Nagpur might form part of the extended Indian Premier League from 2022 onward. The tournament currently comprises eight teams. That number will increase to 10 next year according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Nagpur is among the cities being considered to host a team. In the past, the Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Pune Warriors, Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions were IPL teams representing various Indian cities. They are no more, but might also be vying for participation again.
Nagpur was a home away from home for the Deccan Chargers, who won the second edition of the IPL in 2009. That franchise is now defunct – and ostensibly morphed into today’s Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Current Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma was, famously, born in Nagpur. While his allegiances have since moved elsewhere, the city of his birth remains close to the hard-hitting right-hander’s heart.
Sharma has captained Mumbai to a record five titles. They are the reigning champions and are seeking a sixth IPL tournament win this season. With a wealth of local and international talent at their disposal, it’s little wonder Mumbai are again the favourites to take the title. The best cricket betting sites, including bet365 and 1xBet, have Mumbai priced at 4.0 to triumph in the IPL final again. With Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, and others at the ready in the batting order – and Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and cosmopolitan compatriots servicing the seam attack the reigning champions are entirely equipped for repeat success.
In their armory this time, too, will be leg-spinner, Piyush Chawla. He has taken the third most wickets in the history of the IPL – and might open the bowling this season. At the international and domestic level, he has plenty of experience in playing in Nagpur conditions. This could certainly come in handy if he is retained for the 2022 tournament too. “Chawla is a good cricketer, a World Cup winner who brings a lot of experience.
Spinners have a lot of pressure in this format,” said Mumbai Indians director of cricket operations Zaheer Khan. “He can bowl with the new ball. We thought if we brought in someone with that skill set, we can add a new dimension to our bowling.”
Nagpur is the 13th largest city in India as per Wikipedia and It comes with a population in excess of 2.5 million. If even a fraction of that number is garnered among the IPL’s updated viewership, the big money associated with the tournament’s broadcast rights will become even more attractive. Star India currently has all these rights. Sony, though, has reiterated they want in on the action.
“There will 100 percent be a correction in valuation. All the properties were bought at a premium and are not making any money. Everybody will have to think through that before putting any numbers on the table,” said CRO Distribution and Sports Business head, Sony Pictures Networks, Rajesh Kaul.
“The landscape is definitely going to change because I don’t think one person can buy all the rights now.” Star India won those rights, to the tune of a resounding INR 16,347.5 crore (US$ 2.55 billion), back in 2017. They are for a five-year period, which will expire after the 2020 IPL. “We believe that the IPL is a very powerful property, and we believe there is lots more value that can be created for fans of cricket and viewers through IPL on digital as well as on TV,” said Star India chairman Uday Shankar at the time.
“And we would remain very committed to make sure that the growth of sports in this country continues to be driven by the power of cricket. Even if it was slightly less we would not have got the rights. That should tell you this is the right figure.”