The Indian Premier League is one of the many major sports events worldwide that has been affected by the pandemic. Typically, an IPL season would start sometime in March to May. However, this year's season had to start in September and it is about to end on November 19.
The return of the IPL this year has made a lot of fans happy and excited. This also meant that there will be IPL next year and it might happen on its usual schedule. This is why even though the current season is barely finished, people are already preparing for next year and are already souring for an IPL 2021 betting site where they can bet on their favourite squads.
The return of the IPL was a relief for many people, especially in countries where cricket is big like in India and Australia. According to reports, this season's IPL saw a record-breaking increase in viewership that was 28% more than the last season.
The chairman of the IPL, Brijesh Patel, spoke said: "IPL has always endeavoured to provide a world-class sports event for its fans." He thanked title sponsor Dream11, which associated itself with the hugely popular league after the BCCI parted ways with its earlier partner, VIVO.
"With Dream11 coming on board as the title sponsor for IPL 2020, we are happy to see a digital sports brand like Dream11 increasing fan engagement through fantasy sport. It's equally heartening to see how Dream11 has integrated its users in all Dream11 IPL match activations. The match countdown, Dream11 Champion Fans wall, and the virtual guest box have all been brought about to bring the fans to the forefront," he explained.
Vikrant Mudaliar, the chief marketing officer of Dream11 spoke about the recent IPL. He said, "The IPL is the biggest sports event in India that witnesses extremely high fan fervour, and we are happy to see similar engagement on Dream11. Fantasy sports have increasingly become integral to fan engagement with every IPL. Sports fans are at the center of everything we do, and we have integrated our users in all Dream11 IPL match activations."
Despite the delay, this year's season of the IPL is definitely a huge success. Many are saying that sports may not be the solution to what the world is going through at the moment, but for many, this could help uplift their spirits. This is evident as many people continue to watch and support different sports events even if they are not allowed to be part of the crowd. The majority of sports events worldwide do not allow audiences yet at the moment.
Now, even if this year's season of the IPL has just concluded, many are already talking about the IPL 2021. According to reports, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might hold the next IPL in India with a full-fledged mega auction next year. No dates have been announced yet but it could be held early next year.
Some reports suggested that the board has already informed the franchise to start preparing for the mega auction which is also likely to happen early next year.
One of the franchisees involved in the IPL talked to The New Indian Express about this. They said, "The BCCI has told us to be prepared for an auction in a couple of months. Though it is not official, that they have asked us to be ready means they will go ahead as planned. Moreover, with a new team coming in, it makes sense to have an auction now rather than deferring it by a year."
There are also reports that the board is also looking for a new franchise that will join the league next year. The ninth franchise could be Ahmedabad with Sardar Patel Stadium (Motera) as their likely home stadium.
The retention policy for the upcoming mega auction is not yet clear. However, for mega auctions, franchises are generally allowed to retain three players and are given the option to use the Right To Match or RTM card for two more players.
One franchise official commented on this, saying: "The retention policy should continue even if a new team comes in because, at this stage, it won't be wise to have all players in the auction pool. Teams will have to compromise on the brand value which is built on their star players."