Indian Premier League -2023: A New Beginning

by Deepanshu Srivastava

One of the biggest sports carnivals in the country, the IPL, is underway since March 31, 2023, in its new avatar. The 16th season of IPL which is a franchise 20-20 Cricket league in India, organized by the BCCI, has now returned to its original home and away home format after 4 long years since 2019 due to the pandemic. The previous 3 seasons – 2020 to 2022 – got sacrificed due to Covid -19 and were held at neutral venues leaving Sports lovers in India deprived of the yearly event loved and waited by all age groups.

A group stage 20-20 format tournament, having 10 teams, is divided into 2 groups of 5 teams where all of them put their hearts out to clinch the coveted IPL trophy. The tournament is spread over 70 league-stage matches and 4 playoffs. As on May 13, 59 league matches have been played and the race for reaching the Playoffs is at its peak with the current 16th season heading toward its final phase, making the cricket lovers hold their breaths in search of the king of IPL 2023.In its new avatar, several changes have been made by the BCCI, the prominent of all being the provision of IMPACT PLAYER and the DRS for no balls and wide balls. Apart from it, the two teams have to submit the list of their playing 11 AFTER the toss.

IMPACT PLAYER RULE -This is a major change in the 15 years history of IPL. According to the rule, a team has to declare 5 additional players apart from the playing 11, and any one player from the playing squad can be substituted from the 5 other players during the ongoing inning of the team. Such a player is called the Impact Player. With the introduction of this rule, now setting or chasing a target of 200 or more runs seems to have become easier. The audience is now getting more time to enjoy the thrill of the game.

ADDITIONAL DRS – Apart from the usual DRS, directly the captains can appeal for a review of the umpire’s call on a no-ball or a wide delivery. This changein rules has brought surgical precision to the game.

RE-INTRODUCTION OF FAN PARKS – The ongoing 16th edition of IPL brings back the IPL Fan Parks after 2019. A large open space is made available away from the match venue on the weekends where sports lovers can watch and feel the match live on large TV screens amidst quality family time while enjoying the Kids Zone and Food park facilities. The Fan Parks, this time, is spread over 45 cities. On the day of the IPL final on May 28th, the Fan Parks will be in 5 cities including Jammu and Jorhat.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS – (1) The new young sensation, Arshdeep Singh did an unbelievable when he broke the middle stumps in his 2 consecutive deliveries in an over and sent two Mumbai Indians batters back to the dug-outs. The breaking of stumps has cost BCCI approximately 24 lakhs, and one wicket fitted with LED bulbs costs around 12 lakhs INR. The incident should wake up the IPL Committee to scrutinize the quality control of the kits supplied.

(2) The RCB players wore green jerseys in Bengaluru Stadium playing against team RR to showcase their commitment towards green. The finest part of this Go Green innovative idea is that the jerseys are made of recycled waste materials collected at the stadium. Reportedly, 8 tonnes of recyclable waste materials are generated after every match. This innovative idea has made team RCB the World’s first Carbon neutral Cricket team.

(3) The 42nd clash between the teams of RR and MI was the 1000th match played in IPL till then.

(4) The present form of Virat Kohli may not be good but still, he is the most loved cricketer in the audience. Kohli became the FIRST batter to complete 7000 IPL runs at Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi on May 6 playing for his franchise RCB against the team DC. On the occasion, a pavilion in the Stadium was also named after him.

(5) On May 7 during the match between the teams of GT and LSG, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya became the FIRST brothers to captain their teams and that match became Pandya vs Pandya match.

POSSIBLE TEAMS FOR PLAYOFFSThe current top 5 teams as on May 10 in the 10-team IPL points table are the teams GT, CSK, MI, LSG, and RR. Although it is most challenging to shortlist the first 4 teams, seeing the closed contest going on, closely observing their team compositions and their previous match performances, it seems that out of the above 5 teams, 4 will make their way to the Play-Offs.

KAUN BANEGA IPL 2023 KINGThe million dollar question haunting the sports lovers pan India is the name of IPL -2023 Champion. The best two teams as of now are certainly the teams of GT and CSK and the winner will be the team that outsmarts the other in all the 3 departments of the game. The mind game between the two captains – Hardik and MSD – will also play a crucial role in the outcome of the match and both the captains are known to be top game changers through their mind games. Let us keep our fingers crossed till the late evening of the final day, May 28.About the AuthorDeepanshu Srivastava, an interpretative journalist, Sports enthusiast, and Storyteller belongs to Pune and may be reached through [email protected]

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