The Indian Premier League (IPL) is among the most followed cricketing event across the globe and the BCCI is set to take the cash-rich tournament to a different level next year.
While the lucrative competition will have 10 teams from the 2022 edition, a report published in Cricbuzz suggests that the BCCI has zeroed in on the potential cities for the two new franchises.
As per the report, the BCCI intends to take the IPL to two new cities in Hindi-speaking regions to keep a pan-India balance. For the same, the Indian board has shortlisted six new cities namely Guwahati, Ranchi, Cuttack, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Dharamsala.
It is worth mentioning here that the board has already invited tenders for two new teams and a base price of Rs 2000 crore has been fixed. The auction process is expected to be finalised by next month.
The primary reason why BCCI is looking to exploit the Hindi market is the popularity of the game in Hindi-speaking regions.
According to the data, accessed by Cricbuzz, 65% viewership of the four billion minutes of the IPL coverage of Star Sports in 2020 was from the Hindi region. In fact, 50.7% of viewership is coming from the same region in the ongoing India-England Test series.
As far as the Southern region is concerned – Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad are the three existing franchises. Kochi could have been another potential city but with the pending litigation with the now-extinct Kochi Tuskers franchise, BCCI hasn’t considered it. Visakhapatnam has not been considered as well since there is already one Telugu-speaking city in the IPL – Hyderabad.
As of today, there are two IPL teams from the north zone – Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings – and one each from east and west – Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians respectively. Jaipur, the home city of Rajasthan Royals, falls under central zone.