IPL 15: Omicron scare to bring changes in the tournament

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The year 2022 has begun on a sad note with the Covid case surging in huge numbers across the country. The spread of Omicron and the rise in cases of infection has forced the BCCI to rethink the schedule of IPL. With the cash-rich league being once again a 10-team affair, the tournament is set to be a much bigger fiesta.

The mega auction where all the franchises will look to build a stronger side around their retained players was supposed to happen on February 12 and 13. In fact, the BCCI is likely to postpone the auctions. However, the reason for the delay is not because of a COVID complication.

The new Ahmedabad franchise owned by CVC capitals is yet to receive the Letter of Intent (LOI) as investigations are underway to look into the deal.CVC Capital had pipped firm favorites Adani Group to grab the deal of acquisition of the Ahmedabad team for a whopping bid of Rs 56.25 billion (Rs 5625 crore) earlier this year.

BCCI began a probe after news broke out of CVC capitals having alleged connections with betting firms centered in the UK. Reports suggest, that investigating panel has given a clean chit to the CVC Capitals, and a formal announcement from the BCCI is on the cards. Due to this process, there might be a rescheduled auction as per sources.

“The protracted delay is only because of the efforts from the legal luminaries to find the right wordings for the fine print of the agreement and the broad consensus is understood to have been reached already. While there is an acknowledgement from all concerned that the issue is taking too much time but it is believed that the delay cannot be avoided,”A Cricbuzz report stated.

Will COVID scare lead to change in venue for IPL once agin?

Besides the mega auction, the marquee league too might face a few changes. Due to the pandemic, the league was shifted to UAE in 2020. In 2021, IPL returned to India but the horrific second wave forced the league to be postponed in the midway stage. The second leg was again played in the UAE.

In 2022, the BCCI is hopeful to stage the global cricket carnival back in India. However, COVID yet again remains a challenge for the officials. Currently, the pandemic has seen a new surge in the case and the rise of Delta and Omicron variants has compelled many state governments to impose curbs to control the spread.

Keeping the present picture in mind, the BCCI is discussing a potential backup plan. Sources claim that if the situation does not improve, then the league might be focusing on a single venue as the host. Mumbai might be the best option for the officials. The Wankhede Stadium, D.Y. Patil Stadium and the Brabourne Stadium(CCI) of Mumbai have all previously hosted IPL games in past.

Just like the ISL, to center all the fixtures in a region will be a great plan to assess the conditions. Major domestic leagues like the Ranji Trophy have already been postponed but considering the revenue earned from IPL and the craze around it, the BCCI will be aiming to conduct the league in a grand but safe way.

Lucknow side gets its offical title sponsor

The RP-SG group-owned Lucknow franchise has struck a 3-year accord with My11Circle as their official title sponsor.Raghu Iyer, CEO of RP-SG Sports said,

“We are delighted to have My11Circle as our Principal Team Sponsor. We thank them for the faith they have shown in our new franchise and are confident that this will be a winning partnership.”

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