The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) finally came to an end on November 10, nearly two months after it became an everyday habit for cricket fans in India and across the globe. Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, IPL 2020 was carried out in a safe and secure environment thanks to the hefty efforts taken by the BCCI.
As the cricketing board had left no stones unturned to conduct the IPL, the league was a grand success and saw a 15% growth in viewing minutes. Just like the league, online cricket betting experienced tremendous growth as well. As all the 60 IPL matches were hosted without the crowd, millions of cricket fans from India and around the world wagered on their favourite IPL players and teams to show support.
After wrapping up IPL 2020 in Dubai, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has already started preparing for the 2021 version of the league. Recently, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly announced that the cricket board is planning to host IPL 2021 between the April-May window in India. With not much time left, the BCCI is looking at logistics and other factors so that it can conduct IPL 2020 auctions as soon as possible. The auction, which generally takes place in the months of December and January, most possibly will be delayed this time.
The BCCI has informally indicated to the franchises that the auction will take place in early 2021 and there would be a mega auction as per the initial plans. Also, reports suggest that the cricket board has plans to add a ninth team in the 14th edition of the IPL to compensate for the financial losses it had to undergo owing to the coronavirus crisis.
Mohanlal captured within the stadium during IPL 2020 final
Another rumour that has surfaced in the past few days is that South Indian Actor Mohanlal and learning app BYJU’s are the prime contenders in the bidding war for the 9th IPL team. Mohanlal’s visit to Dubai during the final between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals, which was earlier assumed to be a part of the family holiday, is now speculated to be regarding the same.
Before the much-awaited final between MI and DC commenced at Dubai on November 10, the cameras captured the South Indian film star in the stands at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. It was informed that the actor just came to the stadium to watch the live game. However, according to journalist Rajaneesh, Mohanlal had paid a visit to the stadium to bid for the new IPL team. The actor is officially planning to connect with the shorter format of the game by becoming the owner of the ninth team.
“So, there is more to what meets the eye in Mohanlal’s Dubai visit for the IPL final. Buzz is that Mohanlal, along with BYJU’s, is bidding for an IPL team. Nothing official so far though,” Rajaneesh tweeted.
Ahmedabad likely to join as 9th IPL team
If speculations are to be believed, the 9th franchise will most likely be based out of Ahmedabad. In the event of the 9th team joining the IPL, the auction will become necessary. However, a formal conversation regarding this has not been made yet.
“The BCCI has informed us to be prepared for an auction in a couple of months,” a franchise official was quoted as saying by The New India Express. “Though it is not official yet, they have asked us to be ready means they will go ahead as planned. Moreover, a 9th franchise coming in, it makes sense to have an auction now rather than deferring it by a year.”
As part of the auction, the BCCI is most likely to continue with the player retention policy and Right to Match card to allow the franchises to keep their key players as their brand value is built on them.
“The retention policy is likely to continue even if a new team comes in because at this stage, it would not be wise to have all the players in the auction pool. Franchises will have to compromise on the brand value which is built around their star players,” the English daily quoted another official as saying.