Amin to meet franchise heads on June 24
The BCCI has called the ten IPL franchises for a meeting on June 24 in Mumbai, ending a brief communication lull. The significance is that the franchises will finally get the opportunity to get acquainted with Chirayu Amin, the league's interim chairman, after the BCCI suspended Lalit Modi on April 26.
The letter, a copy of which is with Cricinfo, was sent on June 8 and addressed to "the owners of the franchises" by N Srinivasan, the board secretary. Without elaborating the agenda, the brief communiqué read:
"BCCI President, Shri. Shashank Manohar and Interim Chairman IPL, Shri. Chirayu Amin desire to meet the owners of the IPL franchise to discuss matters pertaining to the IPL." Also attending the meeting are Ratnakar Shetty, the board's administrative officer and Sundar Raman, the IPL's chief operating officer.
Even as the BCCI top brass got immersed trying to sort the IPL mess after Modi's suspension, the franchises, especially the original eight, were anxiously waiting to hear from the board about the way forward.
At the moment, most franchises Cricinfo spoke to are keen to understand what Amin and co. have in mind regarding the player auction, how many players each team can retain and the total number of matches from IPL 4 after the addition of two more teams.
"Most would expect a road map, what is going to happen here on," a top official from one of the franchises, who did not want to be named, told Cricinfo. "We don't even know what will happen." But, according to him, invariably most franchises would read their demands from the same sheet.
"Player auction, central revenues, the retention of players, the sponsorship avenues - these would top my list and I reckon most others would want to know the same," the official said. Central revenues comprise the monies that come from the broadcasting revenues, the title sponsorship, and other avenues like the the MRF blimp. Till last year, each team received 10% of the central sponsorship, with 20% going to the IPL. "We are worried if that will change for the third season," another franchise official said.
Another important issue likely to be discussed is if the number of matches scheduled to be played from IPL 4 needs to be reviewed. A total of 94 matches were slotted originally, an excessive workload - critics have pointed out - which could endanger the players' fitness and add to the stress. In fact, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, a member of the IPL governing council, voiced concerns about the relentless schedule and the IPL workload, after India were knocked out of the ICC World Twenty20 in the Super Eights for the second year in a row.
Interestingly the matter is already being discussed by the board officials internally. According to a top BCCI official, the IPL governing council will study a proposal which recommends the teams being split in two groups, with a total of 68 matches. It is understood that the IPL governing council will meet in Mumbai on June 25, the day after meeting the franchises.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo