In India, the most popular sport by a considerable distance is cricket. It has existed in the country since the 1700s, when it was introduced by the British, and has since been adopted as India’s favourite pastime and, to many, the national sport of the country.
While cricket is enjoyed at an amateur level across India, there are also professional teams, leagues, and competitions that attract enormous viewer numbers and lucrative sponsorship deals. What can we expect from India’s elite cricket competition, the IPL, in the 2023 season? Find out here.
What is the IPL?
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the elite-level competition for club cricket in India. Founded in 2007, the IPL takes place annually between March and May. The league is made up of ten teams from seven different Indian cities, with teams including the Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Titans, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In 2022, the IPL winners claimed a prize of $2.4 million, with the runners-up receiving a prize of $1.6 million.
The IPL is the most popular cricket league on the planet and is the sixth most popular by average attendance out of all world sports leagues.
In 2022, the Gujarat Titans won the IPL title for the first time. The Mumbai Indians are the league’s most successful team with five title victories. The Chennai Super Kings come in second with four titles, with the Kolkata Knight Riders coming in third with two.
When Does the IPL 2023 Season Start?
The IPL 2023 season is almost upon us. The first match is between incumbent champions the Gujarat Titans and the Chennai Super Kings, taking place at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Other notable matches to watch out for in the league’s opening weekend include Punjab Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals, and Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians.
The IPL 2023 season will certainly be a thrilling one. Can the Gujarat Titans hold onto their title or will they fail to retain the crown? These questions and uncertainties, and the vagaries of sporting competition, are what keep people glued to the IPL and why so many people choose to bet on cricket in South Africa.
Teams to Watch in the IPL 2023 Season
The IPL attracts some of the very best cricket players from around the world and the teams are packed full of star talent. Whether you have a connection to a particular club or you are simply a neutral onlooker, this year’s edition of the IPL is sure to be full of drama and excitement.
The Gujarat Titans have added Josh Little and Kane Williamson to their squad, which will give them even more quality as they embark on their title defence. They have also managed to hold on to most of the players from the previous season, which should give them a fantastic shot at a second consecutive trophy.
Little is expected to make a big impact. The Irishman impressed at the 2022 T20 World Cup, where he got 11 wickets in just seven matches.
Despite being the most successful team in the league, the Mumbai Indians finished last season at the bottom of the table. This left fans furious and devastated in equal measure, meaning the Mumbai Indians will have a point to prove and should not be discounted as we approach the start of the IPL 2023 season.
The team certainly has a lot of batting firepower, with Tim David, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Dewald Brevis, and Captain Rohit Sharma. However, the Mumbai Indians still look short in the bowling department, which could prove to be their downfall.
The Lucknow SuperGiants finished in third place last season, and pundits predict they could be set to make another push for the title this year. New additions Nicholas Pooran and Naveen-ul-Haq could be the difference, while core players such as Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, and KL Rahul will prove essential as the Lucknow SuperGiants ready themselves for another season.
The Rajasthan Royals will also be a team to watch. After finishing in second place last season, they will be bitterly disappointed and desperate for revenge. Star player Jos Buttler will lead the line again, after scoring an incredible 863 runs last season.
Cricket is bigger than ever. The IPL is massively popular in India and beyond, and cricket fans the world over are eagerly awaiting the 2023 season getting underway. Can the Gujarat Titans retain the crown or will they be pipped by one of the many fantastic teams in the IPL?