The world’s most popular and cash-rich league is set to back as 2018 Indian Premier League is slated to begin from 7th April. The 11th edition will mark the return of two big franchises in Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals who were banned for two years in relation to charges of spot-fixing.
A total of sixty games will be played across nine cricket venues over a period of two months. The tournament opener will see Reigning Champions Mumbai Indians take on Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 7th April 2018.
Reigning Champions Mumbai Indians is the most successful franchise in the history of Indian Premier League. The team management decided to release experienced players such as Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, and Lasith Malinga ahead of 2018 IPL auction. They made interesting acquisitions in the IPL Auction and picked up Pat Cummins, JP Duminy and Evin Lewis for the coming season.
Chennai Super Kings will have to start from the scratch after being banned for two years due to spot-fixing scandal. The franchise has gone for experience rather than the exuberance of youth. Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay are players included in the squad. It remains to be seen whether Super Kings can become serious title contenders in the competition.
Delhi Daredevils seemed to favorites for the title as Gautam Gambhir will lead the side for the coming season. The franchise made big acquisitions by picking up Prithvi Shaw, Glenn Maxwell, Colin Munro and Jason Roy for this year’s competition.
Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders will be led by Dinesh Karthik. The franchise has brought in Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson to strengthen bowling resources for the coming season. Kolkata have explosive players at the top of innings with Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa included in the setup.
Last year, Royal Challengers reached an all-time low in the history of Indian Premier League and finished last on the points table. The franchise poor show was due to a lot of factors such missing players like Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers at the start of the season and constant changes in the final XI.
Rajasthan Royals will make their return to the Indian Premier League this season. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team for this year’s competition. Steve Smith was removed from captaincy after his alleged involvement in the ball tampering scandal that happened in South Africa. Rajasthan went all out in the IPL auction and made big acquisitions in Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, and Jos Buttler. Rahul Tripathi and Sanju Samson are also good signings for this year’s competition.
Kings XI Punjab will enter this year’s competition as outsiders as the franchise has not done well for the last couple of years. The team management made big changes to the overall squad as Ravichandran Ashwin will lead the side for the coming season. Aaron Finch, KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh will surely add firepower in the batting department.
Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair are also there in the squad for the coming season. In the bowling department, franchise picked Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Zadran for this year’s competition.
Last not the least, 2016 IPL winners Sunrisers Hyderabad will be keen to produce a good show this season. The franchise will be led by Australia’s David Warner for the coming season. Chris Jordan, Carlos Brathwaite, Manish Pandey and Shakib Al Hasan are players that will definitely add value to the side in terms of bat and ball.
Cricket fans would be hoping for a fierce competition among all eight franchises who will fight it out to clinch the ultimate prize