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June 8, 2008
Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, has said franchises will be allowed to trade players before the 2009 season gets underway. He added that the season could welcome more innovations, including that of the orange neon ball.
"There will be a transfer window open early next year just ahead of the 2009 season to enable franchises trade players and bring in the ones they require," Modi told PTI.
Following a highly successful opening season which concluded last week, Sharad Pawar, the Indian board president, had ruled out Modi's proposal to conduct two IPL seasons in a single year, owing to the busy international calendar. Modi agreed that the Future Tours Programme (FTP) made it difficult to implement the plan and that it could be possible only after the 2011 World Cup. The first season lasted 45 days, though several international stars only made brief appearances for their franchises, owing to national commitments.
"The second season as of now is a very distant possibility and will not take place definitely until after the 2011 World Cup, given the FTP commitments of the Test playing nations," Modi said. "By then, I firmly believe, the IPL would have already established itself as a major event and carved a niche for itself on the international cricketing calendar."
Looking ahead to the second season, Modi said the existing innovations will continue and that the use of the orange balls - to help players sight the ball better under lights - will be approved only after trials.
"One of the innovations to be introduced next year would be orange neon ball," he said. "This would, however, depend on how successful the trials of the same are.
"This year we already introduced the Orange and Purple Cap innovations (for the top run-getter and wicket-taker respectively) and the Kingfisher Team Fair Play award and will look at continuing with this tradition of innovation in the subsequent leagues."
Modi said he was overwhelmed with the success of the league so far. "The TRPs that we have garnered in India are quite frankly staggering to say the least. And all this is because we have had some of the best cricketers from around the world. Frankly I could not have envisaged a more successful inaugural season than this year."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.