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Mini IPL likely to be postponed until next year - Reports

A lack of time in the playing calendar and prospect of a less-than-profitable telecast deal are touted as the main reasons.

Rajeev Shukla India Cricket BCCI
IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla sounded rather dull when he talked about the prospects of the mini IPL taking place in 2016

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) efforts to stage a mini IPL featuring all the eight teams sometime around in September 2016 looks to have reached a dead end with the Mumbai Mirror reporting that the tournament is only likely to begin next year. 

The feasibility of the project, which is the brainchild of senior BCCI official and current IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla, has always been in question considering a lack of availability in the tight domestic schedule during that time of the year. With the BCCI confirming its earlier plan to hold the Duleep Trophy matches, which will also be played in  September, under floodlights, the possibility of a mini IPL was always going to be a bare minimum.  

With prominent international stars also expected to be unavailable, getting a lucrative telecast deal in place was always going to be a concern and it is now understood that the BCCI will instead focus its efforts on procuring the best available deal for the 10-year period which begins from the 2018 edition of the IPL. They are banking on a bidding war between the two leading sports broadcasters in the country – Sony India and Star Network India –  to achieve sky-high prices for the tournament which enjoys a crazy following in India. 

Though nothing has been announced officially, the report states that a meeting, set to be attended by the top officials of the BCCI and IPL franchise owners, that had been scheduled for the second week of July in Mumbai, has been called off. 

"The meeting has been put off indefinitely. So there is a message there," a franchise official told Mumbai Mirror on Friday night, indicating that the tournament will not be taking off just yet. 

Also read: Reports: UAE and North America are possible venues for mini-IPL 

It has also been reported that BCCI chief executive officer (CEO) Rahul Johri IPL met Rajeev Shukla during the former’s visit to the BCCI office on Friday afternoon and conveyed the decision of the majority of the board members to postpone the mini IPL by a year. Though Shukla himself didn't categorically reveal any decision regarding the mini IPL nor details of his meeting with Johri, he did sound rather dull about its prospects. 

"There is no doubt there is not much time but we will take a call once secretary Ajay Shirke comes. We will have a meeting in Delhi soon," the IPL chairman said. 

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