A meeting was held between all the IPL stakeholders in London where the expansion of the league from eight to ten teams was discussed. However, this proposed increase in the number of teams will not be a first as 10 sides took part in the 2011 edition of the league when Kochi and Pune had their respective franchises.
However, there were contractual issues between Kochi and the BCCI which meant that the side could last for only one season. Also, the Sahara-owned Pune Warriors pulled out after the 2013 edition, which made the 2014 season an eight-team affair.
"We discussed increasing the number of teams but it was an informal discussion. Anyway, the teams don't have the authority to decide on the matter, the BCCI will have to take a call but we are open to the idea," a team official, who attended the meeting in London, told PTI.
'IPL expansion was discussed in the meeting'
Another official confirmed that the IPL expansion was discussed in the meeting.
"There was a discussion but it was done at an informal level. There is no concrete plan as of now on how to go about it. More teams will lead to more games which could mean a bigger scheduling window. So, all of that needs to be worked out," said the official.
It needs to be mentioned here that when Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the league, Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions were the replacements.
However, as per an IANS report, there are officials in the BCCI who wish to have all bases covered first before spreading its wings as they do not want a repeat of the 2011 drama which left the BCCI redfaced.
"They are our stakeholders and the BCCI shares a very good relationship with the franchisees. We are concerned that such opaque behaviour and casual statements and remarks by someone in the senior professional management can unnecessarily mar the trust and relation between the BCCI and the franchisees," the official said.
Considering the fiasco which hit the league in 2011, it is quite understandable that the board officials want to be extra careful and take care of all the legal and other issues before branching out. "Some people seem to thrive in creating misunderstandings in order to compensate for their lack of competence. When the time comes, we will have a sincere dialogue with the franchisees on this," the official further added.