Match timings will be in focus during the Indian Premier League governing council meeting on Monday. Also Read - IPL 2021: RCB Superstar Glenn Maxwell Looking Forward to Learning From 'Good Friend' Virat Kohli
The official broadcaster Star Sports has been demanding that the match should start at least half-an-hour earlier to improve ratings apart from giving more exposure to the sponsors and an early wrap up to the proceedings meaning the crowd at the stadium can leave earlier as well. Also Read - IPL 2021: Punjab Kings Write Letter to BCCI Asking Why Their Preferred Venues Weren't Allotted Matches
In the past two seasons, the demand was rejected with the exception of playoffs that have started an hour early than the general timing of 8:00 pm IST. But for the upcoming season, Star has been demanding that the matches should get underway by 7:30 pm IST. Also Read - IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals COO Reveals Reason Behind Releasing Steve Smith
The issue, as reported by The Times of India, hasn’t been discussed with any IPL franchise so far but will be a hot topic on Monday.
However, those who want to continue with the traditional start timings argue that the dew factor and office-timings will have a negative overall impact. “Dew is a big factor under lights and an early start will give one team more advantage than the other. Crowds in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore need time after wrapping up work to reach their respective venues. Even in an 8pm start, stadium begins to fill up only by 8.30pm. More importantly, cricket can’t be compromised for TV ratings,” TOI quoted sources in favour of 8 pm start.
Another topic that will come up for discussion is whether IPL should have nine or 10 teams from the next year onwards. BCCI wants to add two new franchisees but it seems only one team can be added as of now considering the window on offer for the cash-rich T20 league.
The schedule for the upcoming season will likely be finalised which has been delayed after Rajasthan Royals’ request to play few of their home matches in Guwahati (Assam). “Security concerns need to be addressed too (in Guwahati). The schedule is ready,” the daily quoted sources as saying.