The Board of Control for Cricket in India's initial plan to make the Indian Premier League a 10-team tournament from 2021 might not materialise, according to a report in Times of India. Instead, the board might settle for a nine-team tournament till 2022 before considering introducing the tenth team.
The IPL began as an eight-team tournament in 2008, before the board tried adding two new teams in 2011. By IPL 2014, however, the tournament was back to eight teams owing to multiple controversies. It has stayed an eight-team affair since then.
Earlier this year, there were reports that the board was once again trying to add two new teams to the tournament from 2020, with the teams set to participate from 2021. However, the possibility seems unlikely now.
Times of India reports that the reasons include lack of a window owing to the current international Future Tour Programme to accommodate a 90-match tournament. A nine-team tournament would mean relatively fewer matches, with the BCCI having the option of introducing the tenth team once the new FTP is formed in 2023.
The newspaper also reports that the BCCI is seeking a base price of around Rs. 2000 crore, which might not attract multiple bidders in the current market. The under construction Sardar Patel stadium in Ahmedabad, with a record capacity of 1.1 lakh, is set to be ready by March and could be one of the frontrunners for the new franchise.