The player auction for the 2023 Indian T20 league is likely to be held in mid-December, with 16th December suggested as a tentative date, although no venue has yet been named. The BCCI have confirmed as such to the various franchises in recent informal discussions.
Although dates for the 2023 season have not yet been firmed-up, it is expected to start in the fourth week of March. It has also been confirmed that, after several years of disruption caused by Covid precautions, the 2023 version of the tournament should more resemble the pre-pandemic format.
Normal format restored
Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the league has either had to be played either wholly (2020) or in part outside India (2021) or in restricted venues (2021 and 2022) due to the prevailing travelling and other health restrictions. However, according to the president of the BCCI, the 2023 version of the tournament will return to its old format, with franchises playing each other on a home and away basis.
That means that all ten teams will be able to play their home matches at their designated venues.
It looks now as if the long wait for a women’s version of the Indian T20 league is almost over.
A time slot has been reserved in the calendar for 2023, and more details are expected to be released shortly.
The Indian T20 league has been lagging behind other tournaments in this regard. The Australian Big Bash League has had its own women’s tournament for years, whilst the Caribbean Premier League introduced it this year.
Meanwhile, the Hundred in England features both men and women’s teams, who often play on the same day against the same opponents in double headers.
India has been trialling their own three-team competition – the Women’s T20 Challenge – and that has proved to be a big hit with the fans, with excellent viewing figures recorded.
There is also likely to be considerable crossover, with a number of the existing men’s franchises expressing interest in owning women’s teams.
It is also hoped that the introduction of the competition will have a knock-on effect in raising standards generally, and making the Indian national team an even greater force than they already are in the world game.
The launch of the new league is likely to be confirmed after approval is given at the BCCI’s AGM next month.
This year the salary purse for the auction will be INR 95 crore, an increase of 5 crore from last year.
As a consequence, each team will begin with a minimum of INR 5 crore, a figure that they can increase by releasing players or trading them ahead of the auction.
The window for making transfers or trades will remain open for one week before the auction and then reopen again after it is concluded.
One name mentioned as a possible trade is Ravindra Jadeja – whose freak injury has just ruled him out of India’s World Cup plans. He is reported to have fallen out with his existing franchise, the Chennai Super Kings, and so bad have relations got apparently that there has been speculation he might be released altogether or traded.
A swap with reigning champions Gujarat Titans for Shubman Gill has been rumoured, although both franchises have been categorical in their denials.
Number of games
There are likely to be 74 games in 2023, which is the same number as this year.
The same number is scheduled for 2024, but, after that, the league will expand, with the two years following featuring 84 matches, and, by 2027, there could be as many as 94 games. To accommodate these extra matches, the league will also increase in length, and last two and a half months.
And the number of franchises will also increase from tern to twelve, with no shortage of likely candidates when the time comes. 2022 already proved how expansion franchises can have a positive impact on the league, with Lucknow Super Giants making the play-offs in their first season, whilst the Gujarat Titans went on to win it.
Now all the franchises will be using the player auction to try and ensure that they have as competitive a roster as possible ahead of the new season.
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