Indian Premier League

IPL looks to add 2 new teams for 2021

Rohit Sharma (Getty)
Rohit Sharma (Getty)

The Indian cricket board will discuss adding two new teams to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world's richest T20 event, at its annual meeting this month, officials said on Thursday.

Delayed three times this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the latest IPL was finally played behind closed doors in the United Arab Emirates but still drew record television and digital viewer numbers.

Arun Dhumal, treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), confirmed to AFP that adding two teams to the eight-team league was on the agenda for the 24 December annual meeting.

"We will discuss it with the members and see what their views are and then take a call," said Dhumal.

The IPL has an estimated brand value of $6.8 billion and some of the games this year drew more than 200 million viewers in India alone.

The teams spend huge amounts to bring the world's best players for the tournament traditionally held between March and May.

India captain Virat Kohli is said to have earned $2.3 million playing in 15 matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Australian bowler Pat Cummins was the most expensive foreign player, costing Kolkata Knight Riders $2.1 million.

According to reports, Indian conglomerates Adani Group and RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, which entered Rising Pune Supergiant for two IPL seasons, have shown interest in the new teams.

Also on the agenda, seen by AFP, will be the BCCI's stand on including cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

The International Cricket Council favours pushing for cricket to be an Olympic sport but the Indian board, the most powerful as it is the wealthiest, has been reluctant.

Cricket featured at the 1900 Olympics and was part of the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Women's Cricket will be part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

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