BCCI to Suggest IPL Games in Neutral Venues

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The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) is now planning to explore the opportunity of placing two IPL games per team in neutral venues from the upcoming season onwards. The topic was discussed in the sports body’s Annual General Meeting in Kolkata on Saturday after a few state associations suggested the matter. They want the board to request the IPL teams to consider playing in two different venues.

In the meeting, following BCCI’s suggestions to the state associations to develop their infrastructure, a few associations brought the topic to the forefront that they have the required infrastructure but are not getting enough games. According to the board’s present rotation policy, every association gets at least one international match every three years. However, the number of international venues in India is currently as many as 24 which is why some of them get fewer matches.

According to a BCCI official, “A small association hosts international games every three or sometimes four years. The BCCI wants each association to build their own stadium and infrastructure. A few state associations argued that they have built stadiums and are not getting any competitive games. It will be better if the BCCI decides to have IPL games in these smaller venues too so that they can get some revenue at the same time generate interest [among the locals].”

It is not uncommon in the IPL to play in the smaller venues as teams like Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings have played in venues like Raipur and Ranchi respectively.  However, the associations want this to make it mandatory as two new franchises are joining the IPL roster from the next season.

A state association member told, “There will be 10 IPL teams from next season. If these ten teams decide to play two games each then 20 matches can be played in a neutral venue. It will help states to generate revenue and at the same time, help state associations too. The Indian board has informed us that they will look into it and speak to the IPL franchise.”  

Notably, BCCI has formed a committee headed by a retired Chief Justice to investigate CVC Capital Partners’ acquisition of the new franchise after its link to a sports betting company, Tipico, came into the light recently.

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