Two new franchises are set to be added next season but despite the increased number of matches, the Indian Premier League will not run beyond seven weeks as extending it would “hurt other forms of cricket”, says IPL chairman Lalit Modi.
“We are going to have the current limitation (in the IPL’s duration), and we are happy to live with that. Then (if we make it a longer tournament) you are going to starting to hurt the other forms of the game,” Modi said.
“We chose the window specifically to be off-season in India, April-May are typically off season in India … I don’t think we are going to be able to change that,” he added.
The IPL will have 94 matches in the 2011 season but Modi said the tournament will only be 51 days long.
“It’s (next season) only over seven weeks instead of six, it’s over 51 days instead of 46, we have done the scheduling, we just have to announce it.”
Modi reiterated that Test cricket remains a priority for the BCCI.
“Test cricket is our bread and butter which people don’t understand, we are never going to compromise on Test cricket,” he said.
“When I talked about, you know, (how) we have to do something about Test cricket, it’s in the other countries that Test cricket is going down. In India, our ratings are going up, we have been tracking that year by year, in fact, we get paid highest for Test cricket,” Modi said.
Modi also defended the financial clauses put in place for buying new IPL franchises despite the fact that the stringent rules kept some interested parties away from the auction.
The auction ultimately had to be put off till March 21 and new tenders were invited for the process as no one could match the USD one billion net worth clause.
“We wouldn’t want that (clubs getting into a debt trap). When we did the 50m numbers, we projected certain revenue going forward, 80 per cent of the revenue (we earn) goes back to the franchises,” he said.
“When we did our numbers, it was on a business plan. Our business plan is already four times of what we had planned then.
“The idea is that everybody should survive and make money on it, then only can somebody grow, because of the confidence, whatever we have done, we have no regrets,” he added.