Thursday, February 29, 2024

‘End of 50-over cricket’: BCCI plans its next move, IPL-like T10 tournament to boost revenue streams

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning its next move. It is going to introduce a Tier-2 cricket league by 2024. The league will follow the successful format of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Moneycontrol reported citing sources.

Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, is spearheading the development of this league. Stakeholders and potential sponsors have expressed enthusiastic support. The league, potentially adopting the T10 format, aims to capture the evolving interest in shorter cricket formats, the publication added.

Several critical decisions are under consideration, as per Moneycontrol. The format debate oscillates between T10 and T20, leaning towards T10 for its brevity and excitement. The location of the tournament is another matter of debate, the publication added. Options range from a fixed venue in India to rotating global locations, enhancing international appeal and potentially tapping into new revenue streams.

A vital aspect under scrutiny is whether to impose an age limit on players. This strategy could preserve IPL’s unique position in the cricketing world. IPL’s strengths lie in its timing for Indian prime-time, participation of top-tier international players, and robust corporate backing. The BCCI must ensure the new league complements rather than competes with these strengths.

Launching this league could redefine bilateral cricket, the publication added. While iconic red-ball matches like the Ashes and India’s engagements with England, Australia and South Africa might retain their status, the broader calendar could shift towards franchise cricket.

The transition may affect global cricket dynamics, especially for boards relying on bilateral rights sales for revenue. A revenue-sharing model with the BCCI could offer financial relief, but it also raises concerns about the future of 50-over cricket.

‘End of 50-over cricket’

As several cricket boards are not financially stable, a collaboration with the BCCI may help them get back on track. “But if that happens, it could signal the death of 50-over cricket sooner than one thinks,” Moneycontrol quoted insiders as fearing.

Saudi Arabia has shown interest in this new venture, eyeing it as a boost for tourism. A travelling tournament could offer financial sustainability for the new league, representing a strategic direction for Indian cricket.

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stands uniquely positioned due to the UK’s summer months, potentially maintaining its independence in the evolving landscape.

This strategic shift by the BCCI reflects a nuanced understanding of global cricket dynamics and a vision to remain at the forefront of the sport’s evolution.

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Published: 15 Dec 2023, 02:22 PM IST

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