Keeping the benefits of the game and the spectators in mind, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come up with a decision to advance the start time of IPL games starting from the playoff matches. The three playoff matches along with the Final match of IPL 2018 will start from 07:00 pm IST. Just the start time of the matches is changed and not the scheduled date of play.
“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 play-off games and the final will start an hour earlier. So, instead of the 8pm start, the games will start at 7pm,” said Rajeev Shukla, IPL chairman.
“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 added.
From the beginning of the first season, all the IPL matches are scheduled to start at 08:00 pm IST. If it is a double header, the first game would start at 04:00 pm IST with the second game starting at 08:00 pm IST.
Before the start of the IPL 2018 season, it was rumored that Star Sports has proposed scheduling the 4:00 pm IST match at 05:30 pm IST and advancing the timing of 8:00 pm IST match to 07:00 pm IST. The franchises have shut down this earlier proposal though.
“We wanted to start the games early from the beginning, but some of the franchises didn’t agree to it. They especially had a problem with them on weekends, which generally have a double header scheduled. The playoff stage has a single game on the day and we can start at 7 pm so that the people who come to the ground can enjoy the match and also reach home on time,” Shukla added.
With a 7:00 pm start now, the matches are expected to end by around 10:30 pm IST. If this move becomes a success, BCCI, franchises along with the broadcasters will come to one final opinion that benefits all the parties including fans.
** Photo credits to Hindustan Times