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After 306 days, the Indian Premier League returns for the 16th edition of this fun, exciting and top quality tournament. Once again, many of the world’s best players will be in action as the IPL delivers 74 games for the second successive year. After triumphing in their debut season in 2022, all eyes will be on Gujarat Titans who open the 2023 competition by hosting Chennai Super Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Friday evening local time. If you love your cricket to involve the elite going head to head and served with sixes, fours and wickets a-plenty then the IPL is for you. Sit back and enjoy our IPL preview below.
The IPL launched in 2008 with Rajasthan Royals winning the inaugural tournament by defeating Chennai Super Kings by three wickets in the final at the DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai. There was plenty of buzz around the opening IPL but no one could have predicted how big the competition would become! Ahead of the 2022 season, two new teams, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, saw the tournament grow to 10 teams and with it, increase to 74 games. Such has been the success and global draw of the IPL that a window has been inserted into the international cricket calendar to make room. The riches on offer are such that for any player, it is very hard to resist a contract in the biggest cricket league on the planet.
Over the course of IPL history, we have seen more and more international cricket boards come round to the inevitability of the competition being the main event of the year. Although Pakistan players have never played in the IPL, very few others of top world cricketers have not taken part in the tournament. And with the best players, come the best coaches. This year we will see Brian Lara, the world record holder for the highest individual Test score, take his place as head coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Something else which is unique about the IPL is the atmosphere generated inside the grounds by the cricket-mad public! No other country can marry the passion with the large stadiums that India has. And when those stadiums are full during an IPL fixture, you can feel the atmosphere wherever in the world you are watching the game. Simply, the IPL is the best franchise cricket tournament on the planet, although some would say it’s the best cricket tournament full stop!
There are 10 IPL teams with Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants the most recent additions to the competition. For now, this seems enough, but the IPL is very rarely content with sitting still so do not rule out some more teams joining at some point in the future. Let’s take a look at which teams have had the most success in the IPL overall and in recent years. And while we are doing that, let’s highlight the ones which are still searching for the winning combination.
IPL Tournament Victories
IPL 2023 Schedule
The tournament runs from 31st March – 28th May with a mixture of single-game days and double-game days. 70 group stage matches will be played before the top four teams proceed to the play-offs. Here we have the Qualifier 1, Eliminator and Qualifier 2 before the Final in Ahmedabad. All games begin at either 15:30 or 19:30 local time. We will keep you up to date with all the results, previews and fixtures through our IPL schedule.
As with any IPL edition, before the tournament begins there are plenty of headlines generated by the players who, for whatever reason will not be taking part. This year, Rishabh Pant, the captain of Delhi Capitals, is expected to miss the entire season after a serious car crash at the end of 2022. He has been replaced by Australia’s lovable rogue David Warner as skipper. And England’s Jonny Bairstow is another player who will not play in the 2023 tournament. The IPL news no fan wanted to hear was confirmed in mid-March when it was announced that Bairstow would remain in the UK as he returns from a bad broken leg and prepares for the 2023 Men’s Ashes.
Where to Watch
In the UK, you can watch the entire 2023 IPL on the Sky Sports Cricket channel. The tournament can also be followed on mobile devices with the Sky Go App.
Players to Watch
As we have discussed, many of world cricket’s finest players will be in action in the 2023 IPL and you will not want to miss any of the matches. Although KL Rahul still has work to do to win over some pundits, his numbers are unbeatable. He is the only player to have an IPL average above 43 and to have scored more than 3000 IPL runs. In the 2022 IPL , Jos Buttler won the Orange Cap with 863 runs and Yuzvendra Chahal took the Purple Cap with 27 wickets. Both players will be worth tuning in to watch, as will bowlers Kagiso Rabada (strike-rate 12.52) and Wanindu Hasaranga (s/r 13.15) who couldn’t stop taking wickets during the 2022 campaign.
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