It's now official. The IPL will be a 10-team tournament from the 2022 season, with the BCCI inviting bids for the two new franchises on Tuesday. Interested bidders will need to buy the tender document by October 5, after which the IPL will carry out a technical evaluation before selling the two franchises.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the minimum bid price for each of the new franchises will be INR 2000 crore (USD 270 million approx) and that there are six cities in the fray including Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Guwahati and Cuttack. It is learned that successful bidders will own the new franchises for perpetuity.
While it announced the launch of the bidding process on Tuesday, the BCCI did not reveal details such as whether bids would be made via sealed envelope or an e-auction, and by when it would unveil the two new franchises.
The BCCI pointed out that any interested bidder is allowed to pick more than one bid document, which costs INR 10 lakhs, but would be allowed to own only one franchise.
While the decision to add two new franchises was finalised by the IPL Governing Council on Monday, the BCCI has been contemplating the move for the last two years. At its annual general meeting in December 2020, the BCCI got the approval to do so from its members - the state associations.
How will having 10 teams affect the IPL on the field?
The 2022 edition will not be the first time the IPL will comprise 10 teams - that already happened a decade ago after the Pune Warriors and the Kochi Tuskers were added to the original roster of eight franchises in 2011. It has been confirmed that the tournament format will follow the 2011 model, which scrapped the simple home-and-away format, and included a total of 74 matches.
In the 2011 edition, the 10 teams were split into two loose groups, and the tournament comprised 70 league matches and four playoff games, with all the teams ranked in one composite league table. During the league phase, every team played the same number of league matches, which was 14.
Each team played the other four in their group both home and away (eight matches), four of the teams in the other group once each (four matches, either home or away), and the remaining team in the other group twice, both home and away. A random draw decided the composition of the groups as well as who played whom across the groups once and twice.
The last time more than eight teams played in the IPL was in 2013, when nine teams took part and played a total of 76 matches.
The last time the BCCI conducted bidding for new franchises was in 2015 when the Rising Pune Supergiants and the Gujarat Lions replaced the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals, who were both suspended for two years from the IPL.
The Sanjeev Goenka-owned New Rising consortium picked Pune as the base for the Supergiants while the Delhi-based mobile phone manufacturer Intex chose Rajkot as the Lions' home venue. New Rising and Intex had bid INR -16 and -10 crore respectively as per the reverse-bidding plan the BCCI devised to get two new franchises temporarily for two seasons. Under the reverse bidding, bidders were encouraged to pit a sum lower than the base price of INR 40 crore set by the BCCI. This meant the BCCI would pay a maximum of INR 40 crore from its central revenue pool to the new owner. The investor who bid the lowest price would eventually bag the ownership rights.