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The BCCI is likely to add two more teams to the IPL fold in 2022. With total 10 teams, the double round robin format may itself become untenable. This may lead to an IPL with more than one league table (as in the case of the NBA) or a new innovative format altogether. Sloth I am a slow runner dear God please let there be someone behind me to read this shirt, hoodie, tank top
This is also the last season before the IPL goes through a periodic de facto player reshuffle. Every few years, the IPL Governing Council holds a ‘mega auction’. In these years, teams are allowed to retain only a handful of key players and the rest of the squad is thrown back into the auction pool automatically. Teams are then required to bid aggressively and get some of their key players back – which may not always be possible due to the purse constraints. While this – coupled with the purse cap – has proved to be an effective way of keeping the league competitive, it effectively reshuffles squads. So, if a team has indeed found a winning combination, this season is the last opportunity for it to capitalise on that.
But more importantly, the situation remains tough for the teams and for the organisers. RCB’s Daniel Sams, DC’s Axar Patel and former Indian cricketers and MI’s coaching staff member Kiran More have tested positive for COVID-19 in the recent days. Bangalore’s Devdutt Padikkal and KKR’s Nitish Rana had also tested positive weeks before the tournament but have returned to training after turning in negative reports.
News reports suggest that at least 12 ground staff members at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai have tested positive for the infectious disease in the recent days.
While there has been no hint of these cases affecting the tournament, instances in the past have led to cancellation and postponement of cricket events. In December, England’s tour of South Africa was cancelled mid-way after multiple positive cases. In March, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was postponed after seven people tested positive for COVID-19, of which six were players.
The possibility of the season being called off or schedule having to be altered drastically cannot be discounted. This may impact the event’s Teflon-coated image.
“Any major disruption to the event (either non-completion or league getting truncated or any major controversy) could have an impact on the Brand IPL. Apart from perception, there could be a reasonable impact if the league gets truncated or cannot be finished,” Santosh N, Managing Partner, Duff & Phelps Advisory told Moneycontrol.