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IPL 4 format agreed by Governing Council

The IPL Governing Council has met in Mumbai to discuss the format of next years Indian Premier League which gets under way on Saturday April 2nd 2011.

Having discussed the issue during the last few weeks the Governing Council has agreed that the 2011 Indian Premier League tournament will include 74 games, 20 less then expected.

"There would be a total of 74 matches in all," IPL's interim chairman Chirayu Amin told reporters after the meeting.

With two news franchises joining the league next year there were fears of player burnout but this had been addressed by reducing the tournament by 20 games.

The ten franchises will be split into two groups of five with each team playing 14 games as in previous seasons. Each team will play the other teams in their group home and away before facing the five teams in the other group.

In order to keep the number of games as low as possible a franchise will face four teams from the other group just once before playing the fifth team home and away.

During the first three seasons the eight franchises played on a home and away basis leading to 56 matches during the group stages. This was followed by two semi-finals and then the IPL final.

Last year the IPL included a 3rd place playoff which took the total number of games to 60 but with two new franchises joining the league; the total number of games could have reach 94.

The Council also discussed the format of the player auction which will take place during the second week of November. Each of the current franchises will be allowed to retain up to four players.

Each franchise will be allowed to spend $9 million at the auction; but this total will be reduced depending on the number of players each team decides to retain.

"The franchises may have only half their money in hand if they decide to retain all the four players to spend during the new players' auction," said Amin.

Should a team retain 4 players they could lose $4.5 million leaving them with just $4.5 million for the auction leaving them at a disadvantage.

Once the franchises have announced their list of retained players; the two new franchises, Pune and Kochi, will be allowed to sign up to four players from a list of players who did not take part in the previous three IPL seasons.

Should Pune or Kochi sign any players ahead of the auction, their salary cap for the main auction in November will also be reduced in a similar way to the existing franchises.

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