|Posted by anccricket on June 30, 2011 at 5:49 AM|
IPL 5 will have as many matches as IPL 4
Cricket followers are still catching their breath when they will be expected to take deeper breaths once more as the IPL 2012, in the IPL’s 5th edition, has been announced with a schedule that will see the seventy-four matches that it did during the IPL 4 season.
The IPL 5 season is expected to begin on the 4th of April with the IPL 5 final to be staged on the 27th of May, 2012. Although there will still be overlapping international bilateral series coinciding with the IPL 5 season for lack of an IPL window in the Future Tours Programme ( FTP ), the IPL 2012 edition will be go on within the stipulated period. It is bound to continue to raise some rather pertinent questions as the IPL franchisees may be forced to look into the possibility of having to readjust some of their player resources due to unavailability with national duties lined up.
Problems revolving around over lapping schedules and players’ priorities have dominated the headlines during the IPL 4 schedule, particularly with respect to the likes of Lasith Malinga and some of the other Sri Lankan cricketers as also, those of the West Indies cricketers such as Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and more controversially, Chris Gayle. With the West Indies yet to overlap once more, one cannot expect matters to settle down completely.
However, not only is the IPL sticking to its summer schedule but also, the IPL 5 season will see the same number of matches as the IPL 4 season – seventy-four matches to be precise. While the earlier promise of ninety-four matches made to the two new IPL franchisees, Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers Kerala, were scuttled amidst the IPL 3 controversies, it is still on the higher side which the IPL and the BCCI are unwilling to relent keeping their commercial interests in mind.
One would have thought there would have been a review of the number of matches played given that the cricket fans have been resounding in their disgruntlement of the blatant exploitation of the Twenty20 format and the sport and also, coming as it did on the back of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 where national fervor received clear precedence over club interests.
But the BCCI and the IPL governing council are sticking to their stance that the drop in television ratings was only a one off scenario and that the IPL could go on despite the fact that the 4pm slots were in particular hard to sell with fans who did not want to tied down all day to cricket, which is why the Twenty20 had become lucrative. However, keeping the franchisees’ investments in mind, the BCCI obviously could not avoid the business aspect of the sport, which means either the IPL will continue to settle into a humdrum after the high of its inaugural year or will simply have to settle for the fans who will become more picky and choosy about how much and what to view. The debates meanwhile will continue to ramble along as the IPL plans for its next venture including the Champions League Twenty20.