Cricket is undeniably the biggest sport in India tracing its history back to 1864 when the first cricket match between Madras and Calcutta was held in the country. In 1983, the Indian national cricket team took home the 1983 Cricket World Cup title and has since won several other tournaments around the world.
Today, the Indian Premier League is the nation’s most popular cricket event where eight teams compete for supremacy in a series of matches held from April to May of every year. Cricket stars were born in these games and a lot of the sport’s best players started their careers in India.
This year, the 2019 Vivo Indian Premier League will start a little earlier due to the elections and this is everything we know so far of cricket’s premier sporting event:
IPL 2019 will start in March and will be played in India
IPL seasons usually start during April and last until May, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India or BCCI has announced that the 2019 Vivo Indian Premier League will officially start on March 23, 2019. This is due partly to the upcoming elections and the 2019 World Cup, which will commence on May 30.
Despite speculations that the games will be held in the United Arab Emirates or South Africa due to a clash of dates with the Lok Sabha general elections, BCCI stated that the event would be held entirely in India.
The IPL 2019 auction was the talk of the town
Held last December 18, 2018, the annual IPL Auction was filled with surprises, raised eyebrows and new bid records. Sam Curran, the young all-rounder from Surrey set a record bid of $1.4 million to join the Kings XI Punjab, the most expensive bid for an overseas signing in an auction yet.
Proteas T20 specialist Colin Ingram was also another surprising deal when Delhi Capitals acquired him for Rs6.4 Crore. The top pick for the auction, however, was Jaydev Unadkat who joined his former team Rajasthan Royals for Rs8.4 Crore. Varun Chakravarthy, an architect-turned-cricketer bagged the same bid for Kings XI Punjab, more than 40 times his base price.
Eight teams will still play in the IPL 2019
All eight teams from last year’s tournament will still play for the IPL 2019. This includes defending champion Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Sun Risers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals, which was formerly known as Delhi Daredevils.
The defending champions will open the IPL 2019 games in March
BCCI already released the IPL 2019 schedule with defending champions Chennai Super Kings going up against Sun Risers Hyderabad on March 23 at the M.A Chidambaram Chepauk Stadium, Chennai, Tamilnadu. If you’re a huge cricket fan or you want to stay updated with the game schedules to plan out your Indian Premier League bets, here are the next five games after opening day:
- Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals
March 24, 2019
PCA Stadium Mohali, Punjab
- Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
March 24, 2019
Eden Gardens Kolkata, West Bengal
- Sun Risers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals
March 25, 2019
R.G.I Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad, Telangana
- Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Kinght Riders
April 1, 2019
M.A Chidambaram Chepauk Stadium, Chennai, Tamilnadu
- Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals
April 2, 2019
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, Rajasthan
The IPL 2019 will follow the caravan format.
A BCCI official said that the organization is planning games covering multiple cities and with flexible dates for this year’s IPL. Steering away from the traditional home and away format, the IPL 2019 will use the caravan format to prevent any clash dates with the elections in a particular city.
Finally, the beginning of the IPL 2019 also marks the start of another season for cricket fans. One of the most anticipated matches will be the opening game between reigning champions Chennai Super Kings against Sun Risers Hyderabad where the latter will be looking to draw first blood against the team that stole the crown from them in last year’s IPL final.
The Mumbai Indians is also expected to make a huge comeback after a disappointing finish in the IPL 2018 where they missed out on the playoffs. Other teams that have good predictions from experts include Kings XI Punjab that added a lot of firepower to its team with topnotch acquisitions in the last auction and the defending champions that has always been consistent with their performance in the IPL and is aiming for a back-to-back title this year.