The addition of two new teams to the Indian Premier League was approved but the details of it were left to be decided later as the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursdy held its 89th Annual General Meeting in Ahmedabad.

While the BCCI did not confirm a timeline, PTI reported that the 10-team tournament will start from 2022 and not 2021, as it was earlier thought possible in the immediate aftermath of IPL 2020.

“Two new teams will be introduced in the 2022 IPL,” a board official told PTI.

While there was no confirmation from the board in this regard, the BCCI has reportedly decided that women’s tournaments (senior and junior) along with age-group tournaments (U-23, U-19, U-16) will be held simultaneously at the time of IPL 2021 which, in all likelihood, will be held in India despite the pandemic-related concerns, reported PTI. There were also deliberations on having women’s Test matches and there could be a two-Test series in the offing next year.

The BCCI announced the key decisions taken during the AGM:

1. The Electoral Officer AK Joti announced the election of Rajeev Shukla as Vice President of BCCI. Brijesh Patel and KM Majumdar were unanimously re-elected as members representative to the IPL Governing Council by the General Body.

2. Retired Indian cricketer Pragyan Ojha, who was nominated by the Indian Cricketers Association as a player representative, was inducted to the IPL Governing Council at the AGM.

3. The General Body authorized the IPL Governing Council to include up to ten teams to the Indian Premier League. The IPL GC will work out the modalities regarding scheduling for up to 10 teams. According to ESPNCricinfo, “the board also decided to set a cap of one franchise per state. Consequently, the new IPL franchise(s) would be located in a state where no existing franchise has a home base.”

4. The General Body also decided to seek further clarification from the ICC on their proposal to include cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. It is believed that the board has decided to back the ICC’s bid for inclusion of cricket, in the T20 format, at Los Angeles but it is not clear yet what the clarifications they seek from the international governing body are. ESPNCricinfo reported that the BCCI is concerned whether they would need to give up its autonomy and become part of the Indian Olympic Association, which the members are not in favour of.

5. The BCCI increased the limit of reimbursement of insurance medical claim of retired First Class Cricketers to Rs 10 Lakhs.

6. The retirement age of the BCCI affiliated umpires and scorers has been increased to 60 years.

7. The General Body approved disbursement of funds to the ICA.

Additionally, the BCCI general body authorised the board’s office bearers to decide on the following matters:

1. Appointment of Cricket Committee, Standing Committees and Umpires Committee.

2. BCCI’s representative to ICC Board of Directors and or any similar organization. It is reported that the general body decided in favour of BCCI President Sourav Ganguly continuing as a director in the ICC Board. Secretary Jay Shah will be the alternate director as well as India’s representative at the Chief Executive Committee.

3. Setting up the new National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and the subsequent plan to establish zonal academies.

4. Decide the venues for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

5. Decide on the BCCI Domestic season 2020-’21 and form a working group in order to compensate the players, match officials and others involved in cricketing activity if they are not able to participate due to cancellation of cricket matches/tournaments owing to Covid-19.

According to PTI, it was decided that all first-class players, men and women, will be suitably compensated for the curtailed domestic season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The BCCI plans to get the domestic season underway, after several months’ delay, in January with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 championship.

Asked about the money to be set aside for this, a board official said: “The BCCI will give a lump-sum compensation amount to the state units. Now they will draw up their own list and accordingly compensate their male and female players.”

There is another school of thought to directly pay the players.

While there have been questions raised about Ganguly’s involvement with fantasy gaming app, PTI reported that there were no questions raised about the former India captain endorsing My11 Circle, which happens to be a direct competitor of Dream11 – IPL 2020’s title sponsor.

“Not a single question was asked and contrary to a particular media report, it was never a topic of discussion.

“Ganguly is legally in the clear and as far as asking questions is concerned, the BCCI never questioned erstwhile N Srinivasan after his son-in-law was arrested for alleged spot-fixing in 2013. That was way more grave,” a state unit member is quoted as saying by PTI.

(With PTI inputs)