India's IPL to be expanded from 2011

MUMBAI: The Indian Premier League will have more teams and more matches from 2011, but next year's edition in March-April will have just one additional game, organisers said on Tuesday.

The third edition of the popular Twenty20 tournament will be held from March 12 to April 25 next year with a play-off for the third and fourth places added to the existing 59 matches.

The 2010 edition, featuring the world's top players in eight teams owned by rich businessmen and Bollywood stars, will end just five days before the World Twenty20 opens in the Caribbean on April 30.

The tournament will be expanded to 10 teams from 2011, IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI).

"There will be 94 games in all with each franchise playing 18 preliminary matches, instead of 14 games as in the past," PTI quoted Modi as saying in reference to the 2011 edition.

"But the window of 45 days would remain more or less the same."

The 2009 event was held in South Africa in April-May after the Indian government declined to provide security because the tournament overlapped with general elections in the country.

The first two days of the 2010 IPL will clash with the final stages of field hockey's World Cup to be held in New Delhi from February 28-March 13.

The International Hockey Federation had originally scheduled the World Cup from March 7-20, but brought the tournament forward to ensure it was not overshadowed by the IPL.