The Indian Premier League has returned for its 16th season with the best cricketers in the world. Thousands of spectators had crowded the stadiums and millions will be sticked to their television sets as soon as the high-voltage contests unfold.
Last year, the IPL became the fourth largest sports league in the world behind the American National Football League (NFL), the English Premier League (EPL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) in the US. The IPL’s ability to re-emerge has kept interest alive despite the disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two new teams – Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants – helped revive the competition last year. More changes will come into effect this year that are sure to create excitement.
Why fans matter in IPL
The fans are what keep the IPL alive. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when matches were played in empty stadiums, there was a lack of buzz. The players lacked the cheers and jeers that drove them to perform better.
More importantly, it’s the fans that make the players stars. Without their admiration and admiration, players remain players. The adoration of fans makes them celebrities with huge social media followings and mega referral earnings. So the supporters matter.
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The Board of Control of Cricket in India and the franchises know this. That’s why franchises take good care of fans with fan zones and contests. So resuming home and away matches will help increase fan bases. Each team will play seven of their 14 league games at home.
Before the 72-day, 12-spot competition, teams have already traded some players as well as bought others during the auction. New Zealand test cricket captain Kane Williamson, who has been leading Sunrisers Hyderabad, will gear up with the colors of Gujarat Titans. Shardul Thakur (Kolkata Knight Riders) , Jason Holder (Rajasthan Royals) and Lockie Ferguson (Kolkata Knight Riders) will be taking the field for the new teams.
Sam Curran, Ben Stokes in new teams
The biggest change was for Ben Stokes who moved from Rajasthan Royals to Chennai Super Kings. But the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team will miss the services of the England captain if they make it to the final. Stokes said he will fly back early to prepare for the Test against Ireland.
Bairstow, Bumrah and injuries
Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out and this is a big blow for Mumbai Indians who will also be without Jhye Richardson. But captain Rohit Sharma will welcome England's Jofra Archer and Australian newcomer Cameron Green.
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