CHENNAI: THERE were whispers. Things crystalised after Thursday’s BCCI working committee meeting at Dharamsala. There will be a shorter version of IPL at an overseas venue in September. Eight teams will take part. Format is yet to be finalised.
Scrapping of the Champions League T20 in 2015 left a vacant slot in the ICC calendar. The BCCI wants to use this window, which also gives them a chance to explore markets abroad. Because players of most countries will be free in that period, it appears to be a good time to hold the tournament as well. “Doing away with CLT20 leaves us with a slot that is unoccupied. Before anybody else cashes in on it, we wanted to take this opportunity of launching an overseas league. It gives us a chance to see how it goes in a new market,” a member of the BCCI working committee told Express on Thursday.
Although the member said the destination is yet to be decided, it has been learnt that other than the US, Singapore and UAE are among options. Sources said board officials have had words with authorities in the US in this regard after the success of last year’s Cricket All-Stars featuring retired stars.
While all eight teams that participated in this year’s IPL will take part, the new tournament will not have teams playing each other twice. “At best, the duration of the competition will be 15-20 days. So it won’t be a double leg, round robin event. It’s possible that the teams will be divided in to two groups, like in CLT20. The format has to be worked out,” added the working committee member. Unlike the CLT20 — which was owned jointly by the boards of India, Australia and South Africa — the mini IPL will be a property of the BCCI. Asked whether the other boards would be consulted before BCCI makes use of the window on the ICC calendar, the member said this won’t be a problem. “If need be, there will be discussions.”
If the tournament is held overseas, teams will have to spend an additional amount of money. There will be logistical matters also. To discuss all that, the IPL governing council is expected to meet franchise representatives soon. “Details will be available after the teams present their views,” added the member, who didn’t wish to be identified.