IPL expands next year

MUMBAI: The third edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament will be held from March 12 to April 25 next year in a bigger format, organisers announced.

The lucrative tournament featuring the world’s top players in eight teams will have more matches than the previous two editions. “There will be 94 games in all with each franchise playing 18 preliminary matches, instead of 14 games as in the past,” IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said. “But the window of 45 days would remain more or less the same.”

The 2010 edition will end just five days before the World T20 opens in the Caribbean on April 30. The 2009 event was held in South Africa in April-May after the Indian government declined to provide security.

The first two days of the 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.