After almost six months of wilderness and speculation, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League will finally kickstart from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates. Here are some of the most important things you must know about the tournament:
What is Indian Premier League?
The IPL is a franchise-based T20 league, which is organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India every year since its inception in 2008. The competition even has an exclusive window in the ICC Future Tours Programme.
The defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on the three-time winners and runners-up of the last season Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener on September 19 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. The tournament will go on for 53 days (September 19-November 10) and will be played behind closed doors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule has been released only for the round-robin stage of the competition.
What about the playoffs?
The venues for playoffs and the final will be announced later.
How many double-headers?
There will be a total of 10 double-headers. The afternoon games will start at 15:30 IST (14:00 UAE time), while the evening games will commence at 19:30 IST (18:00 UAE time). The first of 10 double-headers will be played on October 3 (Saturday) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals.
Bangalore, Rajasthan, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad will play three day games each, while Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab will be involved in two day games each.
What are the venues for the tournament?
A total of three venues will be used for the league-stage of the showpiece event. The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi will host 20 encounters, while Dubai and Sharjah will play host to 24 and 12 matches respectively.
This is the third time IPL is being hosted outside India. The entire 2009 edition was played in South Africa, while in 2014, the first 20 encounters were held in the UAE.
Where to watch?
The IPL will be broadcast on the Star Sports network. You can also watch it live on the Disney Hotstar app.
How do the teams progress from the league stage to the playoffs?
Every franchise will play 14 encounters each and the top-four teams will qualify for the playoffs, while the remaining four sides will be knocked out. The top two teams from the league phase will play against each other in the first Qualifying match. The winner will qualify for the final, while the loser will get yet another chance to make it to the final.
The third and fourth-placed teams will be involved in an Eliminator and the winner will take on the loser of the first Qualifying match in the second Qualifier. Then, the winner of the second Qualifier will move on to the final to play the winner of the first Qualifying match.
What happens if the playoffs are disrupted due to any reason?
Generally, they don't have reserve days for Qualifier 1, Eliminator and Qualifier 2, and if these games are washed out, then the teams that finished higher in the league-stage will progress further. However, they do have a reserve day for the final.
Which team has won the tournament the most number of times?
Mumbai have won four IPL trophies so far, while Chennai have won three. The former have won all their titles under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, while Chennai have done the same under MS Dhoni. The two of them are still captains of their respective franchises.
What has been the best finish of all teams participating in this edition?
Mumbai Indians: Champions (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019)
Chennai Super Kings: Champions (2010, 2011, 2018)
Kolkata Knight Riders: Champions (2012, 2014)
Rajasthan Royals: Champions (2008)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Champions (2016)
Kings XI Punjab: Runners-up (2014)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Runners-up (2009, 2011, 2016)
Delhi Capitals: Playoffs (2008, 2009, 2012, 2019)
Which player holds the record for most runs and wickets in the tournament’s history?
Virat Kohli (5412) has scored the most number of runs in the history of the tournament. Suresh Raina (5368) is not far behind but the Chennai Super Kings batsman has ruled himself out of the event due to personal reasons.
In the bowling department, Lasith Malinga (170) is the leading wicket-taker but the Sri Lankan paceman too has opted out of the competition. The Indian legspinner Amit Mishra (157) is second on the list.