The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to welcome two new teams on board. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has pitched in six new cities- Guwahati, Ranchi, Cuttack (all East), Ahmedabad (West), Lucknow (Central Zone), and Dharamsala (North) — for sale on Monday (6 September). The board has considered all the factors and business opportunities while finalizing the six cities.
There is not an official confirmation as to when the auction will be held but if the reports are to be believed then it is tentatively scheduled to take place next month. A budget of 2000 crores has been fixed as the base price for the six new teams. The BCCI’s main aim is to zero in on two new cities, which predominantly speak Hindi as their native language. It wants to maintain a pan-India balance and subsequently earn new followers from that part of the region.
Mostly in India, the Hindi-speaking audience follows and consumes sports a lot. As per the data, which was provided to BCCI, the audience of the Hindi-speaking region is huge compared to other regions. Also, according to data generated by Cricbuzz a staggering 65% viewership of more than four billion minutes of the IPL coverage on Star networks have come from the Hindi-speaking crowd. Hence that is one of the main reasons why the BCCI has shortlisted the six Hindi-speaking cities.
With Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, and Sunrisers Hyderabad being teams from the South, the BCCI has taken a conscious effort to include teams from other Hindi-speaking regions from India.