AVINASH KR ATISH
New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) With bigger pool of talented cricketers, new-look teams, addition of two new franchises, some new rules, increased number of matches and a different format, the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) starting Saturday has become the most evolved cash-rich league, which promises to be bigger, better and more exciting than ever before.
The two new franchises will add a new flavour to the IPL, which can completely change the dynamics of the league. The RPSG Group has picked Lucknow as their home base with a winning bid of a whopping Rs 7,090 crore, while Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners) opted for Ahmedabad with a bid of Rs 5,625 crore.
With the addition of the two teams — Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans — the organisers decided to conduct a mega auction in order to give equal opportunity to every team to pick players of their choice and build a strong side.
And the franchises did exactly that on February 12 and 13 in Bengaluru by adding some talented overseas as well as domestic cricketers to their sides. Though there are some noticeable weaknesses in the teams, overall, they have tried to build solid squads.
Adding to the excitement, as many as six franchises — RCB, CSK, KKR, LSG, GT and PBKS — will have new captains, who have either left their past franchises, or are donning the skipper’s hat for the first time.
Only MI, SRH, DC and RR will have captains, who led their respective sides in the previous edition of IPL.
The organisers have also introduced some new rules and formats to make the lPL different from other leagues. Overall, things are looking sorted and an exciting season of T20 cricket awaits the fans.
Let’s take a look into the things which will make IPL 2022 bigger and better than ever before.
As against 60 games and eight teams hitherto, the league, in its 15th edition, will have 10 teams and 74 games in all spread across 65 days with a new, tweaked format. The matches per side in the league stage will remain 14, but the 10 teams have been divided into two groups of five each.
The 2022 IPL will give its 10 teams seedings and place them in two ‘virtual’ groups during the league phase of the tournament. The seedings are based on the number of times a team has won the IPL or made the finals.
Group A will be led by five-time champions Mumbai Indians, who are the top seeds, while four-time winners Chennai Super Kings will lead Group B with the No. 2 seeding.
The other teams in Group A, in that order, are Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants. Group B features Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans, in that order.
Group A: Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants
Group B: Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings, Gujarat Titans
The new format will change things drastically for the franchises, forcing them to adopt new game plans and ideas against their opponents.
The IPL 2022 will also see some major rule changes with regard to DRS, Covid-19 allowances for teams, Super Over and the newly-introduced MCC laws.
Covid-19: Covid-19 might be perceived as a lesser threat around India at the moment than it was even a few months ago, but there will be alteration to the rule about the inability to field a playing XI because of any kind of virus situation in a team during the IPL.
The BCCI has said the matter will be referred to the technical committee if rescheduling the game is not possible.
“Unable to field a team on account of Covid for any match due to having less than 12 players available in the playing XI (of which at least seven must be Indian) plus one substitute fielder. The BCCI, at its discretion, will attempt to reschedule the match for later in the season. If this is not possible, the issue will be referred to the IPL Technical Committee. The decision of the Technical Committee will be final and binding,” said a BCCI communique.
This is a change from the previous rule which said that the board “will attempt to reschedule the match for later in the season. If this is not possible, the franchise will be deemed to have lost the match with its opponent being awarded 2 points.”
DRS: Another addition to the playing conditions is the increase in the number of referrals (DRS) from one to two.
MCC Suggestion: The board also endorsed the recent Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) suggestion that the new batsman will have to take the strike even if the batsmen in the middle crossover during a catch. Notably, the law comes into effect for international cricket only later this year, in October. However, IPL has decided to enforce it straightaway.
“Upon a catch dismissal, irrespective of whether the batsmen have crossed over, the incoming batsman will take the strike, except if it’s the last ball of the over,” the BCCI informed the teams.
Super Over: The BCCI has decided that if the Super Over cannot be staged for some reason after regular play time or the subsequent Super Overs cannot be staged to break the tie, then the team that finished higher in the league table will declared winner.
RCB: The Bengaluru-based franchise has appointed South Africa’s Faf du Plessis as the new skipper. Faf succeeded Virat Kohli in the role.
CSK: Just ahead of the start of the IPL 2022, Dhoni (40) on Thursday decided to hand over the captaincy of CSK to Ravindra Jadeja. The star all-rounder, who has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2012, will only be the third player to lead the Chennai-based franchise after Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
Dhoni, under whom the CSK have registered a record 121 wins in 204 matches, will continue to represent the franchise.
KKR: Shreays Iyer, who represented Delhi Capitals till last year, has been appointed as the skipper of the Kolkkata-based franchise. Iyer, who was acquired by KKR for Rs 12.25 crore in the mega auctions, will replace Eoin Morgan in the role.
LSG: The Luckow franchise, which will make its debut in the IPL this season, has appointed India opener K.L. Rahul as the skipper. Rahul had represented Punjab Kings till last season, but didn’t want to stay there and as a result they let him go, paving the way for LSG to pick him via the draft.
GT: Another new franchise, Gujarat has appointed star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya as the captain. Hardik, represented Mumbai Indians till last season and was an integral part of their set-up. He will lead an IPL team for the first time this season.
PBKS: Punjab have got a new captain in Mayank Agarwal, who was retained by the franchise before the mega auctions. It will also be Mayank’s first stint as an IPL captain.
Rise of New Stars:
‘Talent Meets Opportunity’ is the tagline of IPL and the cash-rich league has justified it over the years by unveiling some amazing young prospects.
Every IPL season throws up new trends, many of whom go on to play for India. The likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Ravi Bishnoi, Yashwavi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Kartik Tyagi, Umran Malik and others have shown their skills in the last couple of IPL seasons.
This year as well, the likes of Yash Dhull (DC), Dewald Brevis (MI), Rajvardhan Hangargekar (CSK), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (GT), Raj Bawa (PBKS) are set to make their IPL debuts and are expected to enthrall everyone with their performances.
AVINASH KR ATISH