BCCI Approves 10 Team IPL From 2022 in AGM in Ahmedabad: Reports

Last year, IPL was shifted out to UAE where it was played in full across three venues in a bio-secure environment.

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Cricket
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Mumbai Indians pose with the trophy after winning the final cricket match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 against Delhi Capitals, at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai, Tuesday, 10 November, 2020.
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As expected, it was the IPL that dominated proceedings at the 89th BCCI Annual General Meeting in Ahmedabad on 24 December. The BCCI, along expected lines, has ratified the decision to go ahead with a ten-team IPL for 2022, according to PTI. The onus now falls on the IPL Governing Council to work out the details about including the two new franchises.

The next edition of the IPL is slated for April 2021, but the venue is yet to be announced given the situation around the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the IPL was shifted out to UAE where it was played in full across three venues in a bio-secure environment.

In early December the BCCI informed its state associations that one of the key items on the AGM agenda would be the "approval" of two new IPL teams.

Two new franchises in the IPL will mean 94 games and a two-and-half month window which can throw the international calendar into disarray. And even though most of the stakeholders were ready to include new franchises, many felt that including the teams in 2021 might be a hasty decision because it leaves the teams with little time to build a competitive team.

"There are a lot of modalities that needs to be discussed and most of the stakeholders feel that with IPL being held in April, there is very little time for a mega auction and to have a uniform retention policy, agreeable to all the existing franchises," a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by PTI.

The official had added that this move would mean inviting tenders and have a bidding process. The last time IPL featured ten teams was in 2011.

Another important decision the BCCI took was that one state could have one franchise only, effectively ruling out Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and the union territories of Delhi and Chandigarh. That would make venues like Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam, Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram and Lucknow favourites as home venues for the new franchises, ESPN reported.

Reports earlier in November had indicated that the Adani Group, owned by Gautam Adani, and RPSG, owned by Sanjeev Goenka, had emerged as front runners to own additional IPL teams. Goenka had earlier owned a team, the Rising Pune Supergiant, that competed the 2016 and 2017 IPL when Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned from IPL due to the spot-fixing controversy.

Adani has publicly shown interest in owning an IPL team in the past. It was widely reported ahead of the AGM that that most of the stakeholders feel that having a nine or 10-team IPL in 2021 will be a hasty decision with the new franchises getting very little time to build a competitive team and with the logistics also being a cause of concern.

The BCCI also decided that that all first-class players, both men and women, will be suitably compensated for the curtailed domestic season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCCI plans to get the domestic season underway, after several months' delay, in January with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 championship.

In another major development, the Board, in principle, decided to back the ICC's bid for inclusion of cricket, in the T20 format, in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics "after getting some clarifications from the International Olympic Committee".

Meanwhile, veteran Congress leader Rajeev Shukla was officially appointed as the Board's vice president in place of his protege Mahim Verma from Uttarakhand.

The report also added that the BCCI’s general body decided in favour of Sourav Ganguly continuing as a director in the ICC Board while Secretary Jay Shah will be the alternate director as well as India's representative at the Chief Executive Committee meets of the global body.

With regards the tax tussle with the ICC, the BCCI Secretary and Treasurer are expected to approach the Central Government for tax exemptions.

“We are set to host the 2021 WT20 as well as the 50-over World Cup 2023. We need to speak to the government to see if we can get tax exemption and for this we have decided that our secretary Jay Shah & Treasurer Arun Dhumal will speak to the Government,” a source was quoted as saying by ANI.

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