Joined: 06 July 2006
What is the Indian Premier League?
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a franchise-based Twenty20 competition organised by the BCCI, and backed by the ICC. It features the world's best cricketers playing - their affiliation decided by open auction - for eight city-based franchises, owned by a host of businessmen and celebrity consortiums. The first season was from April-June 2008; the second season is scheduled to be held between April 10 and May 24 2009.
Why has the IPL generated such a buzz?
Two main reasons why. One the football-club concept of the IPL, which is unlike anything cricket has known. The best players from across the world playing not according to nationality but according to market forces. Second, the sheer financial scale of the IPL is unprecedented at this level of cricket. The BCCI made close to US$ 1.75 billion solely from the sale of TV rights ($908 million), promotion ($108 million) and franchises (approximately $700 million). There are now eight players on contracts worth more than $1 million annually. It's an entire cricket economy - and one unaffected by recession - out there.
Who are the top cricketers involved?
Almost everyone who's anyone in world cricket. The first season had Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Shoaib Akhtar, Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar and Matthew Hayden participating. England went largely unrepresented but their two biggest stars, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, will play in the second season. Pakistan's players will not be involved in Season 2, nor will Michael Clarke, who has opted to focus on regular cricket.
Who are the franchise owners - celebrities and others?
Mukesh Ambani, the Reliance Industries chairman, acquired the Mumbai franchise for $111.9 million over a 10-year period; beer and airline baron Vijay Mallya, who also owns a Formula 1 team, won the Bangalore franchise for $111.6 million; Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment won the Kolkata franchise for $75 million; the biggest surprise was the Chandigarh franchise, which went to Preity Zinta, another Bollywood star, and Ness Wadia, together with two other industrialists, for $75 million.
The teams are: Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals (Jaipur), Bangalore Royal Challengers, Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers (Hyderabad) and Kings XI Punjab (Mohali).
How are the players paired with teams?
The first player auction, on February 20 2008, had franchises bid for a maximum of eight international players from a pool of 89. Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag were given 'icon' status by the BCCI - they represented the city in which they are based. A similar, truncated process was followed in 2009, with 17 players picked.
How did the player auctions pan out?
India's ODI captain Dhoni and Australia allrounder Andrew Symonds were the big buys at the first auction in Mumbai, with the Chennai franchise buying Dhoni for US$1.5 million and Hyderabad bidding successfully for Symonds at US$1.3 million. India's young stars Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary together fetched nearly US$3 million.
Who are the IPL coaches?
The IPL has lured some of the top names in the business; the first season had three Australians, one South African and one New Zealander as coaches. Kolkata roped in former Australia coach John Buchanan and Mohali signed up former Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody, while Delhi recruited Victoria coach Greg Shipperd. Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe was the big surprise in Bangalore - he was replaced by South Africa's Ray Jennings for the second season - and Chennai bagged former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels. Hyderabad had India's fielding coach Robin Singh in 2008 and will have Darren Lehmann in 2009, while Jaipur have Shane Warne as captain and coach. Mumbai are yet to reveal their coach for 2009.
Whose idea is the IPL?
The IPL is the brainchild of Lalit Modi, the vice-president of the BCCI, and is modeled along the lines of club football in Europe, specifically the English Premier League. Though there is a school of thought that the idea came about in the 1990s, the announcement that such a tournament would happen, and which it would be a precursor to Twenty20 Champions League, cricket's version of the European Champions League, came only after Subhash Chandra, the owner of Zee Televison said, in April 2007 - soon after India's exit from the World Cup - that he was intending to start an unofficial tournament called the Indian Cricket League, fuelling speculation that is was a reactive idea rather than a proactive one.
How different are the IPL and ICL to each other?
The IPL is an official sanctioned Twenty20 tournament, and unlike the ICL, which is not recognised by any of the national boards or the ICC, it will have a better status, international reach, players, and the requisite infrastructure by default. Since the IPL is sanctioned by the ICC, players don't have the danger of bringing their international/first-class careers to a halt - as is the case with the ICL - whose players have been banned by the various boards. Another major difference is with regard to franchises - the ownership of the team rests with the individual owners and not one single entity.
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Joined: 13 April 2009
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