Former India cricketer Ravi Shastri feels that the Indian Premier League could soon be expanded to have two different seasons per year. He also expressed that the demand for more IPL matches by TV could also be met by expanding the number of teams. This year, two new Indian Premier League teams – Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans were added to the competition.
Earlier, the BCCI secretary Jay Shah had stated that the IPL will have an extended 10-week window in the next international calendar. It will allow the top cricketers from across the world to participate in the tournament. Speaking to Reuters, Shah had also expressed that there were no immediate plans to increase the number of franchises.
Now, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has spoken about the possibility of having two IPL seasons in a year. Speaking on the latest episode of Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club Podcast, he said that the teams could also be increased to 12 in the future. Shastri stated,
“I think you might have two (IPL) seasons. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. If bilateral cricket is reduced, you might well have a shorter format of the IPL in the latter half of the year, more like a World Cup format with a knockout that decides the winner. The full competition with 10 teams could go to 12 teams in the future with the schedule stretching from one-and-a-half to two months. All that is possible because it is driven by money and supply and demand. The demand is big for that type of format.”
There’s a lot of franchise cricket that can be encouraged: Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri further expressed that he would be careful about the number of bilateral splits in T20 cricket. He added that there is a lot of franchise cricket all over the world which can be encouraged. The world cup winner also stated that fewer bilateral series will lead to World Cups and ICC events becoming paramount. He said,
“The IPL will be tempted to go in that direction. It’s great for the sport, great for the players, broadcasters, and people who work around the teams. It’s (the IPL) industry on its own now.”
“I would be a little careful of the number of bilateral splits, especially in T20 cricket. There’s a lot of franchise cricket that can be encouraged, whichever country it’s in – India, West Indies, or Pakistan. You play fewer bilaterals and then you get together for the World Cups. So the emphasis on ICC World Cup events has become paramount. Then people look forward to them,” added Ravi Shastri.