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IPL III – IPL third edition to kick off on March 12, 2010

Four new venues and a third place playoff match will be introduced in the third Indian Premier League which will get underway in Hyderabad on March 12, 2010 with a game between IPL II winners Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders.

The final of the 45-day Twenty20 cricket league, which proved a huge success in its first two editions in India and South Africa, would be held on April 25, IPL Chairman Lalit Modi announced after a meeting of its Governing Council here on Tuesday.

IPL III will have four additional match staging centres – Nagpur, Vishakhapatnam, Ahmedabad and Dharamsala – and will also stage one extra match, the 60th, for the third place play-off, Modi said.

“The playing window remains the same, 45 days”, Modi said before adding that the Governing Council also decided to include two more franchisees in IPL IV to be held in 2011.

“There would be 94 games in all with each franchisee playing 18, instead of 14 preliminary phase games. But the window would remain more or less the same,” Modi said.

The four additional venues would host matches featuring Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals, Modi said.

“Nagpur would host some matches of Mumbai Indians, Vishakhapatnam of Deccan Chargers, Ahmedabad of Rajasthan Royals and Dharamsala of Kings XI Punjab,” he said.

Modi also said the IPL decided to allow players who have switched allegiance from the Indian Cricket League to the Cricket Board by taking advantage of the latter’s amnesty scheme provided the BCCI Working Committee approves this move in its meeting here on August 13.

“Provided the BCCI Working Committee approves this, the salary cap for such players who have returned from the rebel league has been fixed between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 20 lakh except those who have played internationals who would have to be auctioned off,” he said.

The salary cap for each franchise also remains the same at USD seven million as well as the number of foreign players (10 in all and four in a playing XI), Modi said.

He said the new trading window would open from December 15, 2009 to January 5, 2010 and all other conditions would remain the same as last year.

Modi said there is a change in the strategic time-out that was introduced in IPL II and received mixed responses from players and critics. They have been reduced from 10 minutes to five.

“The time-outs are mandatory with the bowling team mandated to utilise the first time out lasting 2.5 minutes between overs 6 and 10 and the batting team the second between overs 11 and 16,” the IPL chairman said.

“We have finalised the entire schedule of IPL III eight months ahead,” he declared.

Modi also made it clear that players contracted to their country’s boards for one year cannot just refuse to sign the contract when offered to them the next year in order to play in the IPL.

“A contracted player in the previous year will have to get an NOC from his home board to appear in the IPL. We want to plug this loophole and to maintain the sanctity of international cricket,” Modi said explaining that such cases have come to the fore.

From IPL-IV, to be held in 2011, Modi said the icon player status enjoyed by some players currently would not be in existence.

“There won’t be an icon player from IPL-IV,” he said. Modi expects a franchise team to represent a city from Gujarat from IPL-IV because of the level of interest shown in IPL I and II by that state’s cricket lovers.

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