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Trust the Indian Premier League (IPL) to stay ahead of the spectator-interest curve by reinventing itself. The BCCI’s Twenty20 cricket league reportedly plans to raise the game’s unpredictability quotient. Next year, IPL may introduce the concept of a Power Player. Under this, teams need not name their playing eleven before a match, but must announce a 15-member squad. A Power Player from the squad may be brought in as a replacement at any stage of the game after the fall of a wicket or the end of an over. This would allow dynamic decisions in real time and add an element of surprise, which, in some ways, is what sets T20 cricket apart from other formats anyway.

Since its inception in 2008, the league has done all it can to keep audiences glued, borrowing ideas from other games and creating new rules for the purpose. It has a strategic time-out, for example, a break of play for teams to rework their strategies. A Power Player now could make the IPL ever more exciting. Imagine a team in need of 20 runs off the last over, with a slightly injured pinch-hitter suddenly summoned from the team’s dug-out just to whack the ball to victory.

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