Feb 22, 2008

Everything you wanted to know about the Indian Premier League

# What is the Indian Premier League?

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a franchise-based Twenty20 competition organised by the BCCI, and it has official sanction since it has the backing of the ICC. It features the world's best cricketers playing - their affiliation decided by open auction - for eight city-based franchises, owned by a host of businessmen and celebrity consortiums. The inaugural edition of the tournament will run from April 18 to June 1.

# What are the logistics of the IPL?

The tournament will begin on April 18, when Bangalore take on Kolkata at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. The tournament will feature 59 matches in total, the teams playing each other on a home-and-away basis. Click here for the full list of

# Why is the IPL generating such a buzz?

Two main reasons why. One the football-club concept of the IPL, which is unlike anything cricket has known. The best players from across the world playing not according to nationality but according to market forces. Second, the sheer financial scale of the IPL is unprecedented at this level of cricket. The BCCI has already made close to US$ 1.75 billion solely from the sale of TV rights ($908 million), promotion ($108 million) and franchises (approximately $700 million). Players are expected to earn close to US$1 million for a three-year contract. It's an entire cricket economy out there.

# Who are the top cricketers involved?

There are 77 names in the fray, the top current players:
Dhoni, Ponting, Gilchrist, Shoaib Akhtar, Jayawardene, Jayasuriya, Yuvraj, Hayden...The notable absentees are from England, because the IPL will clash with their domestic season, and Australia's Michael Clarke, who opted to focus on his regular cricket.

Who are the franchise owners - celebrities and others?

Mukesh Ambani
, the Reliance Industries chairman, acquired the Mumbai franchise for $111.9 million over a 10-year period; beer and airline baron Vijay Mallya, who also owns a Formula 1 team, won the Bangalore franchise for $111.6 million; Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment won the Kolkata franchise for $75 million; the biggest surprise was the Chandigarh franchise, which went to Preity Zinta, another Bollywood star, and Ness Wadia, together with two other industrialists, for $75 million. The winning team will get richer by $3 million if they win the first edition of the tournament.

# How are the players paired with teams?

The BCCI has conducted a player auction on February 20, in which the respective franchises can bid for a maximum of eight international players from pool of 89 players who have been contracted to the board. But
Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, and Yuvraj Singh are not up for auction as they have been given 'iconic' status by the BCCI - which means that they have to represent the city in which they are based. Another exception to the bidding process is with regard to the Australian players - a clause in the rules of Cricket Australia has meant that each team can select a maximum of two Australians.

# Whose idea is the IPL?

The IPL is the brainchild of
Lalit Modi, the vice-president of the BCCI, and is modeled along the lines of club football in Europe, specifically the English Premier League. Though there is a school of thought that the idea came about in the 1990s, the announcement that such a tournament would happen, and which it would be a precursor to Twenty20 Champions League, cricket's version of the European Champions League, came only after Subhash Chandra, the owner of Zee Televison said, in April last year, that he was intending to start an unofficial league called the Indian Cricket League, fuelling speculation that is was a reactive idea rather than a proactive one.

# How different are the IPL and ICL to each other?

The IPL is an official sanctioned Twenty20 tournament, and unlike the ICL, which is not recognised by any of the national boards or the ICC, it will have a better status, international reach, players, and the requisite infrastructure by default. Since the IPL is sanctioned by the ICC, players don't have the danger of bringing their international/first-class careers to a halt - as is the case with the ICL - whose players have been banned by the various boards. Another major difference is with regard to franchises - the ownership of the team rests with the individual owners and not one single entity.

(Courtesy:- http://www.cricinfo.com/)