IPL 4 schedule to be decided at Governing Council meet

After failing to take a decision on the format of next year’s IPL at its previous sitting here last month, the Governing Council of the Twenty20 league is expected to finalise the match schedule on Sunday.

When it last met on August 20, the IPL’s top decision-making body discussed only the accounts and deferred taking a final call on the number of matches for the expanded season involving 10 teams, including Pune’s Sahara Warriors and Kochi franchise.

Apart from chalking out the 2011 draft schedule, the Governing Council is also set to finalise player regulations, and approval and registration of player contracts.

It would also decide on the “catchment” areas of the two new franchise outfits, it has been learnt.

According to IPL sources, the existing format of home and away league ties followed by two semi-finals, a match to decide 3-4 places and the grand final, a total of 94 matches, could be done away with and a shortened format – featuring 73-74 matches – put in place for IPL 4.

A franchise official told PTI that most team owners would like the existing format of home and away ties – that was in force in the first three seasons – to continue.

“Franchise owners would like the same format to continue, home and away ties. That was the understanding with the franchises when the decision was taken to introduce two new teams by IPL,” he said.

A three-member committee comprising former cricketers Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri has been formed to decide on these matters.

Pataudi was absent at the last meeting because of indisposition but is expected to attend Sunday’s sitting.

It remains to be seen whether the meeting would take any decision on the contentious issue of retention of players when the players’ auction is next held.

With two new franchises entering the fray, there are different views about how many players — Indian and foreign — should be allowed to be retained by the original eight teams at the next players’ auction.

On December 17 last year, the IPL’s governing body took a decision that the original eight franchises would be allowed to retain some key players during the auction.

“Current franchises will be allowed to retain a few core members of their teams, the modalities for which are to be announced shortly. A fresh re-auction has been scheduled to take place in the third/fourth quarter of next year in time for the new franchises to formulate their squads for season 2011,” the IPL had said in a statement after the December 2009 GC meeting.

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