Ravi Shastri believes there is a possibility of soon having two Indian Premier League seasons in a single year given the format's economics and the demand created by stakeholders. He went on to explain how such a system could function with a proper season followed by a shorter knockout version.
Ravi Shastri has grabbed headlines again with another statement of his, this time speculating upon the future of the Indian Premier League. The former Indian head coach was present at the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show to talk about various topics when the issue of franchise T20 cricket came up. Of late, the discussions surrounding the topic have been raging hard in the cricket fraternity given the rumoured provisions of the upcoming Future Tours Programme.
If the various reports are to be believed, IPL will be afforded a two-month annual window for the next four years where no international cricket will be held to ensure maximum player participation. This highlights the growing importance of such leagues in the cricket landscape with the Indian tournament being the torchbearer. The competition has already held 15 annual seasons since 2008 and was the first global competition of its kind and stature. IPL expanded to 10 teams last year following the introduction of the Lucknow and Gujarat franchises, with the number of teams only expected to grow with time.
Shastri believes the way cricket is heading, soon international cricket may find limited time on the calendar due to the ceasing of bilateral matches. This may lead to the IPl having two seasons a year, a full-scale proper version followed by a mini-knockout version to generate more revenue.
"I wouldn't be surprised at all. You might have a full competition with 10 teams -- it could go to 12 teams in the future where the corridor can go from one-and-a-half months to two months. And if bilateral cricket is reduced, you might well have a shorter format of the IPL in the latter half of the year, where it's more like a World Cup format which is like a knockout after a little while to decide who's the winner," he explained.
"All that is possible and it is driven by the money and supply and demand. The demand is big for that type of format."
The future of these tournaments hinges on the FTP which will be released soon and given Shastri's knack for foreseeing where cricket is heading, the renowned expert's words might as well come true before long.