India’s biggest sporting extravaganza, The Indian Premier League (IPL), is all geared up to entertain and enthrall Indian fans once again. Initially, there was speculation that due to a clash of dates with the 2019 general elections, IPL 2019 might trek to some foreign land.

However, instead of shifting the event to a foreign country, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) has come up with a feasible solution to host the glitzy event much earlier than its stipulated schedule and avoid a potential clash with elections.

BCCI has officially announced that the IPL would commence from March 23rd, 2019 and it looks like India’s cricket fans are prised for yet another passion packed cricket season. While it has been confirmed that the event will commence on the 23rd, BCCI is yet to release a schedule of all fixtures as it awaits an announcement from the Election Commission of India regarding the final dates of election.

Auction Highlights

IPL’s auctions have always been fascinating and this year was no different as it maintained an analogy to the erstwhile auctions. While 226 players went under the hammer this year in the auction, only 60 players found buyers, which included 20 overseas stars and 40 Indian players. The eight IPL teams spent a whopping total of Rs 106.80 crore.

Indian players, Varun Chakaravarthy and Jaydev Unadkat dominated this year as they were the most expensive Indian players. Sam Curran from England also starred at this year’s auction and was traded as the most expensive overseas player for a whopping sum of Rs 7.2 crore to the Kings Eleven Punjab (KXIP).

Meanwhile, it was a jittery auction for the fans of Yuvraj Singh, as he remained unsold in the first rounds of the auction until he was snapped up by the Mumbai Indians (MI) at his base price of Rs 1 crore.

West Indies players loomed large in the auctions and were the most preferred foreign players throughout the auction. West Indies National team Captain Carlos Brathwaite and batsman Shimron Hetmyer outshined their counterparts as they were auctioned for Rs 5 crore and 4.2 crores to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) respectively.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Brendon McCullum, Shaun Marsh, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Alex Hales, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Adam Zampa and Hashim Amla were some of the big names who witnessed an improbable fate and as they were unsold at this year’s auction.

Watch out for these stars!

As the auctions have wrapped up, the team catalogs with their full squads have already released. To view the squads, click here.

While Yuvraj Singh failed to find a buyer initially, the experienced star has a will to knock sixes and bowl cracking spinners every match he plays. Varun Chakaravarthy and Jaydev Unadkat will be under pressure to prove their worth. Former Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will also be under the limelight as was been dropped out of the T20 squad.

West Indies players like Sunil Naraine, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Carlos Brathwaite, and Shimron Hetmyer will also prove to be entertaining for cricket fans.

Early bets and precautions

Cricket committee’s and selectors across the world will have their eyes on this year’s IPL as it is scheduled just 2 months before this year’s World Cup that is hosted jointly by England and Wales. While star players are sure to take the league calmly to avoid injuries, youngsters will give their best to earn a spot in the world cup squads of their respective countries.

The pompous battle among the teams to clinch the IPL trophy has always entertained and titillated the cricket fans across the globe. As per early predictions, the defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) hold the best-settled squad with the likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina and are once again the favorites for this year’s trophy, with RCB, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and MI following them to the Semi-finals.

Sources: Indian Express, TOI
Image Credits: Indian Express

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