‘Never been a fan of two or three group thing’: Former Pakistan captain criticises new format in IPL 2022

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced the format of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which features 10 teams this year. The season sees an addition of two new franchises to the tournament’s roster; Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Gujarat Titans (GT). 

The ten teams are divided into two separate groups with five franchises each; each team will play twice against the remaining four sides in its group, once against the four sides of the other group and twice against the remaining fifth side. A similar format was also used during the 2011 edition of the tournament, which also saw ten franchises taking part.

However, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt insisted that he had never been a fan of the group format in the league, insisting that a “single league format” is better.  

“I would like a single league format. Everyone plays everyone once. I have never been a fan of two or three group thing,” said Butt on his official YouTube channel.

“There are more number of teams, though, so let’s see how it pans out.”

The entire 15th edition of the IPL will be played in a bio-secure environment in the western state of Maharashtra from March 26. Mumbai will host 55 matches in three stadiums in and around the city, while Pune will host the remaining 15 league games which means air travel will not be required for the league’s 10 franchises.

“The venue for the playoff matches will be decided later,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement a day after the IPL governing council meeting.

The governing council considered air travel “a major threat for the spread of COVID-19 infection,” he added.

The entire 2020 edition and the second half of last year’s competition were held in the United Arab Emirates following a surge in Covid-19 numbers in India.

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