That's on IPL Governing Council's agenda for tomorrow's meeting in Hyderabad
The newly formed Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council chaired by Rajiv Shukla will meet in Hyderabad tomorrow to discuss a wide range of issues relating to the fifth season in 2012.
IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla.
Top on the agenda of the GC would be finding ways of accommodating players from the now defunct Kochi franchise among the nine existing teams. With representatives from all franchises to attend the meet, GC members would put forward options, and ask if sending players into the auction would be a viable option.
10th IPL team?
IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said that a decision on a possible tenth team would be taken at the meeting and would in turn decide the fate of the Kochi's players. "We will be discussing the cancellation of the Kochi franchise. If 10 teams are playing, then Kochi players who are already contracted will go there. But if nine teams are playing, we have to explore other options like the auction," he told MiD DAY yesterday.
It returns for the first time since 2009 and is likely to be opened between December and January. It is learnt that Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians were particularly keen on its return during the last GC meeting in August. It can be recalled that Robin Uthappa (Mumbai) was directly traded with Zaheer Khan (Bangalore) during the trading window before the second IPL season.
With a host of English players finally ready to break the mould and play the IPL, the GC will be discussing the logistics behind January's mini auction. It is unlikely that there would be a repeat of the 2010 mini auction when the players' final bids were not disclosed. It'll be a regular auction with lesser number of players, with their base prices likely to be finalised by December.
With few teams unhappy with last year's format which divided teams into two groups, and BCCI President N Srinivasan reportedly keen on the tournament going back to the home-and-away format, it is highly likely that the number of matches are increased in IPL-5. IPL-4 had only 74 matches compared to 94 matches in earlier seasons. This didn't sit well with the franchises and broadcasters, and the BCCI itself is keen on going back to the old system.
Pakistan cricketers, who haven't played in the IPL since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, are most likely to be given an NOC for participation by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Though Rajiv Shukla maintains that it will be up to the franchises to take a decision on IPL players (whether to buy them or not). It can be recalled that no Pakistan player was sold in the auction held in January 2010. The likes of Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Amir, the Akmal brothers, Umar Gul and Co found no takers. The BCCI said at the time that "it was a mere coincidence" that they went unsold.