The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) intends to bring the Hindi-speaking regions through the Indian Premier League (IPL) expansion from the 2022 season. According to Cricbuzz, the summit of the Indian council is aimed at correcting the balance between India and the cash-rich league.
To keep the zonal imbalance on track, the BCCI has shortlisted six cities offering two new franchises. These cities are Guwahati, Ranchi, Cuttack (from the eastern region), Ahmedabad (from the west), Lucknow (from the central zone) and Dharamsala (from the north).
The date for the auction has not yet been set, but the process is expected to take place soon. A base price of Rs 2000 million has been set for the new teams.
According to the available data from the BCCI, the consumption of sports in the Hindi-speaking regions is the largest among all regions. This can be understood by the fact that as many as 65 percent of viewers of the four billion minutes of Star Sports’ IPL coverage in 2020 came from the Hindi region. Evidence of this was recently shown when Sony Ten 3 – the Hindi language channel of Sony Pictures Network – emerged as the number 1 sports channel in the country.
For the continuing series India-India, 50.7 percent of viewers are for the Hindi sports channel (Sony Ten 3), compared to 10.6 percent for Sony Six (English) and 0.4 for Sony Ten 4 (Tamil and Telugu ).
Furthermore, the BCCI had no city in the south, simply because there are already three teams – Chennai Super Kings, Royals Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad – represents the southern region.
Currently there are two franchises from the northern area, ie Delhi Capitals and Punjab kings and one each of east and west – Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, respectively. While the season one winner Rajasthan Royals, falls below the central zone.