the major change of this edition of the VIVO IPL will be the fact that all matches will be played at neutral venues, no team will play at their home venue. All teams will play at 4 out of 6 venues during the league stage,” BCCI stated in a press release.

Drop in brand value for teams in IPL 2021

Another concern apart from the loss of ticket sale for the franchises is the dip in brand value for which they are working this year to compensate for all the losses incurred. The franchises have faced obstacles in making profit due to the economic ‘lockdown’.

As per a Duff & Phelps report published on March 10, the brand value of IPL was reduced by 3.6 per cent in 2020, accumulating Rs 45,800 crore as opposed to Rs 47, 500 crores in 2019. The individual teams have also showed a dip in revenue and suffered a considerable amount of brand value erosion.

BCCI going to milk more money in IPL 2021

BCCI was reportedly expecting to generate Rs 618 crores from the IPL 2019, but the withdrawal of title sponsorship deal by Vivo and one sponsorship deal by Future Group brought back revenue top Rs 400 crores. The deal with VIVO alone brings Rs 440 crore.

Furthermore, the supplemental support by the Official Partners including Upstox, Unacademy, Tata Motors, Cred, and Dream11 will further boost revenue pool. PayTM and CEAT also remain umpires’ partner and strategic partner for 2021. Sportsmint understands that BCCI is looking to further add one more main sponsor before the tournament.

The broadcaster and streaming partner are once again going to be big earners this season, but pandemic is not going to stunt their growth.  As Sportsmint previously reported, Disney+ Hotstar and Star India will be amongst the biggest winners in this campaign as they are set to witness big increase in broadcast revenue this season.

Change in personnel amongst teams during IPL 2021

The upcoming season will also witness a number of players being swapped, many of whom were the fan favourites at their previous teams. Top players such as Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell will be donning new colours, representing Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, respectively. Chris Morris will take field for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021 as the most expensive player in the history of the tournament.

With Rajasthan devoid of their former captain, Sanju Samson has been appointed the duty to lead the team. Eoin Morgan will be leading an IPL team from the start of the tournament for the first time as he was given captaincy of Kolkata Knight Riders midway through last season. Delhi Capitals will be having new captain this season after Shreyas Iyer suffered season ending injury while playing for India last week.

As the IPL 2021 brings a lot of changes with itself, the fans will also miss a number of legends of the game that will include the likes of Dale Steyn, Lasith Malinga and Shane Watson.

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