IPL 2021: Here's why last two league matches will start at the same time on October 8

BCCI announced the decision on Tuesday evening.

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni
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Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

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BCCI, on Tuesday (September 28) evening, announced that the last two league matches of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) will start at the same time. According to the earlier schedule, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad were set to face each other at 3:30 PM IST on October 8 (the last day of the league stage). On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore were to lock horns against Delhi Capitals in the evening game.

However, after the latest announcement, both the matches will commence at 7:30 PM IST and will be played concurrently. The decision left many surprised as it will be very much cumbersome for the fans to follow both matches simultaneously. Also, the BCCI didn’t give the exact reasoning for taking such a step only a few days before the scheduled games.

According to ESPNCricinfo, the suggestion to run both matches parallely was given to the BCCI by the IPL broadcaster, Star. It has been understood that this is a trial run for the Star ahead of the next season when 10 teams will be participating and more double headers are expected.

Last time 10 teams played in the IPL was in 2011 and as many as 74 matches took place then including four playoff games. Also, in 2013, nine teams took part and with each side playing the other twice, the tournament stretched to 76 matches. The 2022 season will see 10 teams playing again and there is a possibility of 74 matches format returning and after the latest step from BCCI, we might well see matches running parallely if all goes well for Star on October 8.

BCCI to announce two IPL new IPL teams on October 25

Meanwhile, BCCI also confirmed on Tuesday that they will be announcing two new franchises on October 25 when the T20 World Cup will be in progress as well. The ESPNCricinfo report also revealed that there are six teams in the fray including Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Guwahati and Cuttack. It remains to be seen who will finally make the cut to feature in the cash-rich league next season.