The IPL – Indian Premier League – is a T20 competition held every year in India where domestic teams run by top franchises compete with each other to be crowned as the champions of Indian T20 cricket.
The initial part of the tournament includes a round-robin format where each team plays every other side in the contest – playing both at home and away. The points tally at the end decides the teams going into the knock-out stages and consequently into the final.
The IPL was started in 2008 by the BCCI, a year after the inaugural World T20 in South Africa, and immediately became the main attraction of the entire cricket world. It began with eight teams - Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab – while two other teams were added in the fourth edition.
The inaugural season in 2008 started after the auction of players for huge amounts of money as the different franchises bid for their favourite players. In a tournament where every team looked competitive except Deccan Chargers, under-dogs Rajasthan Royals emerged victorious under skipper and Coach Shane Warne.
The next season in 2009 saw the Deccan Chargers led by Australian Adam Gilchrist silence everyone with a commanding display throughput the tournament, which was played in South Africa for security reasons. The Chargers defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final.
The 2010 edition of the tournament saw IPL return back to Indian soil as Indian skipper MS Dhoni led the Chennai Super Kings to their maiden IPL title, after a failed attempt in the final of the first edition. Mumbai Indians were defeated in the finals of the tournament.
Last year’s IPL saw the introduction of Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers Kerala, though the latter was sacked recently. The highlight of the tournament was the injury replacement signing of Royal Challengers Bangalore – Chris Gayle – who mesmerized the Indian crowd with his batting.
Despite Gayle’s heroics, Bangalore ended up losing the final against Chennai, which made Dhoni’s Super Kings the first team to retain the IPL title.
The IPL 2012 will start in April this year and will have nine teams competing for the trophy.
You can bet on all the Indian Premier League games for free at Betfair, Ladbrokes, VCBet and Blue Square