IPL - Indian Premier League

IPL - Indian Premier League Logo

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the most competitive and celebrated cricket leagues in the world. It is held every year in India. However, the IPL is popular abroad too. The IPL matches are very intense and high-spirited. You can watch some of the best T20 players from different nations playing together for an Indian franchise.

The Origin of the IPL

The origin of the IPL dates back to 2007. It was the year that India won the first-ever ICC T20 Men's World Cup in South Africa. T20 cricket emerged as the new sporting trend among Indian fans.

This new concept for the IPL was a franchise cricket league modelled on the National Basketball Association (NBA) from America and the English Premier League (EPL) from the UK. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) became the head governing body of the IPL.

An auction for ownership of each team was held in January 2008. In total bidders paid over $720 million for 8 franchises. This was followed in February 2008 by an auction for players. The total salary cap was set at $5 million. In the following seasons, the spending limit was increased and new changes were proposed. The annual IPL player auction is always a hugely anticipated event.

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The Passion and Excitement Around the IPL

India is a cricket hub. Cricket evokes emotion and passion in India. Through the IPL, a new era of cricket culture has evolved. Also, the IPL is the stage where celebrities and cricketing heroes can come together.

For example, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, has been involved in the IPL since its inception. Similarly, artists like Lady Gaga and Pitbull have performed in the annual opening ceremony. That sets the vibe for the whole of the tournament.

The Inaugural Season of the IPL

The first season is always a memorable one. In the case of the IPL, it was full of historic moments. To start, it was launched with a mega-blockbuster opening ceremony. The first match of the first season was played on April 18th 2008 between the KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). which gave birth to a rivalry that still continues.

Kiwi superstar Brendon McCullum smashed a record-breaking 158 runs off 72 deliveries to give RCB the win. In the second match, Michael Hussey scored 116 off 52 deliveries for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). The whole season was full of astonishing performances.

The success of the IPL

The League was designed to provide a platform for young players to play attacking and relentless cricket. And, indeed, the IPL has succeeded in doing just that. In fact, the IPL has the highest revenue (in sports events) in the whole of Asia. Worldwide, it is one of the most widely watched tournaments. 

The success of the IPL is due to several factors. It has played a crucial role in bringing on young Indian players, many initially uncapped for their national side. The franchises have successfully engaged with fans in their home cities, and the links to Bollywood stars and the exciting cricket played have ensured the IPL is entertaining.

The IPL Format

The IPL is based on round-robin and knockout stages. Every team plays a home game and an away game. The format has been changed and expanded occasionally when new teams were added.

Based on their rankings in the points table, the bottom 4 teams are eliminated, while the top 4 teams proceed to the knockout stages. 

In the 2010 season, two new teams were added. Kochi Tuskers Kerala, one of the two new teams, was terminated by the BCCI in 2012. In the following year, Pune Warriors India withdrew its participation from the IPL.

The IPL Seasons Summary

2008 Season

This season was held from 18 April 2008 to 1 June 2008. The first season was a batting-dominated tournament where batsmen got the better of the bowlers. Rajasthan Royals won the tournament by defeating CSK.

Player of the series β€” Shane Watson 

Most runs β€” Shaun Marsh (616 runs)

Most wickets β€” Sohail Tanvir (22)

2009 Season

This season was held from 18 April 2009 to 24 May 2009 in South Africa because of a clash with the General Election in India. A total of 59 matches took place between 8 teams. Deccan Chargers won this season.

Player of the series β€” Adam Gilchrist 

Most runs β€” Matthew Hayden (572)

Most wickets β€” RP Singh (25)

2010 Season

This season was held from 12 March 2010 to 25 April 2010. More than 200 million people watched IPL 2010 live. Chennai Super Kings became the second team from South India to win the league.

Player of the series β€” Sachin Tendulkar

Most runs β€” Sachin Tendulkar (618)

Most wickets β€” Pragyan Ojha (21)

2011 Season

IPL 4 was held from 8 April 2011 to 28 May 2011. The bowlers enjoyed this season of the IPL. A total of 74 matches were played between 10 teams. Chennai Super Kings won the tournament for the second time.

Player of the series β€” Chris Gayle 

Most runs β€” Chris Gayle (608)

Most wickets β€” Lasith Malinga (28)

2012 Season

Nine teams contested IPL 5 between 4 April 2012 and 27 May 2012. Young talents dominated this tournament. Second-time finalist Kolkata Knight Riders won this season by defeating two-time winners CSK.

Player of the series β€” Sunil Narine

Most runs β€” Chris Gayle (733)

Most wickets β€” Morne Morkel (25)

2013 Season

This season was held from 3 April to 26 May 2013 and again had 9 teams playing. Chris Gayle smashed 175 runs off 66 deliveries against Pune Warriors India (PWI), which is still a record. Mumbai Indians (MI) won the tournament by defeating CSK in the final.

Player of the series β€” Shane Watson

Most runs β€” Michael Hussey (733)

Most wickets β€” Dwayne Bravo (32)

2014 Season

Due to election clashes, IPL 7 took place in UAE and India from 16 April 2014 to 1 June 2014. Only 8 teams participated this season. KKR became a second-time winner.

Player of the series β€” Glenn Maxwell

Most runs β€” Robin Uthappa (660)

Most wickets β€” Mohit Sharma (23)

2015 Season

The IPL administration added Fan Parks for fans to watch the games on big screens in cities where there were no matches being held. The season ran from 8 April 2015 to 24 May 2015. MI became the second team to win the tournament twice.

Player of the series β€” Andre Russell

Most runs β€” David Warner (562)

Most wickets β€” Dwayne Bravo (26)

2016 Season

The 9th season of the IPL took place from 9 April 2016 to 29 May 2016. However, Rajasthan Royals (RR) and CSK were suspended, so Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants were added to complete the list of 8 teams. Sunrisers Hyderabad became first-time winners.

Player of the series β€” Virat Kohli

Most runs β€” Virat Kohli (973)

Most wickets β€” Bhuvneshwar Kumar (23)

2017 Season

IPL10 had possibly the most memorable final for fans. MI defeated Rising Pune Supergiants by 1 run in the nail-biting match. In doing so, they became third-time winners of the IPL.

Player of the series β€” Ben Stokes

Most runs β€” David Warner (641)

Most wickets β€” Bhuvneshwar Kumar (26)

2018 Season

IPL 11 is mostly remembered for the newly emerged players who performed well. This season ran from 7 April to 27 May 2018. Fortunately, the two banned teams (CSK and RR) were back. CSK won the tournament for the third time.

Player of the series β€” Sunil Narine

Most runs β€” Kane Williamson (735)

Most wickets β€” Andrew Tye (24)

2019 Season

IPL12 was held from 23 March to 12 May 2019. A total of 60 matches were played between eight teams. In the finals, MI once again prevailed by 1 run, beating CSK to win the title for the fourth time.

Player of the series β€” Andre Russell

Most runs β€” David Warner (692)

Most wickets β€” Imran Tahir (26)

2020 Season

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this season was hosted by the UAE. Additionally, some other changes were made. One being a mid-season transfer. MI won the tournament for a record fifth time.

Player of the series β€” Jofra Archer

Most runs β€” KL Rahul (670)

Most wickets β€” Kagiso Rabada (30)

2021 Season

This season was entirely dominated by Indian players. However, some matches had to be rescheduled after two players tested positive for Covid-19. CSK won the tournament by defeating KKR.

Player of the series β€” Harshal Patel

Most runs β€” Ruturaj Gaikwad (635)

Most wickets β€” Harshal Patel (32)

IPL Records

The IPL has seen some record-breaking innings and exceptional performances. Both Indian and foreign players have enjoyed playing on Indian soil. Here are some top IPL records.

Virat Kohli has scored the most runs (6,283) in the IPL. He scored 973 runs in the 2016 season alone. While his teammate AB De Villiers holds the record for the most player of the match awards (24).

MI has won the tournament 5 times. However, the record for the most consecutive match wins (9) goes to KKR. MS Dhoni has played the most matches as captain (220) and as a player (204). He also holds the record for most dismissals as a wicketkeeper.

Chris Gayle holds the record for most centuries (6) and most sixes (357), while David Warner has scored 50 fifties. Lasith Malinga has taken the most wickets (170) in the IPL.


The IPL is like a festival uniting cricket fans in India. It has popularised the T20 cricket format around the world. Every year, we see some players who perform well, with teams bringing on new talent alongside established players.

Excitingly, we will see 10 teams playing in the next season, and, once again, the 12th man, the supporters, will be back in the stadiums.

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Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.