Within a week after the commencement of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), reports of another team being added to the biggest T20i tournament in the world have started doing the rounds.
Speculations have been rife about the next season (14th season) of IPL featuring 9 teams which can make the league even more competitive.
Which cities are most likely to be part of the IPL?
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the parent body will discuss the possibilities of IPL expansion at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) this December. As of now, the way things stand, it is quite certain that Ahmedabad City will be front runners to be added as the 9th franchise in the lucrative league come 2021. Other cities likely to be a part are Lucknow/Kanpur and Pune.
Who are the interested buyers?
Adani Group, headed by Gautam Adani, and RPSG owned by Sanjeev Goenka are frontrunners to buy a new IPL team.
Adani’s interest in a cricketing franchise is well known. Now with the establishment of the world’s biggest cricketing stadium at Ahmedabad, their interest has multiplied tenfold.
While Sanjeev Goenka, who earlier bought the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) franchisee in 2016 and 2017, is more than willing to pitch in his best to buy a team in the IPL.
Mohanlal’s presence in the Dream11 IPL 2020 final generated buzz about him wanting to acquire an IPL franchise.
The ball is in BCCI’s court
The BCCI is yet to officially announce the process (how and when) of tenders to bring in the new teams. If BCCI decides to go ahead with their plan, then the board will have to prepare itself for players mega auction before IPL 2021. Conducting a mega auction would suit the interest of mostly all parties involved. The IPL governing council will issue a communication within the next 3-4 weeks.
If a mega auction commences, teams like Chennai Super Kings are likely to benefit from the move. CSK are one of those IPL teams who are in desperate need for a rebuild. Other teams like Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab, and Royal Challengers Bangalore can also profit from the mega auction in an attempt to rejuvenate their side before the next season.
9 teams, 76 matches, mega auctions. Things as always look hip and happening for the best league in the world: the IPL.