The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced the schedule of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.After staging IPL across Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad in the last edition, the 16th season of the IPL will revert to the home and away format, where all the teams will play 7 home games and 7 away games respectively in the league stage.
A total of 70 league stage matches will be played across 12 venues over the course of 52 days.The 16th season of the marquee event will kickstart on 31st March 2023, with a blockbuster clash between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad at Narendra Modi Stadium – the largest cricket stadium in the world.1st April, 2023 will be the first double-header day of the season, where Punjab Kings will square off against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mohali and Lucknow Super Giants will take on Delhi Capitals in Lucknow.
The TATA IPL 2023 will have 18 double headers, with the day games starting at 3:30 PM IST and the evening games starting at 07:30 PM IST. Rajasthan Royals will play their first two home games in Guwahati before playing the remainder of their home games in Jaipur. Punjab Kings will play their five home matches in Mohali and then, play their last two home matches in Dharamshala against Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
The schedule and venues for the Playoffs and Final will be announced later. The summit clash of the TATA IPL 2023 will be played on May 28, 2023.
Sam Curran broke Chris Morris’ record (INR 16.25 crore) to become the most expensive buy at an IPL auction, when Punjab Kings outbid five other teams to sign him for INR 18.50 crore (USD 2.25 million approximately).
At that price, Curran is also the most expensive player in IPL history – even more than retained players like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul – and he was reunited with the franchise that first brought him into the IPL with an INR 7.2-crore bid in 2019.
The England allrounder was the Player of the Final and the Tournament at the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, and since September this year he has taken 25 wickets in 14 T20s at an economy rate of 7.08. He has also improved his batting, especially against spin: in 31 T20 innings since 2020, he has an average of 27.07 and a strike rate of 154.69.
“Absolutely overwhelmed and incredibly humbled to receive that bid,” Curran told Star Sports. “Punjab is where I did my debut season a few years ago … It will be very different but I know the stadium at Mohali pretty well, and surely our team-mates will help me … Incredibly excited to come to India for this big opportunity. So many things running through my mind. At 9am this morning I was struggling to find a stream, it [the auction] wasn’t on TV in England. ̛I sat with my girlfriend and her dad to watch it. I actually turned my phone off because I thought I was behind and didn’t want to see any messages saying congrats. I saw the bids coming from Mumbai, then Chennai, having played for Chennai earlier it was cool to see them [bidding].”
Mumbai Indians went as far as INR 18.25 crore to try and line-up Curran alongside Jofra Archer, their other big-ticket England signing at the previous auction, but they were eventually outbid by Punjab, who had begun the auction with the second-largest purse. Shortly after failing to buy Curran, Mumbai got their hands on Cameron Green for INR 17.50 crore, making the 23-year old Australian allrounder the second most expensive player in IPL auction history.
“I’m pinching myself that this has all happened. It’s such a weird feeling watching an auction for yourself. I can’t believe how nervous I was, and I was shaking like anything when the final call was confirmed,” Green said. “I’ve always been a huge fan of the IPL and it’s going to be so cool to be a part of it. The Mumbai Indians are one of the powerhouses of the competition, so I feel very humbled to be joining them. I can’t wait to get there next year.”
Green’s T20 stocks have risen significantly in the last six months. Not part of Australia’s T20 World Cup squad initially, he was a last-minute inclusion after Josh Inglis picked up an injury while playing golf. Green attracted the attention of IPL team scouts in a big way after a prolific T20I series in India this year, where he made 118 runs, including two half-centuries, at a strike rate of 214.54 at the top of the order. His ability to bat anywhere in the order and bowl at a lively pace went in his favour at the auction.
Ben Stokes then became Chennai Super Kings’ costliest signing in an auction at INR 16.25 crore, which also made him the joint-third most expensive player ever at an auction. Stokes will line up alongside MS Dhoni in the IPL once again, after a brief stint together at Rising Pune Supergiants.
Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals also bid for Stokes, but it soon became clear that their limited budgets would be a constraint. Having come into the auction with INR 20.45 crore, Super Kings spent nearly 80% of their budget on Stokes alone. He is also a viable captaincy candidate as the franchise begins to explore the idea of succession planning after Dhoni.
Sunrisers break the bank for Brook and Agarwal Harry Brook also made a splash when Sunrisers Hyderabad staved off aggressive bidding from Rajasthan Royals to buy the England batter for INR 13.25 crore (USD 1.6 million approx.), the most a franchise has paid to sign an overseas batter at an auction.
Brook, 23, is set to feature in his first IPL season following a breakout year in international cricket. Only two months ago in Pakistan – his first international overseas trip – Brook impressed with his power-hitting to win the Player-of-the-Series award after hitting 238 runs at a strike rate of 163.01, in a T20I series that England won 4-3.
Brook’s superior record across all T20s in Asia – 581 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 167.43 – may have been an attractive proposition for teams. More recently, Brook put behind a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign to blast three centuries in the three-Test series that England won 3-0 in Pakistan.
Having signed Brook, Sunrisers also went hard to secure opening batter Mayank Agarwal for INR 8.25 crore (USD 1 million approx.), thereby spending nearly 51% of their auction purse of INR 42.25 crore on back-to-back buys. This meant Sunrisers, who went as high as INR 14.75 crore to try and get Stokes, eventually missed out on a marquee allrounder.
Pooran takes home more than a million dollars again Nicholas Pooran began the year by becoming the most expensive West Indian ever sold at an IPL auction, and he broke that record again when Lucknow Super Giants spent INR 16 crore (USD 2 million approx.) to buy him.
For a while, the fight for Pooran seemed to be a contest between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals, but once Super Giants swooped in with a bid nearing a million dollars, it became a two-team race between them and Capitals.
Pooran’s endured a mixed year as far as his international career is concerned. He was named Kieron Pollard’s successor as West Indies’ T20I captain but stepped down following a dismal T20 World Cup campaign where West Indies failed to make it out of the first round after losses to Scotland and Ireland. He had a decent IPL 2022, though, being among the few notable performers in a disappointing season for Sunrisers. He made 306 runs including two fifties at an average of 38.25 and a strike rate of 144.33.
His power-hitting ability was most recently seen in the Abu Dhabi T10, where he was adjudged Player of the Tournament for his 345 runs, which came at an average of 49.28 and a phenomenal strike rate of 234.69.
The bargain buys Sikandar Raza broke an eight-year barren run when he became the first Zimbabwean to be bought at an IPL auction since Brendan Taylor in 2014. At his base price of INR 50 lakh, Raza could be a steal for Punjab, given the form he’s been in. Raza was the top run-getter (219 at a strike rate of 147) and second highest wicket-taker (ten wickets) for Zimbabwe at the T20 World Cup.
“As a friend, I wish someone picks him,” Hardik Pandya said with a laugh, when asked about Kane Williamson at a press conference prior to India’s T20I series against New Zealand last month. Now, they will team up at Gujarat Titans, who secured Williamson’s services at his base price of INR 2 crore. At Titans, Williamson will also be reunited with his one-time Sunrisers team-mate Rashid Khan.
Having played just one IPL game so far, in 2021 for Punjab Kings, Adil Rashid will hope for a happier second stint. At INR 2 crore, the England legspinner was a steal for Sunrisers, who may have perhaps been surprised at the lack of competition. A key member of England’s T20 World Cup-winning squad, Rashid has an excellent wrong’un, bowls ripping legbreaks, and he can bowl in the powerplay too. And he’ll probably be among the most explosive batting options at No. 10.
Royal Challengers’ new signing Reece Topley had missed out on England’s T20 World Cup squad because of injury but he had a run of impressive performances in the lead-up to the tournament. Topley’s height allows him to extract steep bounce even on docile surfaces and he has the ability to move the ball both ways. With Josh Hazlewood’s workload likely to be monitored, given Australia have potentially the World Test Championship final and Ashes coming up after the IPL, Topley is an excellent back-up option for Royal Challengers at a base price of INR 1.5 crore.
“We wanted to have a like-for-like replacement for Jason Behrendorff,” RCB head coach Sanjay Bangar said. “We’ve kept tab on most of the left-armers available. Josh isn’t going to be available for the first few games, so we looked at availability of players and that’s where Topley fit in really well. To get a high-quality performer like him adds strength to our squad.”
Knight Riders – the silent spectators Having come into the auction with the smallest purse (INR 7.05 crore), Knight Riders patiently watched proceedings; they entered the bidding just once – for South Africa batter Heinrich Klaasen – as the other franchises snapped up the first 38 players.
Curiously, Knight Riders were willing to spend INR 2.4 crore on the uncapped Jammu & Kashmir allrounder Vivrant Sharma, who was eventually bought by Sunrisers.
They came alive when they made aggressive bids to get an Indian wicketkeeper, having let B Indrajith and Sheldon Jackson go. They eventually got in-form N Jagadeesan for INR 90 lakh. Jagadeesan has been in the form of his life recently, having racked up a record five List A centuries last month.
After buying Jagadeesan, Knight Riders bought back allrounder Vaibhav Arora and tried hard to buy back fast bowler Shivam Mavi. Having released Mavi to free up INR 7.75 crore for this auction, Knight Riders went as far as INR 1 crore before bailing out. Mavi eventually went to the Titans for INR 6 crore.
Towards the end of the auction, KKR snapped up overseas allrounders Shakib Al Hasan and David Wiese, and Bangladesh opener Litton Das to strengthen their squad.
The notable uncapped Indian signings At a trial held to scout for talent in Jammu & Kashmir, one player – Vivrant Sharma – made a mark with his composure and shot selection against pace. On Friday, those impressions translated into an IPL contract for the 23-year-old allrounder when Sunrisers signed him for INR 2.6 crore, having been part of their camp as a net bowler for IPL 2022. In addition to his big hitting, Vivrant also bowls fast legbreaks and googlies.
Eight years ago, Mukesh Kumar was told he couldn’t play cricket. He was anaemic and the bone edema in his knees was supposed to make bowling impossible. Yet, he persevered and made a mark in Bengal’s competitive club circuit and also the Ranji team.
A stellar performance in 2019-20, when Bengal made the Ranji Trophy final, proved to be the turning point as Mukesh built on his breakout season to earn an India A and a national call-up earlier this year. He was meant to come in as a replacement player in 2021 for RCB but missed out after contracting Covid-19. Earlier this year, he was a net bowler for Delhi Capitals and now he’s part of their squad for a price of INR 5.5 crore, the second-highest amount spent on an uncapped Indian player this auction.
Last-minute shopping There was a flurry of activity right at the end of the auction, as teams filled up slots with players during the accelerated phase. Delhi picked up South African batter Rilee Rossouw – who was unsold earlier – for INR 4.6 crore; KKR got Shakib and Royals got Adam Zampa for INR 1.5 crore each; And England’s Joe Root secured a maiden IPL contract – also with the Royals – at his INR 1 crore base price.
(Story from ESPNcricinfo by Shashank Kishore/Photos from ESPNcricinfo)
IPL 2021 has been postponed, following several positive Covid-19 cases across franchises over the past couple of days. The move was confirmed by IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, who said it was for the safety of all stakeholders.
In a media statement, the IPL said the decision was “unanimously” taken by the tournament’s Governing Council along with the top brass of the BCCI. “The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL,” the statement said. “This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.
“These are difficult times, especially in India, and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.”
The statement also said the BCCI would do “do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021”.
Sunrisers Hyderabad became the third franchise to register cases when it was confirmed earlier on Tuesday that Wriddhiman Saha had tested positive for Covid-19 and was isolating away from the rest of the squad; he had reported reported symptoms including persistent fever.
Previously, the Kolkata Knight Riders – with two players – and the Chennai Super Kings – with two members of staff – had registered cases.
The postponement comes a week after the BCCI reassured all stakeholders and the eight teams that the tournament bubble was “totally safe”. That note was sent out by the BCCI’s interim chief executive officer Hemang Amin, who told players they were playing the 2021 IPL not just to win, but for something “much more important… humanity.”
However, by Monday, May 3, the first cases of IPL’s bubble being breached by the virus emerged, after the Knight Riders’ Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive. Subsequently, Monday’s match between the Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad was put off.
At the same time, in Delhi, the Super Kings reported two confirmed cases: bowling coach L Balaji and a member of their service staff. Balaji’s case, in particular, raised concerns among the other franchises as he was in the team’s dugout on May 1 during the match against the Mumbai Indians. Earlier today, it was confirmed that the Super Kings had gone into isolation for a week. The Saha news soon followed, before the tournament’s postponement was announced.
The BCCI released the IPL schedule on March 7, with six cities staging matches between April 9 and May 30. The plan was for a caravan model, with two of the six venues being used at any given time. The first leg took place in Chennai and Mumbai and the second leg – ongoing till today’s postponement news – was in Ahmedabad and Delhi. The third leg was due to kick off in Bengaluru and Kolkata next week, with the playoffs scheduled for Ahmedabad.
However India’s worsening pandemic situation – it has been recording around 400,000 new positive cases daily over the past few days – prompted several countries to ban travellers from India. The Australian government even imposed a ban on its own citizens returning from India until May 15 and said any transgression would be deemed a criminal offence.
All this meant the players were getting anxious. Liam Livingstone and Andrew Tye (both Royals) and the Royal Challengers pair of Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson returned home – to England and Australia – before the clampdowns. The Capitals’ lead spinner R Ashwin also ended his IPL stint after the first leg to attend to his family, many of whom had tested positive for Covid-19. Senior Indian umpire Nitin Menon too returned home to Indore to attend to his parents, who were positive. Australian umpire Paul Reiffel admitted he was minutes away from leaving India until the travel corridor through which he was planning to return was shut off.