BCCI to decide on number of matches in IPL-IV

Mumbai: The Governing Council of the Indian Premier League is meeting here tomorrow to finalise the number of matches to be held in the 2011 edition of the Twenty20 League and approve the accounts of IPL-III.

The Cricket Board’s marketing committee would also meet tomorrow to decide on the series sponsors for Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals for the period 2010-2013.

Telecom service providers Airtel and Idea Cellular, along with handset manufacturers Karbonn Mobile and MicroMax, are in the fray for securing the series sponsorship rights, BCCI said.

The third meeting scheduled for the day is that of the BCCI’s finance committee.

While eight teams were in the fray in the first three editions, the highly popular IPL will feature 10 teams from the next edition after addition of Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi franchise.

Sources say the organisers may go for a shorter edition in terms of the number of matches.

“Playing 94 matches is not possible especially in the months of April-May-June when IPL-IV is to be held. May be we will go for 73-74 matches in all,” they said.

According to sources, pruning of the duration of the Twenty20 league is inevitable with media reports claiming that a key member of the Indian team management has written to the BCCI to cut down the team’s schedule to avoid player burnout and injuries.

BCCI secretary N Srinivasan has denied receiving any such letter but IPL, to be held soon after the conclusion of 2011 World Cup, may opt for a new format.

“A three-member committee comprising of former cricketers Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri has been formed and they will give their opinion. There are 3-4 different opinions. We will finalise it during the meeting,” sources said.

The IPL meeting, however, is unlikely to take any decision on the contentious issue of retention of players when the grand players’ auction is held.

With two new franchises that of Pune and Kochi entering the fray, there are different views about how many players - Indian and foreign - could be retained by the original eight franchises.

According to sources, that process “will be done after the Champions League (from September 10-26) and the auction will take place after October or November.”

The BCCI’s marketing committee will tomorrow open the financial bids received from the four corporates for sponsorship of Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals in India for 31 months beginning this September.

Ten corporates responded to the tender but only the four telecom firms submitted the bids before the 5pm deadline today, Srinivasan said.

“The reserve price has been fixed at Rs two crore per match. A total of ten bid documents have been purchased (at Rs 2 lakh each),” BCCI’s CAO Prof Ratnakar Shetty said.

The Board has debarred agencies, including those engaged in audio-video production services of live cricket, from participating in the bidding or representing any corporate entity in the process.


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