International Cricket Tournaments

New and revamped IPL season set to kick off today

AGENCIES

NEW DELHI: The World Cup triumph is still to sink in but the players are already sweating it out for the 10 franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

This time, the crowds want to see their heroes going bang-bang in the Twenty20 format. The revamped and enlarged IPL-IV season kicks off with champions Chennai Super Kings taking on Kolkata Knight Riders here on Friday.

It is now settled that T20 is not going to devour the longish 50-50 after the breathtaking World Cup action. The purists can now relax and reassure themselves that the Test cricket can’t be touched.

If the World Cup has breathed fresh life into ODIs, now it is said all three forms of cricket have their relevance and none will upstage the other as long as the ICC creates a level-playing field for all three to coexist. This will also be the first IPL without its charismatic creator, Lalit Modi, who was sacked amid high drama by the BCCI after the 2010 edition final in Navi Mumbai.

Modi’s emotional speech at the closing ceremony, even as the board’s bigwigs got ready to hand him a long charge-sheet listing financial irregularities, moved quite a few franchise owners.

The IPL will have two new teams in Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers joining the existing eight. There will be 74 matches played over 51 days with the 10 teams divided in two groups.

The players went under the hammer after the third edition and they found themselves signing for new owners and playing in new colours. A couple of franchises decided to retain their icons and some others went for a complete overhaul of their line-ups.

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