IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy, Image Credits: Twitter
BCCI is contemplating calling an owners’ meeting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises sometime next month and one of the key points of the meeting agenda is to unveil Plan B for the next IPL 2022. The 2022 season of IPL will be a ten-team affair after the addition of two new teams – Lucknow and Ahmedabad, who are making their debut in the lucrative league.
With the country seeing a rapid increase in the number of Omicron cases lately, the BCCI is understandably concerned about the Covid-driven health hazards nationwide in April or May, when the IPL is scheduled. The BCCI is likely to discuss all the scenarios with the owners. However, it is learned that the option of going back to UAE, seemingly, is off the drawing board.
IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

BCCI To Call Franchises Meeting To Unveil Plan B For IPL 2022 If Covid-19 Omicron Cases Increase In April-May When IPL Is Scheduled

The original plan for the league — to kick off on April 2 in Chennai — is to hold the games normally on a home-and-away basis if there is no deterioration in the Covid situation in the country. The alternative plans will be activated if the situation warrants it.

In the absence of a solid Plan B, BCCI had to halt the last edition of IPL 2021 midway in May when the country was hit by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Eventually, it had to move the entire bandwagon to UAE four months later.

“The meeting will be mainly introductory in nature with the BCCI on-boarding the owners of the two new teams – Lucknow and Ahmedabad. They are also exploring the idea of holding the whole tournament just in Mumbai and Pune or in the Gujarat cities of Ahmedabad, Baroda, and Rajkot if the Covid/Omicron situation worsens.”

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

“The owners will be apprised of the alternatives as well as things to look forward to in the mega auction,” multiple franchise officials, who have spoken to the BCCI over the last couple days, say while confirming that the board is not considering UAE, where most games of the last two seasons were held, as an option.

Tentatively the BCCI is planning to hold the mega auction in the second week of February, probably around the weekend – for two days between February 10-13. Kochi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Delhi are on the shortlist and the venue will be finalized based on the availability of hotels. Given the wedding season, finding a suitable venue has not been easy.

BCCI is planning to hold the two-day mega Indian Premier League auction on February 7 and 8 in Bengaluru, a senior BCCI official said. It could well be the last mega auction that BCCI might conduct as most of the original IPL franchises want it to be discontinued.

Vijay Dahiya Appointed As Lucknow’s Assistant Coach Joining Gautam Gambhir And Andy Flower

Meanwhile, one of the most widely discussed points in the BCCI, of late, has been the status of the new Ahmedabad franchise. The immediate response from those who are privy to the developments is that the matter with CVC Sports, the firm which bought the franchise, has been settled.

But a formal communication has not gone to the new teams, Lucknow included, authorizing them to start negotiating with the players. Each team can sign up to three players but they also have the option of not signing anyone and going to the auction with an entire purse of INR. 90 crore.

Vijay Dahiya
Vijay Dahiya (Image: Twitter)

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Lucknow franchise announced the appointment of Vijay Dahiya as an assistant coach, which this website recently reported.

“I am delighted and grateful for the opportunity given to me to work with the Lucknow IPL franchise,” Vijay Dahiya, a former India stumper, said.

Vijay Dahiya joins his Delhi colleague Gautam Gambhir (mentor) and former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower (head coach) in the support staff of the team. The Lucknow team is part of the RPSG Group, owned by Sanjiv Goenka. Lucknow is one of the two new teams that will take part in IPL 2022. Ahmedabad is the other new franchise.

Lucknow franchise won the bid for the new IPL franchise in October last year, after offering a bidding amount of over Rs. 7000 crore to BCCI.

The 48-year-old Vijay Dahiya has represented India in 2 Tests and 19 ODIs as a wicket-keeper batsman. Vijay Dahiya is the current coach of the Uttar Pradesh team. He has earlier worked as assistant coach of Kolkata Knight Riders, the team with two-IPL titles in their kitty. He also served as a talent scout for Delhi Capitals in the past. He was also the head coach of the Delhi Ranji team.

So far, a total of 27 players have been retained by the existing 8 teams in their squad. They consist of 19 domestic players and 8 foreign players.