New Delhi: The IPL governing council will meet in Mumbai on Friday and on top of their agenda is a move to reduce the number of matches in IPL 4.
CNN-IBN has learnt that the proposal to play 94 matches in the tournament has effectively been tossed out of the window. The 10 teams will now be divided into 2 groups of 5 teams each. Each team will play the other in their own group on a home and away basis, this will take the total number of matches in the first stage to 40.
In the second stage of the tournament, each team will play once against each other every team from the other group. This will add another 25 matches to the original 40.
On the basis of points accumulated from these two stages the top 4 teams will qualify for the semi-finals. The losing semi-finalists will play a third place match and the total number of matches as per this formula is 69, just 10 more than the 59 played in the last season.
Former Indian captains – Sunil Gavaskar, MAK Pataudi and Ravi Shastri, all Governing Council members are believed to have come out with the number with specific inputs from other members of the council.
There is also a move to restrict India’s centrally contracted players to 12 games each, given the complaints about the hectic schedule of the national team.
But the new proposal won’t be easy to pass, the two new franchises are believed to be miffed at losing out on four games, since the number of matches for each side were to be 18 when Kochi and Pune had won the bid. Though CNN-IBN has learnt that there is a suggestion that both teams could be compensated for losing out on their four matches, it is unlikely to break the ice with them.