The Indian Premier League’s mid-season transfer window — introduced for the first time this season — closed shut without a noise earlier this month with none of the eight teams choosing to trade players.
In its 11th season, IPL had made a provision for teams to trade players. According to the rules, though, only those players who had played less than two matches after Match No 28 were entitled for a transfer. Uncapped players from a team were also eligible for a transfer, provided both teams, along with the player, agree to the transfer. The window was to be open for a duration of 12 days — from 30 April to 11 May.
According to a report in mid-day, one of the biggest reasons for the window flopping was franchise owners being wary of team plans leaking if they sent players to other teams.
"Ideally, an uncapped player is part of a franchise from the pre-tournament preparation phase. He is part of most team meetings and is virtually aware of the plans put in place to defeat opponents. They are also closely aware of the strategy adopted by the franchise. So, in such a scenario, a franchise may be reluctant to release the player to another franchise when technically only eight games are remaining in the league stage," a team official told mid-day.
While the concept of transfer window has always existed in football leagues around the world, BCCI was hoping it could be a game-changer for the 11-year-old IPL.
Speaking to CricketNext website, a senior BCCI official had said, "This is a first and could be an interesting twist to the tale as often we have seen that youngsters have been picked in the IPL by franchises, but they don’t get an opportunity to play. But this window can help some teams who have had misfiring capped players, going for some of the youngsters who have the potential to change course of games."
That the transfer window came and went without anything changing may come as a surprise to some, primarily given the fact that the concept was given a thumbs-up by some players and couches.
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene had said: "This is the evolution for the franchise model going forward. It's a great option. The opportunity is there and it's quite new to all franchises to go through the season half-way and discuss how best we can address that."
Meanwhile, MI captain Rohit Sharma had added: "The mid-season transfer window will give the teams an opportunity to see what they need in the squad and other teams will also be looking at what players they can get. It completely depends on the franchise if a situation comes when we need to get a player or give a player. It is good for the tournament and will add even more value to the tournament."
Of course, even when it was announced there were concerns about the concept of the transfer window in the IPL.