Finally some sense is prevailing with respect to IPL. With the increase of teams from 8 to 10, it was expected that with the home and away format there would be 18 matches for each franchise and thus 90 league matches plus 2 semis and final and 3rd place thus making it 94 matches for the 4th season of IPL, to be played in April-May 2011.
94 matches would have been a bit too much with IPL season going almost 6-7 weeks and in the month of May in India, with the hot weather, it would have been deadly for the players involved. Of course the team franchises wanted the format to remain that way as more the matches, more the revenue for them, more advertising money, more stadium receipts, more television money. Some players were against it but did not speak much in the press for the fear of backlash from the franchises, after all the big auction is coming up in October 2010. Of course ex-IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was all for more matches. Now that Lalit Modi is absconding and no longer relevant, the governing council is taking wiser steps.
The governing council is meeting on August 20 to decide upon all these issues. The format would be revised to have 5 teams in each group who would play each other on home-away basis thus making 40 matches and thenthey would play 1 match with teams from other group, thus making 25 matches and totaling 65 matches for the league stage. Add 4 more matches and it would be 69 matches totally with each team playing 13 to 15 matches maximum.
There are chances that there would be a cap on no. of matches each Individual player, especially International players, would be allowed to play and would be limited to 12, but this is yet to be confirmed. Also on the cards are auction related rules which are not yet final and would be decided only after the Champions league matches in September 2010.
Lets hope IPL emerges as a strong brand after all the controversies in the previous season and we have a great tournament.