After successful completion of the IPL 2020, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is moving onto next year which might see some big changes coming. The Indian Premier League has mostly seen eight teams competing in it.
However, IPL 2011 had ten teams competing in it with the addition of Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Though the Kochi franchise was terminated next year, IPL 2012 and 2013 saw nine teams participating for the coveted trophy.
Things returned to normal, as IPL 2014 saw only eight teams competing after Pune Warriors pulled out of the tournament.
However, the 2021 IPL tournament might see the addition of a new team, as multiple franchises told the New Indian Express, that there have been discussions about adding an Ahmedabad based team into the IPL next year.
A player auction was scheduled ahead of the 2021 season, but with the 2020 edition of the tournament ending in November, there were time constraints. Even some franchises were in favor of delaying it by a year as there is only a five-month gap between the 2020 edition and the one in 2021.
However, it is learned the BCCI is planning to have the auction in January or mid-February so that franchises get time to plan ahead of the 2021 edition, which will start in the last week of March.
A franchise official informed that the BCCI was initially looking at deferring the auction by a year, but since a corporate giant is keen on buying a team, it has become necessary to hold it.
“The BCCI has told us to be prepared for an auction in a couple of months. Though it is not official, that they have asked us to be ready means they will go ahead as planned. Moreover, with a new team coming in, it makes sense to have an auction now rather than deferring it by a year,” a franchise official said.
It is understood that the ninth team will be from Ahmedabad and the corporate house is keen on making the new Sardar Patel Stadium, in Motera it's home.
While the auction is more or less finalized, there is no clarity on player retention. A big auction usually takes place once in three years, and the teams were allowed to retain up to four players each. A right-to-match card is also available.
“The retention policy should continue even if a new team comes in because, at this stage, it won’t be wise to have all players in the auction pool. Teams will have to compromise on the brand value which is built on their star players,” said another franchise official.