In a first, the final two matches in the league phase of the IPL will start simultaneously. As per the original schedule, the league phase was scheduled to end with a double header on October 8. In the morning match, starting at 11 am UAE time, Sunrisers Hyderabad were scheduled to face defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi while the evening match, starting at 6 pm UAE time, would see Royal Challengers Bangalore play Delhi Capitals. Now both matches will begin at the same time on October 8, at 6 pm local time.
The last time IPL was a ten-team event was in 2011, when there were 70 league matches and four playoff games. The last time more than eight teams played in the IPL was in 2013, when nine teams took part and played a total of 76 matches.
Two new IPL franchises on October 25
The IPL Governing Council, on Tuesday, also decided to unveil the two new franchises on October 25. The deadline to submit the bids was recently extended to October 10. It is learned that about 11 bidders had bought the tender document so far. The BCCI has set the minimum bid price for each of the new franchises in the region of INR 2000 crore (USD 270 million approx). There are six cities in the fray, including Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Guwahati and Cuttack, with successful bidders owning the new teams for perpetuity.
The BCCI has also decided to issue a tender for the IPL media rights for the next cycle (2023-27) on October 25. The IPL media rights are the most lucrative property in cricket. In 2017, Star India paid a record 16,347.5 crore (US$ 2.55 billion then) to bag the consolidated IPL rights - both television and digital worldwide - for the 2018-22 seasons.
Back then the BCCI has put the bids for seven categories: television in India, digital in India, and rights for the USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the rest of the world. For the five international markets, the bids included both television and digital rights.
This article was edited for accuracy at 5.29am GMT on September 29, 2021