The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking to further explore the Hindi-speaking market through the introduction of the two new teams which will be added to the Indian Premier League (IPL) expansion for the IPL 2022 edition.
An office-bearer of the BCCI confirmed to Cricbuzz that the move is to correct the pan-India balance of the league. Keeping the current distribution of teams and business opportunities in mind, the BCCI has put up six cities- Guwahati, Ranchi, Cuttack (all East), Ahmedabad (West), Lucknow (Central Zone), and Dharamsala (North)- for sale.
The process of finalizing a date for the auction of the cities is expected to take a month atleast and the base price for the new team has been fixed INR 2,000 crores per team, as the tender floated by the BCCI last month.
The IPL expansion plan is not exclusive to any particular region but the BCCI has not included a southern city for the franchise auction for other reasons too. Kochi is still a disputed city thanks to the ongoing legal litigation with now-extinct Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
Vishakhapatnam has not been included as there is already one Telugu-speaking city in the IPL in Hyderabad. With three teams — Chennai Super Kings, Royals Challengers Bangalore, and Sunrisers Hyderabad — the IPL has more representation in the south than any other region.