The BCCI has postponed plans to carry out a tender for the new IPL teams, with the board reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCCI will focus on finalizing a schedule to complete the remaining 2021 IPL matches before focusing on next season.
Two new IPL teams will be inducted into the competition, with IPL 2022 likely to be a ten-team affair. Multiple reports had previously suggested the new IPL teams would be finalized by the end of May.
But a senior BCCI official speaking to InsideSport confirmed the BCCI has put plans for new IPL teams on the backburner for now.
“Time is not right to even talk about the new IPL teams at this stage. We have to first decide the way forward on the suspended season and then only decisions can be taken on the new teams for IPL 2022. No discussion in this regard is happening at this stage in the BCCI. We don’t see any moment on this before July. We can’t give any timelines at this stage. As I said, no discussion currently in this regard is taking place in BCCI for now,” the BCCI official explained.
IPL 2021 was indefinitely postponed on May 4, owing to the surging COVID-19 cases inside the bio-bubble. With 31 games yet to be played, the BCCI is currently figuring out a revised schedule for IPL 2021.
It is widely believed that the tournament will take place in September, weeks before the T20 World Cup. The venue for IPL 2021 is yet to be finalized, with the UK, UAE and even Sri Lanka touted as destinations.
BCCI had earlier planned to finalise new IPL teams by May
A senior BCCI source speaking to news agency PTI earlier this year had suggested the BCCI wants to finalize the new franchises by May. This would have given the teams adequate time to delineate their plans for IPL 2022.
“The 10 team IPL will roll on from next year and the bidding process and finalisation of the new franchises will be completed by the month of May this year. Once the teams are finalised, they can start their operational work which takes considerable time,” the source claimed.
A delay in the tender for the new IPL teams will certainly put interested parties on the backfoot. Setting up an IPL franchise requires considerable effort, and the BCCI would hope the process gets completed as soon as possible.