The Board of Control for Cricket India’s (BCCI’s) Annual General Meeting (AGM) has, in principle, approved the proposal to add two new teams to the Indian Premier League (IPL) fold, asking the IPL Governing Council to work out the modalities.
It means that, in all likelihood, the IPL will expand into a 10-team affair in 2022, with a rejigged format and increased number of teams. The AGM in Ahemdabad, on Thursday, passed the proposal in unison and left it to the experts to decide.
The governing council and the IPL executives will now have to factor in financial and logistical factors, besides also considering the additional window required for the increased number of games.
The additional time will mean that the BCCI is unlikely to compromise on the base price of two new teams. At least four corporate giants are understood to be keen on vying for owning a team.
The domestic cricket fraternity would heave a sigh of relief with the BCCI agreeing to work out a compensatory package should the domestic season end up being a curtailed on due to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in the domestic season, which usually starts late in August, to be postponed and only the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - the senior men’s T20 tournament - has been announced from January 10.
It has left women and age-group cricketers, plus those who are long-form specialists, in limbo since their financial equation would go for a toss. Even for men’s cricketers, the match fees from T20s are not good enough to run the household. Besides, thousands of other support staff - coaches, physiotherapists, trainers, umpires, match referees, scorers, video analysts and groundstaff - are in danger of being severely impacted financially.
The AGM in Ahmedabad unanimously decided to work out a “package” in case of a truncated season. “All these are the pillars of Indian cricket, so we will ensure they will be taken care of, either through state associations or directly by the Board,” said a member representative who attended the AGM.
But the AGM was also informed by the office-bearers that depending on the success of the men’s T20s, the BCCI will decide on organising the other tournaments. “It could well be a case of multiple domestic tournaments clashing with the IPL this time around but no one will mind it as long as it’s safe,” said another member.
T20 WC tax issue
The AGM is understood to have resolved that even if the central government declines tax exemption for hosting the T20 World Cup in 2021, the BCCI will not forego its right to host the tournament. Should it be required, the BCCI will bear the tax liability of approximately ₹300 crore from its share from the International Cricket Council (ICC) subvention instead of getting into a dispute with the governing body.
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