Thu, 19 May 2011 10:49:29 GMT | By Rajesh Viswanathan, India Syndicate

IPL-4 semi-final and final could see same opponents

Did you know the teams meeting in the first semi-final of IPL-4 could also end up playing the final? When was the last time you ever saw action replay of SF and final in any sport? Thanks to a new format, this IPL-4 could just see that happen

Play Offs

Too long and too exhausting. If this was the first impression one got from the IPL-4 even before the first ball was bowled or the first hip movement of a cheerleader, that impression is unlikely to change a whole lot thanks to a bizarre prospect right at the end of it. Given the format, which has semi-finals rechristened as play-offs for top four plus an eliminator for the lucky loser and a 'poor' winner, don't be surprised at all if the semi-final fixture reads Team A versus Team B and the same two teams face off in the title clash. This is how it works:

May 24th - Play-off A - Team 1 versus Team 2
May 25th - Play-off B - Team 3 versus Team 4
May 27th - Play-off C - Loser of Play-off A versus Winner of Play-off B
May 28th - Final - Winner of Play-off A versus Winner of Play-off C

In this case, there will be a realistic possibility that the opponents in the first semi-final (we should refer to it as play-offs before the IPL GC gets upset with us) could end up meeting again in the summit clash.

With the evolution of cricket, especially in the last five odd years, tournament formats have been often tweaked with by various national bodies and even the ICC. While on the one hand, it is quite understandable that experimentation in formats could keep the cricket-lover engrossed, it is very important to have a settled format in the long-term interest of the game. In recent years, many cricket tournaments have seen new formats and in the process tried and tested ones were given the boot.
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