IPL 2018: Early start for playoffs and final

Instead of the usual timings, the four games are likely to begin at 7 pm to ensure that the spectators have no difficulty.

The IPL governing council, it is learnt, has taken the decision of early start for the playoffs and final, in consultation with the broadcaster.   -  AFP

If all goes well, the playoffs and final of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) could have early starts. Instead of the usual timings, the four games are likely to begin at 7 pm to ensure that the spectators have no difficulty.

The IPL governing council, it is learnt, has taken the decision, in consultation with the broadcaster. “We are considering a 7 pm start. If we start at 8 o’clock, the matches go on till 11.45 or 12. From the spectators’ perspective, that is too late. So, in this case, it will be good for them,” IPL governing council chairman, Rajeev Shukla, told Sportstar from Kolkata on Wednesday.

“Since there are no double-headers from the playoff stage, there should not be any problem with a 7 pm start,” Shukla said, indicating that even broadcasters won’t have a problem if the timings are advanced.

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It is also learnt that the state associations have been intimidated about the change. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) — which will host the playoffs and finals — however, insist that they still 'haven't been informed' about the decision. “We still haven’t received any missive. Maybe, it will come soon,” a senior official at the CAB said.

Before the tournament got underway, the council had proposed that all the games should have early starts, but with the franchises not agreeing, the timings remained unchanged — with fixtures having 4 pm and 8 pm starts, respectively.

“For the playoffs and the final, the governing council has to take the final call and we felt that this would ideally be beneficial, for both the teams and the spectators,” Shukla said. An official announcement is expected in a few days.