The 12th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which begins on March 23 will start at the usual prime time slot of 8 pm (IST).
There were speculations over the matches being scheduled earlier and start at 7 pm, however, the head of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), Vinod Rai on Thursday clarified that there won’t be any changes in the match timings.
There will not be any changes in the afternoon games as well, which are usually played on weekends. These games will start at 4 pm (IST), which will be followed by night matches which will begin at 8 pm.
“We welcome BCCI’s decision to retain the match timings. Like last year, we wanted the games to have an 8 pm start. This time, we were not yet approached by the BCCI regarding match timings but we were eagerly awaiting its decision,” a team official told PTI.
Last year, IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla said that the timing for the playoffs and final was preponed to 7 pm keeping in mind the fans who have to travel back home from the stadium late in the night. He added that the early start will benefit students and office workers who have to wake up early and cannot watch late night-matches on TV.
“The IPL is what it is because of its fans and the tournament has over the years been followed avidly both on the ground and on television at homes. So, keeping the interest of the fans in mind, it was decided that the playoff games and the final will start an hour earlier. So, instead of the 8 pm start, the games will start at 7 pm.
“It gets difficult not only for those at the stadium but also for those watching on television as students and office-goers also need to get back to their respective stuff next morning and it helps if the game starts an hour earlier,” Shukla had said last year.
However, the BCCI has decided to stick to the 8 pm start for the league stages this year with most franchises making their aversion to the 7 pm start clear ahead of the meeting with IPL governing council.