In 2008, India the country of chai and cricket got sucked into a game changer called IPL. Since then Indian cricket has never been the same again. The Indian Premier League (IPL) a franchise-based professional Twenty20 cricket league between eight teams representing cities of India, has won the hearts of millions of cricket enthusiasts not just in India but worldwide. It is only in 2020, that the IPL has skipped its schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in India. The IPL 2020 season has now been shifted and rescheduled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19 to November 10, 2020. Having said that, it’s time to go shop for your favorite IPL merchandise from, Amazon Snapdeal, Flipkart, the Souled Store, or even from the home grounds of the teams and get into the spirit of cricket. The countdown begins!
The Start of Something New
IPL was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on April 18, 2008, to promote cricket in the younger generation.The franchise based Twenty20 cricket competition came with a different format than the existing test matches then. Lalit Modi who was the Vice –President of BCCI and the mastermind of the tournament, laid down a format similar to the Premier League of England and the American NBA. In this format, the league would be managed by a seven-member governing council comprising of former India players and BCCI officials who would also lay down its Code of Conduct. He also worked out the prize money, franchise revenue system, and squad composition rules. With funding provided by Zee Entertainment Enterprises then, the first matches played in Delhi became a roaring success with Rajasthan Royals taking the cup home. Since then they have been played every year between March and May. The only change in the format since the launch is that the top four teams in the IPL 2020 points table play the ‘Playoffs’ instead of the semi-final and finals.
Initially, the IPL format did not go down very well with the die-hard cricket fans and some even termed the game as slam-bang. But since then the game has gathered a huge fan following and also presented a perfect opportunity for fearless batsmen to prove their game skill in a short format. It gave a new lease of life and fortunes to cricketers like R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Sharma, and Yusuf Pathan who were on the brink of oblivion.
Fun Facts of IPL
- Vivo IPL Cricket trophy is a player holding a bat in his hand covered in gold leafing. (Although Vivo has pulled out its name from sponsorship this year) Next to the player is a map of India. The map has all the names the IPL teams engraved and symbolized by eight rubies.
- In 2019, the IPL Brand was valued at INR 475 billion (USD 6.7 billion).
- The IPL teams conduct auctions to recruit new players. More fun than national selections it ensures every player gets his worth.
- The current IPL title holders are the winners of 2019, T20 tournament – Mumbai Indians.
- The IPL is the most attended cricket league in the world. In 2014 it ranked sixth by average attendance among all sports leagues.
- 60% of the tournament’s income comes from its sponsors. 50% of the total sponsorship revenue is distributed among all the franchises.
- 60% of the broadcasting rights revenue is distributed among franchises by the BCCI. Star India currently holds the rights which is worth INR 16,347.5 crores.
- As per BCCI, the 2015 IPL season contributed INR 11.5 billion (USD 160 million) to India’s GDP.
- Royal Challengers Bangalore holds the record for the highest (263/5 against the Pune Warriors India in the 2013 IPL) and lowest totals (49 runs all-out against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017).
- Chris Gayle is called the ‘King of IPL’ having scored 326 sixes.
- Rajat Bhatia with 95 appearances has the most matches in the IPL among the “Uncapped” players. Has represented teams Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, and Rising Pune Supergiant.
- The only player from a losing team to have won the title ‘Man of the Match’ is Anil Kumble of Royal Challengers.
- In the history of IPL only two Indian players Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli have won the Most Valuable Player award. The Aussies won 4 times – Shane Watson (twice), Adam Gilchrist and Glenn Maxwell.
- In 2020, Super Kings topped the Fan Score with an overall 4.83, while Mumbai was second with 3.27, and Knight Riders came third with 2.89.
1. Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Chennai Super Kings is the franchise cricket team from Chennai, Tamil Nadu led by everyone’s favorite MS Dhoni the Captain. The prominent players include Suresh Raina (Vice Captain), Francois du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja, Shane Watson, Harbhajan Singh, and Kedar Jadhav. Suresh Raina holds the record for most runs (5369), Most centuries (2) and Harbajan for most wickets taken (150). The team has won 3 IPL Titles (2010, 2011 and 2018) and been 4-time Runners Up. The team owner is N. Srinivasan (India Cements) and the principal team partner is Muthoot Group. Their other sponsors include SEVEN, Gulf Lubricants, CT Fibernet, NOVA, Hello FM among other merchandise sponsors. Chennai Super Kings was banned for two years, i.e. 2016 and 2017 seasons for the betting activities indulged into by one of its key officials, Gurunath Meiyappan.
2. Delhi Capitals (earlier called Delhi Daredevils)
Founded in 2008, the team has players like Ricky Pointing and Virender Sehwag. The team is co-owned by Parth Jindal (JSW Group) and Kiran Kumar Gandhi (GMR Group). Sadly, this team is known for being the worst IPL team it has been mostly on the second last or last positions at the Points Table.
3. Kings XI Punjab
The team which hosts its home games at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali is jointly owned by KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited (Preity Zinta), businessman Ness Wadia, Mohit Burman and Karan Paul. They had their most successful season in 2014 finishing at the top of the table with 11 victories out of 14 matches under the captaincy of George Bailey but overall an under-achieved run. The team is led by Ravichandran Ashwin and has moderately good players like KL Rahul (659 runs) and Andrew Tye (24 wickets).
4. Kolkata Knight Riders
A team that that boasts with the biggest fan base is none other than KKR owned by Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Jay Mehta, Red Chillies Entertainment. It has 829K Instagram followers, 91K YouTube subscribers and 4.1M followers on its Facebook page. It is backed by Mukesh Ambani’s Jio as the main sponsor. It is currently led by the wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik. KKR has won two IPL titles (2012 and 2014). Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik are the team’s most prominent players.
5. Mumbai Indians
The top-ranking team Mumbai Indians are the most successful franchise in IPL history with four titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. They have a huge following On Instagram (4.1 million), on Twitter (5.5 million), Facebook (13 million), and YouTube (421K subscribers). Who does not know the theme song Duniya Hila Denge. The team boasts of the best bowler and leading wicket-taker in the history of the IPL Lasith Malinga also fondly called ‘teacher’ who helped his ‘pupil’ Jasprit Bumrah become India’s (or probably the world’s) best death bowler. The team is led by Captain Rohit Sharma and owned by Nita Ambani, and Akash Ambani (Reliance Industries).
6. Rajasthan Royals
With the logo of two ‘Rs’ back to back with trumpeting lions on either side it is difficult to miss the royals. This team is co-owned by Misha Hathiramani (44.2%), Manoj Badale (32.4%), Lachlan Murdoch (11.7%), and Shane Warne (3%). When team Captain Steven Smith leads the team in their home ground Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur it looks like a sea of pink swaying to Halla Bol. This year RR signed a deal with the world ‘Expo 2020’, Dubai, to be their title sponsor. However, due to the coronavirus the Expo is now rescheduled and the global mega event will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.
7. Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore was founded in 2008 by United Spirits. It has none other than India’s favorite cricketer Virat Kohli, as their Captain. Unluckily, even under such a brilliant cricketer the team has not managed to win a single title in the IPL. Looks like with United Spirits it has lost its spirit too.
8. Sunrisers Hyderabad
Nicknamed SRH, the team was founded in 2012 by Kalanithi Maran, an Indian Media baron. Sunrisers Hyderabad replaced Hyderabad Deccan Chargers in 2012 and played the first T20 in 2013. The team shone in 2016 when the captain David Warner led from the front to clinch the IPL Trophy. But David Warner got entangled in the sandpaper controversy and was forced to step down for Kane Williamson to lead. Popularly known as the “Orange Army”, the team has over a million followers on Facebook and Twitter combined.
Current Governing Council
The following are the members of the IPL Governing Council:
- Mr. Brijesh Patel, Chairman
- Mr. Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI, Member
- Mr. Arun Singh Dhumal, Honorary Treasurer, BCCI, Memb
- Mr. M Khairul Jamal Majumdar, Member
- Mr. Surender Khanna, Member (ICA representative)
- Ms. Alka Rehani Bhardwaj, CAG Nominee, Member
What’s new in IPL 2020?
For the 8 franchises competing in IPL 2020, BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly, has announced three new changes,
- For the first time in the history of IPL concussion substitutes will be introduced at IPL 2020.
- Third-umpire checking front-foot no-balls will be introduced in this thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League. The umpire and use of latest technology will help to decrease the workload of the on-field umpires.
- All-Stars game to be played three days before the inaugural match of IPL 2020 and hereafter to be continued every year before the start of the tournament.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) which is one of the richest T20 leagues in the world, has become a forerunner paving the way for other T20 leagues like the Bangladesh Premier League, Caribbean Premier League, and Big Bash League. T20 is a game played against the best cricketers in the world in packed stadiums being watched by millions on TV in 16 different countries. It has changed the entire cricketing landscape. There is money, there is fame. From cheerleaders, to stars and starlets, anyone can have a moment in the sun. In 2010, the IPL gained the distinction of becoming the first sporting event in the world to be broadcast live on YouTube.
But all that shines is not gold. Over the years, the IPL has faced credibility crisis, with players accused of spot-fixing and owners accused of betting on their team’s matches. But in spite of these allegations, the IPL cricket matches continue to be a favorite sport among Indian public and cricket fans worldwide.
Chai, Cheer, and Cricket continue to live on…