Since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League, more popularly IPL, has come a long way. It won't be very off the mark to suggest that IPL, Lalit Modi's brainchild, single-handedly, has played a decisive role in turning the dynamics of cricket on its head!
It was not easy to fiddle around with the religion of billions of Indians, leave alone the rest in other parts of the world. But Modi had decided to roll the 'IPL dice'. His experimentation put 'Tests' to test and ODIs were left searching for cover. For the first time it seemed that cricket had actually made the world smaller and a better place to live in.
If 2008 saw a packed Eden Garden viciously backing KKR's Shoaib Akhtar against Virender Sehwag, 2009 saw South African cricket fans embrace Mumbai and Hyderabad as if it seemed like Durban or Jo'burg to them.
2010 has already seen the old war horse Sourav Ganguly play with our emotions. "Dada ne bhi aapko miss kiya" is what he says in an advertisement that pronounced the return of IPL to its home soil.
The good news doesn't end there. For all the fans of the former India captain, it is time to see the Bengal Tiger in the captaincy role once again. Glad that SRK learnt his lesson after the disaster.
Well, getting back to the latest edition of the T20 extravaganza, this season will witness a few modifications that, hopefully, should be to the liking of the viewers.
Don't be zapped when something different comes your way. Here is a list of changes likely to be incorporated in IPL 3: The IPL governing council has decided to remove the rule that restricted a franchisee from having more than two Australian players in their ranks.
The auction that was held on January 19, had an upper limit set at USD 750,000 by the governing council.
Much to the relief, Sourav Ganguly is back as the KKR skipper. Sadly for Indian fans, Yuvraj Singh has been replaced by Sri Lankan captain Kumara Sangakkara while Gautam Gambhir will be seen captaining the Delhi Daredevil side after Virender Sehwag had stepped down from captaincy last year.
It has been decided that teams would be allowed four fielding substitutes, rather than the lone 12th man.
Any ball bowled above waist height, regardless of the speed, will be declared a no-ball
Pink balls would be used in practice matches.
From next year onwards, IPL would also be played under the supervision of the ICC Anti Corruption and Security Unit, while players who skip the tournament despite not having any national assignment might have their contracts terminated, organizers of the event said in a statement. Apart from availing ACSU service, IPL will follow the BCCI Anti-Doping policy for Season 2010.
Among other things, it was finalized that trading of Players will be permitted between franchisees for the season 2010 onwards.
The League will also have a cap on the maximum players in a squad.
All franchises have agreed to do away with the Icon Player status.