It’s the biggest of the plethora of domestic T20 leagues around the world. Two months of cricket, razzmatazz and, from our point of view, hopefully earning a few quid to boot.
What makes this such a special event is that all the top players are available.
As good as the likes of the Vitality Blast, the Hundred and the Big Bash, the best players just aren’t available often enough. The IPL, however, is different.
Make no mistake, players come and go. But all the Indian stars are available, and the top players from around the world always want to feature.
What will make this year’s event even more special is that it is the first time since 2019 that the event – assuming everything runs smoothly Covid wise – will have been staged entirely in India. The last two have had to be either staged or completed in the United Arab Emirates.
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When is the 2022 edition of the IPL?
This year’s edition is take place between March 26 and May 29.
What is the format?
The 15th edition of the IPL will see a total of 74 games played across 60 days – 70 play-off games and four in the play-offs, including the final.
There will be 10 competing teams, including newcomers Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, and all play-off games will be played across four venues in the cities of Mumbai and Pune. Venues for the play-off games and final are still to be confirmed.
With the introduction of Gujarat and Lucknow, the format has changed for 2022. And it is pretty complicated.
Let’s try and simplify things.
The 10 teams have been split into two groups of five purely for purposes of working out who plays who twice.
But all teams will be ranked in one table when it comes to deciding who qualifies for the latter stages of the competition.
Group A includes Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants.
Group B sees champions Chennai Super Kings joined by Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans.
All teams will play the teams in their group twice plus a team from the other group twice. They will also play all other teams in the other group once. So each team plays 14 group fixtures.
The top four teams qualify for the play-offs, with the top two teams after the group stages getting the advantage of two bites of the cherry should they lose the first Qualifier match.
The winner of the first Qualifier, between teams one and two, advances directly to the final.
Who are the defending champions?
Chennai Super Kings won last year’s event, their fourth title.
Captained by legendary wicketkeeper batter MS Dhoni, CSK beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in the mid-October final in Dubai.
Francois du Plessis top-scored with 86 in their 192-3 before Shardul Thakur claimed 3-38 as KKR responded with 165-9.
For this year, neither man will be wearing the yellow of CSK. Du Plessis has gone to Bangalore and Thakur to Delhi.
Mumbai Indians are the most successful IPL team, winning the competition five teams. Here is the full list of past champions….
2008: Rajasthan Royals
2009: Deccan Chargers
2010: Chennai Super Kings
2011: Chennai Super Kings
2012: Kolkata Knight Riders
2013: Mumbai Indians
2014: Kolkata Knight Riders
2015: Mumbai Indians
2016: Sunrisers Hyderabad
2017: Mumbai Indians
2018: Chennai Super Kings
2019: Mumbai Indians
2020: Mumbai Indians
2021: Chennai Super Kings
Mumbai Indians are the 9/2 favourites with the majority of bookmakers. Bet365, Paddy Power, William Hill and Betfred are amongst those offering that price on Rohit Sharma’s side to triumph for a sixth time.
Their star players include Indian captain and opening batter Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah.
However, bet365 and Betfred also rate Delhi Capitals as the 9/2 joint favourites. Coached by Ricky Ponting, their star players include Rishabh Pant, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh.
Which English players are involved in the IPL?
At time of writing 12 Englishman are due to feature in this year’s IPL. It was supposed to be 13, though Jason Roy pulled out of his deal with Gujarat in order to take a break from the game and spend time with his young family.
Jofra Archer has been signed by Mumbai, though injury is likely to delay his participation until 2023. He was included in February’s auction, where teams signed players on multi-year contracts.
So the Indians are likely to see the lightning Barbados-born quick for another 12 months. But you just never know!
Lancashire all-rounder Liam Livingstone was the most expensive English player signed in the auction, for approximately £1.1m.
He will be playing for Punjab Kings alongside Jonny Bairstow.
Here is a full list of English players involved….
Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan (Chennai Super Kings), Sam Billings and Alex Hales (Kolkata Knight Riders), Mark Wood (Lucknow Super Giants), Jofra Archer and Tymal Mills (Mumbai Indians), Jonny Bairstow, Benny Howell and Liam Livingstone (Punjab Kings), Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals), David Willey (Royal Challengers Bangalore).