The 2017 Indian Premier League gets underway on Wednesday 5 April for the 10th edition of the hugely popular tournament, but who will be crowned this year's IPL champions?
Passion – if Indian cricket fans are to be described in one word, then this is it. Maybe that’s why, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is so eagerly awaited. IPL wasn’t the first of its kind Twenty20 league in the world but it definitely is one of the most popular.
With such popularity and fans’ support, there is no wonder that IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world ranking sixth among all sports leagues. The brand value of IPL was estimated to be close to US $4.5 billion in 2015.
The tournament had its grand beginning in 2008 when IPL was launched as a franchise based T20 league with eight city-owned teams forming the league. Over the years, the league survived political controversies and match-fixing allegations to emerge stronger year-after-year.
Eight teams – Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions – play each other twice in home and away round-robin format.
At the end of the league phase, top four teams qualify for the play-offs. The top two teams play in the first qualifying match with the winner going to the final while the loser plays the second qualification against the winner of third and fourth placed teams.
The craze for the league stems from the presence of international stars who grace IPL. Such is the popularity of the league – and the financial impact – that players all across the globe look forward to participation in IPL.
So much so that some of the cricket boards are forced to adapt their schedules to suit IPL. In an era of player power, it is the financial muscle of IPL that’s leading the charge.
It’s a cliche but IPL is a spectacle that’s getting bigger every year. With stars like Virat Kohli, David Warner, Steve Smith, AB De Villiers and Ben Stokes set to light up this year’s event, the fans are in for a real treat
This year will be the 10th edition of the tournament which was first won by Rajasthan Royals in 2008. So far, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders have won the tournament twice each.
Hyderabad won it twice too – once in its old form of Deccan Chargers and once last year as Sunrisers Hyderabad.
After the players’ auction, the market is backing Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore to go all the way this year. Having missed the title last year, the RCB are offered odds of $4.50 (bet365
) to bag their maiden title.
There’s not much to separate the other teams but Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians stands tall amongst the rest with odds of $6.00 offered on their win.
David Warner was brilliant with his captaincy last year leading Sunrisers Hyderabad to a stunning title. At odds of $7.50, they are tipped to do an encore.