After the IPL 2018 teams had reportedly disagreed with the changes in match timings of the Indian Premier League, made by the BCCI and IPL TV broadcasters, Star, two IPL teams – Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) & Rajasthan Royals (RR), have come out to say that they are comfortable with the changes in timings, if not necessarily for the overlap of the matches.
As the two IPL franchises – KKR and Rajasthan Royals – have seen merit in the changes in IPL 2018 match timings, which were supposedly proposed by Star. Venky Mysore, the CEO of the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise, told Mirror,
“Look they are proposing to advance the games by 30 minutes — 3.30 pm for the afternoon games and 7.30 pm for night games. We see nothing wrong there. An early finish is in everyone’s interest. In-stadia public can go home early. It would be safe for them too. We will have an issue if there is an overlap of the games.”
The initial proposal by the BCCI & Star was to start the evening IPL 2018 games at 5.30PM, and night matches at 7PM, but after the majority of the IPL 2018 franchises came out in disagreement, some adjustments in the proposals have been made now.
Why change the match timings of IPL 2018?
The IPL 2018 franchises have now been explained that the viewership of evening IPL 2018 matches declines by 25 percent during the last hour, as the average match duration is 3 hours and 24 minutes. The evening IPL 2018 matches end after 11PM, more often than not. Another logic has been brought forth to the IPL 2018 teams that it would be difficult for the audiences present at the stadiums, to transport back home in crowded places like Delhi, Kolkata, and smaller cities like Jaipur.
As reported by Bangalore Mirror, the CEO of Rajasthan Royals said,
“We would prefer an early finish. In Jaipur, people tend to sleep early. If there are no doubleheaders, we are comfortable. In fact I have suggested that on weekends, instead of evening games, we can have breakfast games.”
Early match timings good for IPL 2018 players
The BCCI has not come out with a finalised policy on IPL match timings, but an argument has also been made that players reach hotels only by 1AM, after having finished the IPL post-match formalities. Given the busy travel schedule during the league, the players often take flight early in the morning after a late arrival at the hotel.
Early IPL 2018 match timings could give the IPL players extra time for proper rest and travel. And the biggest and deciding factor for finalising the proposed changes in IPL 2018 match timings, is that the sponsors of the Indian T20 cash-rich league don’t get required exposure during the post-match presentations, which happen around 11.30PM, by which time most of the viewers, both at the stadium and the ones watching from home on TV screens, leave.