The much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) transfer window, scheduled to open on December 15, has now been postponed for a week due to the Mumbai attacks.
The terror attacks delayed the opening of the window because IPL officials got busy sorting out the Champions League time table – which eventually didn’t work out – and didn’t get enough time to respond to some of the queries of the franchisees.
On top of that, franchisees got the consent form as late as December 9 and understandingly had little time to work out their list of players who will be up for transfer.
Sources said that before the window opens, the IPL and the franchises will meet on coming Monday and Tuesday in Mumbai to thrash out out a few thorny issues.
According to sources, the IPL franchises, who were quite happy with the rules and regulations of the transfer window till Friday, have now expressed reservations about a rule which says that the franchises are not permitted to talk to each other formally till they have submitted the names of the players (who have signed up the consent form) to the governing council.
This is in contrast to high profile English Premier League, where team owners generally discuss their requirements with each other before the window opens. As far as IPL is concerned, franchises will have to wait for IPL to release the names of the players interested in a transfer. “We are not stopping teams from talking to each other. We are just requesting them to follow a procedure and make sure that the transfers happen smoothly,” a top IPL official said.
But the franchisees are arguing that if a player gives his consent for transfer and doesn’t get sold later, he may become a “bad influence” in the dressing room.
The IPL team owners are not expecting too many surprises when the window opens. “If I want to trade a player who has performed in the last season, I obviously want another performer in return. No one will buy an average performer against a solid performer. Moreover, there aren’t many new faces and we don’t know what we are getting in return till we don’t talk to each other,” a team source said.
Sources also revealed that the IPL is trying to make a centralized ticketing system and also trying to ensure that fans get good facilities inside the stadiums. “In the inaugural year, the focus was on the TV viewers, but this year we want to make it a pleasant experience for the fans inside the stadiums as well,” an IPL official said.