One of the most important points on the agenda of the IPL Governing Council meeting on January 27 is a possible change in timings, especially with the Rajasthan Royals’ request to play in Guwahati. A report in the Times of India says that the focus is back on starting the games at 7.30pm instead of 8pm.
A couple of seasons back broadcaster partners Star had requested for a 7pm start before changing their stance to 7.30pm. This season also they have left it to the BCCI to consider the request.
The report also adds that the broadcaster's demand is based on: a) An early start followed by an early wrap up (post-match presentation) will significantly increase viewership and help with the ratings; b) Sponsors of the league and franchises will get more exposure; c) Crowds will be able to retire early than having to wait until mid-night.
While the BCCI is yet to discuss this with the franchises there are voices in support of the 8pm start as well.
The GC is also expected to decide on the schedule, which is being delayed partly due to the Rajasthan Royals’ request to play a couple of games in Guwahati.
Royals have been looking to play some matches outside of Jaipur - a decision born out of compulsions that they are not ready to open up about.
They have, in fact, made the specific request that they would like to play their first two matches of the season in Guwahati, the hometown of one of their younger stars Riyan Parag.
"Security concerns need to be addressed too (in Guwahati). The schedule is ready," say sources.