10-week window for IPL in draft schedule
The Indian Premier League (IPL) will have a dedicated two-and-half month window from next year as per the draft Future Tours Programme (FTP) for men’s cricket which has been forwarded to the various cricket boards for approval ahead of the ICC’s annual conference in Birmingham later this month.
The draft also lays out home-season windows for the Hundred in England and the BBL (Big Bash League) in Australia’s schedules.
The FTP outlines the international series to be played by the 12 full members between May 2023 and April 2027.
According to the draft, the IPL, which has a window from the last week of March to the end of May, will now spill over to the first week of June. This means the cash-rich league will run for 10 weeks.
The IPL, between 2014 and 2021, was played between eight teams and included 60 matches every year. In 2022 it expanded to ten teams and 74 matches.
The BCCI made it clear to the broadcasters during the sale of its media rights last month that the next two seasons will also have 74 matches each. However, for 2025 and 2026, the number of matches will increase to 84 each while a maximum of 94 matches has been slotted for 2027.
The BCCI has been pushing for an extended window for IPL since its expansion to 10 teams.
The IPL, being the world’s No. 1 T20 franchise league, was expected to get the lion’s share of the window despite protests from Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja. England is likely to have a three-week window from July to August for the Hundred.
The BBL will have a free window in January for the next four years.
The West Indies have an August-September window for the Caribbean Premier League. The advantage that IPL has over other leagues is that not many topranked players participate elsewhere.
The ICC has accepted the reality with chairman Greg Barclay saying “there’s not a lot we can do” about T20 leagues dominating the calendar. “The bit that’s getting squeezed, obviously, is bilateral cricket,” Barclay said.