The cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) will reportedly have a longer schedule when the world's most popular T20 cricket tournament arrives for its 13th edition next year. This is one of the many changes likely to be introduced during the new IPL Governing Council.
According to an Indian Express report, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, along with the broadcasters, have come up with several options and a new schedule. The IPL has a two-month window, a luxury considering the tight international schedule, and the organisers are hoping to cash in on it.
Besides, the Indian cricket board is planning to have all the matches start at 7 PM IST, after the office hours.
Over the years, IPL has had day matches and double-headers. Day matches understandably had less viewership while late fixtures on double-header days tend to finish late-night finishes.
"There is a plan in place of playing more games at night. If it is passed, each team will have to play only one game in the afternoon. Teams who play in the north face heatwaves and conditions get more difficult. There is a plan of using all 60 days instead of wrapping up the IPL in 45 days. The IPL GC has to approve it," the report quoted a source.
The two-month-long cricket festival is likely to start on April 1.
So effectively, there should be no international fixture for India before mid-June, as the BCCI will need to maintain a 15-day gap between the end of IPL and the next international assignment, as suggested by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).
But the new regime under Sourav Ganguly, who will take over the reins from the CoA, may not follow that directive.
The players' auction is scheduled to be held on 19 December.
Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions.