How it all started; the Indian Premier League

Indian Premier League

After India won the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 Twenty20 cricket became quite the rave in India.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) was founded to take advantage of that popularity. The Indian Premier League revolutionized how cricket was being played and watched in India.

As of now, Cricket is now a big entertainment outlet in the country.

The journey of the IPL all started as a result of the BCCI vice president (as he then was), Lalit Modi’s initiative.

The league appeared to have been launched as a countermeasure to the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

The Indian Cricket League was launched in 2007 with the financial aid of Zee Entertainment Enterprises. The Board of Control for Cricket in India was not a fan of the ICL and they made that very clear from the beginning.

In a bid to discourage players from joining the ICL, the Board increased the prize money for their domestic tournament.

As if that was not enough the board also imposed lifetime bans on players who joined the ICL.

Lalit Modi also revealed that the IPL will be run by a 7 man governing council composed of Former India Players and BCCI officials.

It was also added that the top two teams of the IPL will qualify for the year’s Champions League Twenty20.

On the 24th of January 2008, an auction was held to decide the owners of the new League franchises. The base price for bidding for the franchises started at $400 million.

After the auction, the bidders were announced and the team was to be based in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mohali, and Mumbai.

At the end of the day, the 8 franchises were all sold for $723 .59 million.

The Indian cricket league could not withstand the pressure of the BCCI; it folded in 2008.

Since the ICL was taken out of the way, there was no hindrance to the growth and breakthrough of the IPL.

The IPL embraced the same format as the English Premier League and the National Basketball League (NBA) of the USA.

The IPL’s most expensive franchise was the Mumbai franchise owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industry Limited.

The Mumbai Franchise fetched $111.9 million, followed by Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries, fetching $111.6 million for the Bangalore franchise.

Icons from Bollywood were also part of the IPL franchise-owning shuffle with Shah Rukh Khan and Julia Chaula’s Red Chillies Entertainment buying Kolkata for $75.09 Million while Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia bought the Mohali team for $76 million.

The Delhi franchise was bought by the Infrastructure Development Group, GMR for $84 million while Emerging Media bought the Jaipur franchise for $67 million.

The IPL currently has 8 teams and each team plays each other twice in a home and away round-robin format at the League Phase.

After the League Phase, the top four teams qualify for the playoffs.

The top two teams from the league phase play against each other in the first qualifying match with the winner going straight to the IPL Final and the loser getting another shot at qualifying for the IPL Final by playing the Second Qualifying Match.

Now, the third and fourth place teams from the league phase play against each other in an eliminator match, and the winner from that match will play the loser from the first qualifying match.

The winner of the second qualifying match will move on to play the winner of the first qualifying match in the IPL Final match. The winner gets declared the IPL Champion.

In other news, there are 3 options open to a franchise interested in acquiring new players; the first option is through the Annual PlayerAuctions, the second is trading players with other teams when the trading windows are opened, and lastly, by signing replacements for unavailable players.

During the Annual PlayerAuctions, players set their base price and are bought by the franchises that bid the highest for them.

Players that could not find buyers during an auction can be signed up as replacement signings.

Meanwhile, when the trading windows are opened, a player must give his assent before he can be traded by his franchise and the franchisee will pay the difference between the old and the new contracts.

However, if the new contract is worth more than the old, the franchise and the player are to divvy up the difference.

Let’s now consider some team composition rules of the IPL; according to the rules, a team cannot have more than 8 overseas players with a squad strength of between 18-25 players, 25 players being the maximum.

Similarly, Under-19 players cannot be picked for an IPL team unless they have played First Class or List A Cricket.

Also, a salary cap of the entire squad cannot exceed INR 850 Million and a team is allowed to only have a maximum of 4 foreign players in their playing XI.

The IPL is a lucrative endeavor by any metric.

The 2019 season offered total prize money of INR 500 million with the winning team getting INR 200 million while the first and second runners up received INR 125 million and INR 87.5 Million respectively.

The fourth-place team also won INR 87.5 million.

Under the IPL rules, teams are mandated to share half of the winning loot among the players.

The IPL Governing Council, under the aegis of the BCCI, oversees all the functions of the league.

The Council membership has Rajeev Shukla, Sourav Ganguly, Anurag Thakur, and Anirudh Chaudhary.

The IPL hasn’t been without its fair share of controversies. For instance, the league was roundly criticized for retaining its Chinese Sponsors even when affairs weren’t rosy between India and China.

Wrapping Up

The inaugural edition of the IPl had teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils, and Rajasthan Royals all contesting for the Title.

The first match of the IPL was played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on April 18, 2008.

The IPL has been a successful league since its inception with the Mumbai Indians being the most successful franchise of all time.

And there’s no indication that things will change for the worse.

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