IPL can be have 140 matches a year, split into half: Aakash Chopra

IPL can be have 140 matches a year, split into half: Aakash Chopra

IPL can be have 140 matches a year, split into half: Aakash Chopra

Credits: Twitter/IPL

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) press and transmission rights for the next five-year cycle will be auctioned in June, with the property’s value anticipated to surge. Could the IPL grow even bigger with more matches and matchdays? It’s not out of the question.

However, this means that the international calendar may become more limited. So what, Ravi Shastri wonders. Bilateral T20 series, he believes, should be avoided, and international T20s should be restricted to World Cups only.

Read more: IPL 2022: Gujrat Titans take away a huge price money home

“Yes, absolutely, there’s too much of bilateral stuff going on in T20 cricket,” Shastri said on ESPNcricinfo’s Runorder program. “I’ve said that [before], even when I was the coach of India, I could see it happening in front of my eyes. It should go the football way, where, in T20 cricket, you just play the World Cup. Bilateral tournaments – no one remembers.

“I don’t remember a single game in the last six-seven years as coach of India, barring the World Cup. A team wins the World Cup, they will remember it. Unfortunately, we didn’t, so I don’t remember that either. Where I am coming from is: you play franchise cricket around the globe; each country is allowed to have their franchise cricket, which is their domestic cricket, and then, every two years, you come and play a World Cup.”

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On Sunday night, there was a discussion over the IPL’s future after the 2022 season ended. It lasted 65 days and featured ten teams and 74 matches. On the show, Daniel Vettori, Ian Bishop, and Aakash Chopra all agreed that the IPL would grow even more in popularity. Could it have two-month windows each year? So why not? Could it evolve into a six-month league, similar to other sports leagues throughout the world? Maybe. Could it make bilateral T20 cricket obsolete? Possibly.

Read more: Pandya tipped as future India captain after Gujarat’s IPL fairytale

As things currently stand, some international cricket is played during the IPL each year, but there is virtually always a squabble between the boards participating in these series and their players who have IPL contracts. Compromises are typically reached, though not always to the satisfaction of the players, boards, or IPL franchises, whose plans revolve around their whole pool of players.

“I actually foresee there might be two editions of the IPL in every calendar year,” Chopra said. “And that’s not too far away.”

“That’s the future,” agreed Shastri. “It could be tomorrow – 140 games, split 70-70. In two seasons. You never know. That’s the way it’s going to go. That’s the way it’s developed as a beast of a property. And you cannot hide away from that.

“You might think that’s overdose, but nothing is overdose in India. I have been sitting outside the bubble, I have been watching people, how they have seen, how they have reviewed these last few months, especially [after coming] out of Covid. And they are loving every bit of it, and they are almost having withdrawal symptoms.”

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Read more: IPL 2022 final surpasses 1992 World Cup Final in crowd attendance

Bishop and Vettori reached the same opinion. “It could well happen,” Bishop said. “You talk about American sport – I know Dan watches his baseball, I watch a lot of NBA basketball, and each team plays 70-odd games a season. There’s the All-Star break in between where they get a week off, but it is really stretched.”

While talking about the commitment of the players and the support staff, who frequently sign up for duties other than IPL, Vettori felt: “That can easily be sorted with remuneration and another window being carved out, which the BCCI has the power to do.”

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