The IPL Governing Council at its meeting on Sunday decided to introduce a changed format involving a total of 74 matches during the expanded fourth edition of the twenty20 extravaganza. “There would be a total of 74 matches in all,” IPL’s interim chairman Chirayu Amin told reporters after the meeting.
“Each franchise would get to play a minimum of seven matches,” according to another IPL source. Indications are that the teams would be split into two groups in the initial phase.
Till last season there were eight franchises who played on a home-and-away basis leading to 56 matches in the league phase, followed by two semi-finals, a 3-4 placing match (played only in IPL-III) and a grand final – making it a total of 60 matches.
With two additional franchise teams added to the fray, Sahara Warriors of Pune and as yet unnamed Kochi franchise, a continuation of the home-and-away format would mean a total of 94 matches which the Council members did not find feasible.
The IPl GC on Sunday decided that a total of four players can be retained by each (original) franchise, which includes a maximum of three Indian players. The players’ auction would be held in the second week of November.
Amin said that each franchise would have a cap of 9 million dollar to spend at the next players’ auction but this amount would get reduced with retention of players.
“The franchises may have only half their money in hand if they decide to retain all the four players to spend during the new players’ auction,” he explained.
At the inaugural players’ auction held here in February, 2008, each franchise had 5 million dollar to spend. Another 2 million dollar was the cap for the second auction held in Goa and for the third auction, held again in Mumbai, each franchise was allowed to spend only 750,000 dollar.
The Council also proposed minor changes in the catchment areas of the various franchises. The decisions have to be vetted by the BCCI’s AGM on September 29.