The Board of Control for Cricket in India surprised a lot of people including the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises after it announced that it plans to launch a mini IPL in September 2016. While the BCCI has not released a lot of information regarding the mini IPL, it has confirmed that it will most likely be held overseas and run for a period of two weeks.
The BCCI had debated the possibility of introducing a mini IPL due to the fact that the Champions trophy has been done away with. While an overseas location has not yet been fixed, the BCCI is looking at a number of locations including the United States. All eight IPL franchises will take part in the two week tournament.
In a statement, an IPL franchise official who wished to remain anonymous said “Champions League earned franchises half-a-million dollars as appearance fees every year and in turn, franchises had to pay their players 10% of the IPL fee per season if the team qualified. The entire operations were also managed by the BCCI, logistics included. Is it going to work on the same lines or any different, we have no clue.”
Most Cricketing Boards do not have any cricket scheduled during the month of September and this is one of the reasons why the International Cricket Council (ICC) was contemplating of introducing a once in two years World T20 championship. However, the BCCI has also decided to take advantage of this down period in Cricket with the introduction of a mini IPL.
The initial announcement of a mini-IPL received different responses from fans on social media platforms. While some where happy to once again see their IPL franchises compete in an overseas location, many cricketing fans expressed shock that a second IPL tournament was going to be held in the same calendar year. A saturation of IPL matches might just end up in too much IPL cricket being played and suffocate fans. The best way to gauge the success of the mini-IPL will be to look at TPR ratings once the tournament is finished.
There has been no reaction from players participating in the IPL about the introduction of the two week tournament. A number of international players have complained over the years about fatigue due to the amount of cricket they play. The mini-IPL will continue to add to their stress and it will be interesting to see if all of the top IPL overseas players turn up for the mini-edition.