Since over a year now, the idea of adding 2 new teams to the current 8 IPL teams has been going around in the news. BCCI delaying that decision until 2022 due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic situation around the globe. The 2 new franchises who would be participating in the IPL 2022 are Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Lucknow franchise bought by the owners of the former IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants, RPSG, by a whopping INR 7,090 Crores and Ahmedabad by Irelia Company (CVC Capital Partners) by INR 5,625 Crores. So, how this would change things in the IPL for the upcoming season 15 in 2022, which is about 6 months away.

The Format:

With 8 teams line up, IPL was played in the round robin fashion with each team playing the 7 other teams 1 match each on home & away basis. That implied 56 matches in the league stage and 4 matches in the play-offs making up 60 matches played in 50 days. Weekends featured double headers. With 2 additional teams, if the league has to be played in this format, it requires 94 matches. Would be too long and also needs to operate with a very tightly packed schedule. The last time IPL featured 10 teams was back in 2011 that included Kochi Tuskers and Pune Warriors. 74 matches were played then also. Hence, the same format would be considered for IPL 2022.

The format in 2011 involved ten teams are divided into two loose groups of five. In the group stage, each team plays 14 games: facing the other four teams in their group two times each (one home and one away game), four teams in the other group once, and the remaining team two times. A random draw was used to determine the groups and who plays whom across the groups once and twice. This format would still imply that each team play standard 14 matches with 7 at home and 7 away.

The Mega Auction:

The last mega auction for IPL took place for the 11th season in 2018. That time, they were no new teams, except that CSK & RR came back to the IPL. Most of their players from the defunct Rising Pune Supergiants & Gujarat Lions. Hence, teams were allowed to either retain 3 players and use 2 Right-to-Match (RTM) cards in the auction or retain 2 players and use 3 RTM cards in the auction. Deductions from the auction purse of INR 33 Crores if 3 players were retained and INR 21 Crores if 2 were retained. Total available was INR 80 Crores then. Currently, the available amount at the auction is INR 85 Crores which is expected to increase by a further 5 crores to cap it off at INR 90 crores.

With 2 new teams added, we may see a decrease in the overall number of players who can be retained by the existing franchises. IPL has to optimize that number so that the existing team still maintain their core team built over the past 14 seasons (like CSK & MI) while the 2 new teams can have good amount of talent to make up their squads strong enough. Interesting to see how the rules for retention would be laid this time around, which may not be that far away. Auction usually takes place in the month of January with the teams deciding on the retentions by a month early in December.

That’s the round up and update as to date on the 15th season of the IPL. Next couple of months is going to be interesting in the lead up to the mega auction tentatively in January 2022.

By MVK Chaitanya

A passionate sports lover with a keen sense on expressing the excitement of sport through words and numbers. Cricket, F1, Motorsports - 2 wheel & 4 wheel, Tennis - my favorite sports of interest, and on which my articles are written about covering the technical and sporting aspects around each of them.