The Indian Premier League Governing Council met at the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s headquarters in Mumbai to discuss various issues ahead of the tournament next year. One of the biggest decisions they took was to have a specific umpire assigned to check no-balls after a number of howlers in the past few seasons.
The GC, chaired by former Test batsman Brijesh Patel, also discussed Future Tour Programme window, availability of foreign players, and the possibility of franchises playing friendlies abroad.
But a major non-cricket decision was the scrapping of the extravagant IPL opening ceremony. The pre-tournament function used to typically be organised like a Bollywood awards night or a concert, with international performers like Akon and Katy Perry as well as acts by Indian actors.
The convention was to have an opening ceremony a day before the first match where the captains of the teams used to present as well, with events like signing the Spirit of Cricket pledge and so on.
“The opening ceremonies are a waste of money. The cricket fans don’t seem to be interested, and the performers have to be paid a lot,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
The ceremony was not held in the last edition as well, as the Committee of Administrators decided to allocate the money set aside for it to the families of the CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama terror attack earlier this year.
In 2018, the BCCI has decided that the six captains of IPL franchises barring Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, won’t need to attend the opening ceremony because it was held before the first match and was logistically impossible for everyone to attend.