James Fiztpatrick | cricket20
During today's IPL Governing Council meeting in Mumbai the council agreed to plans which would see the league expand by two franchisees in 2011.
A base price of $225 million was set for each expansion team which means interested parties will have to spend twice as much money as Reliance Industries did when they brought the Mumbai franchise in the first team auction in 2008.
And at a time when there is economical uncertainty it is a bold move by the council to set the base price four times higher then it was in 2008 especially considering the next two markets the IPL wants to move into will almost certainly be the smallest markets in the league with Ahmedabad and Lucknow favorites to attract teams.
The move to expand the league as been discussed by the council a number of times over the last 12 months, the plans were agreed at a franchise meeting in Bangkok during the summer where 7 out of the 8 teams voted in favour of league expansion.
The increase in teams will also heighten fears over player burn out with 94 games schedule to be played in a 10 team league in 2011 opposed to just 59 in the first two seasons of the IPL.
Lalit Modi, Commissioner of the IPL made the announcement today after the Council meeting at which Modi was backed by the council after rumors of his impending sacking was leaked out.
"Somebody's fertile brain came up with the idea that Modi is being removed as the IPL Chairman and a conspiracy is being hatched among myself, my secretary and treasurer and Farooq Abdullah" said BCCI President Shashank Manohar.
"I am very sorry to say that the picture being painted by the media people in their news reports and in their channels are absolutely baseless and false. Lalit Modi is doing an excellent job as the IPL Chairman and Commissioner."