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Modi looks to expanded the IPL in 2011

The Indian Premier League(IPL) is all set to expand its footprint in the country from the next season onwards.

The tournament will be played in twelve venues across the country, four more from the current eight, in IPL 3. And thatís not it ó two new teams will be added to the tournament in IPL 4, Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner of the IPL announced on Tuesday.

The four new venues, Nagpur, Vishakhapatnam, Ahmedabad and Dharamshala, have been added as home venues for Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, respectively. Meanwhile, the tender for the two new teams will be floated by December this year and the auction will take place in January 2010.

This is done to give the new owners enough time to set up a team and participate in the auction process for IPL 4 for new players, Mr Modi said. The IPL has also added slots for three more official partners, three associate partners and a orange cap and purple cap sponsor. To increase and diversify the tournamentís revenue streams, a tender will be floated for theatrical rights and master licensee for merchandising and licensing.

Another important area where changes have been made is the strategic time out (STO) which was introduced in the second season. The STO was largely seen as a strategy to increase the number of advertising slots for the broadcaster, Set Max.

The STO has been limited to five minutes in each innings, from the earlier 7.5 minutes, with two breaks of 2.5
minutes each. The first break has to be taken between overs 6 to 10 at the behest of the bowling team captain while the second will be between overs 10 to 16 at the behest of the batsmen at the crease.

The transfer window, the period during which players can be bought or sold between teams, for the third season will open on December 15, 2009 and close on January 5, 2010. The rules will remain the same as for IPL 2. Last seasonís transfer window did not see any big transfers.

The IPL will also be recruiting more members to its team in the legal, broadcast, tournament, operations, marketing and research and accounting departments.

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