All about the Indian Premier League (IPL)

Updated: 15 April 2009 13:00 IST

The IPL, created by the BCCI and sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), is a Twenty20 cricket competition.

What is the Indian Premier League (IPL)?

The Indian Premier League, created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), is a Twenty20 cricket competition. It is the brainchild of BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi and is modelled along the lines of club football in Europe, which is unlike anything cricket has known in the past. The best players from around the world will not play according to their nationality but as per the market forces.

The first season of the Indian Premier League, also known as the DLF Indian Premier League, began on April 18, 2008, in Bangalore, and ended on June 1, 2008, with the victory of the Rajasthan Royals in the final at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai.

What makes it so lucrative?

The sheer big money of the IPL is unprecedented at this level of cricket. It's an entire cricket economy out there.

The IPL is predicted to bring the BCCI income of approximately US$1 billion, over a period of five to ten years. All of these revenues are directed to a central pool, 40 per cent of which will go to the IPL itself, 54 per cent to the franchisees and 6 per cent as prize money. The money will be distributed in these proportions until 2017, after which the share of IPL will be 50 per cent, franchisees 45 per cent and prize money 5 per cent.

Who are the cricketers involved?

The event will have new set of players this time with some of England's top stars joining the bandwagon though Pakistan has barred its cricketers from playing in the tournament. So many of last crowd-pullers will be badly missed this time.

While stars like Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff will no doubt add more glitter to the event, cricket enthisiasts will miss the likes of Shoaib Akthar, Umar Gul and Sohail Tanveer.

What's the format?

Eight teams with 16 players in each squad.


Teams play each other two times in a round robin system, with equal number of home and away matches. The top four ranking sides will progress to the semi-finals.

The inaugural 2008 tournament lasted for 46 days, with 59 matches scheduled, out of which 58 took place and one was washed out due to rain.

Who is a icon player?

In the Indian Premier League, an icon player is a player who can only play for his home city in the competition. Unlike all the other players involved, the icon players will not go through bidding. Each of the icon players is guaranteed to get paid at least 15 per cent more than the next top earner in their team, making them the highest paid player.

List of icon players

Sachin Tendulkar for Mumbai Indians
Rahul Dravid for Bangalore Royal Challengers
Sourav Ganguly for Kolkata Knight Riders
Yuvraj Singh for Punjab Kings
Virender Sehwag for Delhi DareDevils

What's an Orange Cap?

Taking a cue from other famous events like the Tour de France, the DLF Indian Premier League has announced the introduction of the Orange Cap which would be worn by the batsman with the most cumulative runs to his name on each day of the event.

The holder of the Orange Cap at the end of the Twenty20 extravaganza will be honoured with the Winner of Orange Cap 2008 on the day of grand finale in Mumbai on June 1, the IPL said in a release.

The leader of the multi-stage gruelling cycle race Tour de France wears the yellow jacket at the start of each new stage to help identify the overall leader easily.

Purple Cap: This is awarded to the bowler with most cumulative wickets to his name. The holder of the Purple Cap receives recognition on the final day of the IPL. In the event of a tie at any given time, the holder will be determined by superior economy rate.

How's IPL different from ICL?

Unlike the Indian Cricket League (ICL), the IPL is an official sanctioned Twenty20 tournament. Owing to its recognition by the International Cricket Council (ICC), it will enjoy a better status and international reach. Also each team has individual owners.

Media Rights

On January 15, 2008, it was announced that a consortium consisting of India's Sony Entertainment Television network and Singapore-based World Sport Group secured the global broadcasting rights of the Indian Premier League.

The highlights:

A total of $1.026 billion over 10 years, which includes a $108 million commitment on promotions.

Media rights comprise:

Sony for 1-5 years for TV rights for the Indian sub-continent

Singapore-based World Sport Group (WSG) for 1-5 years for International TV, global radio, mobile and Internet

WSG for 6-10 years for the global media rights

IPL Franchisee Financial Model

In addition to the marketing benefits that accrue to IPL teams, each team will have a share of central revenues
and local revenues. IPL Franchisees will receive the following returns:

Central revenues

80 per cent of TV revenues in 1-5 years, and 60 per cent from 5-10 years
60 per cent of sponsorship revenues from 1-10 years
100 per cent of local revenues

Local revenues (100 per cent)

Gate revenues
Franchisee shirt sponsorship
Local sponsorship
Licensing programme
Uniform merchandising
Hospitality and premium seating
Match-day concessions
Match-day promotions
Team media platforms


The IPL has become one of the most popular events in India. In other cricketing nations, the response has been mixed. In Pakistan the reception was said to be massive, suggesting that it attracted even non-regular cricket followers and that the popularity of the Kolkata Knight Riders was great. With the right mix of cricket and glamour, the high-octane drama, at one stage, seemed to be threatening Bollywood's popularity across the border. One of Pakistan's top cricketers who was a member of the IPL Delhi Daredevils squad last year, went on to remark, "People there have lapped it up like movies. It's like enjoying a cinema with popcorn. The three-hour duration (of the matches) also helped to create the craze."

A similar positive reaction was seen in Sri Lanka, with interest in the Mumbai Indians being large due to the presence of Sanath Jayasuriya. Bangladesh has also positively reacted despite only one Bangladeshi player being involved. The Knight Riders were the most popular team. These subcontinental countries were also helped in that the time-slot of the matches fitted in with prime time in these nations.

South Africa saw a moderate viewership but people found it enjoyable. However, many were unable to relate to any of the teams, although a large number simply supported Mumbai Indians because of the presence of Shaun Pollock. England did not allow its players to take part, but it was very popular with those who had access to the cable television channels.

In the West Indies, the IPL became so popular that it threatened to overtake Test cricket completely among certain sections of fans. However, the event was less popular in Australia and in New Zealand it consistently won its free-to-air timeslot.


The official rules for the tournament are here:

There are five ways that a franchise can acquire a player. In the annual auction, buying domestic players, signing uncapped players through trading and buying replacements. In the trading window the player can only be traded with his consent. The franchise will have to pay the difference between the old contract price and the new contract price. If the new contract is worth more than the older one then the difference will be shared between the player and the franchise selling the player.

Some of the team composition rules are:

Minimum squad strength of 16 players plus one physio and a coach.

No more than 8 foreign players in the squad and at most 4 in the playing XI.For the 2009 edition franchises are allowed 10 foreign players in the squad. The number allowed in the playing XI remains unchanged at 4.

A minimum of 8 local players must be included in each team.

A minimum of 2 players from the BCCI under-22 pool in each team.

The players accorded "icon" status are: Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag .

The total spending cap for a franchisee in the first player auction was US $5m. Under-22 players are to be remunerated with a minimum annual salary of US $20,000 while for others it is US $50,000. Icon players are to be paid 15% more than the highest paid player in their respective teams.

Who have got the title sponsorship rights?

Indian real estate developer DLF Universal secured exclusive rights to the Indian Premier League title sponsorship worth INR 200 crore (over US$50 million) for five years.

What are the franchises?

The magnitude of the Indian Premier League was confirmed when the winning bidders for the eight franchises were announced on January 24, 2008. While the total base price for auction was US$400 million, the auction fetched US$723.59 million. The official list of franchise owners announced and the winning bids were as follows.

Who are the franchise owners and what's the money involved?

Existing Eight:

Bangalore - Vijay Mallya/UB group - $111.6 million

Chennai - India Cements - $91 million

Delhi - GMR group - $84 million

Hyderabad - Deccan Chronicle - $107 million

Jaipur - Emerging Media (Manoj Badale, Lachlan Murdoch, Suresh Chellaram and investors) - $67 million

Recently, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and Dubai-based businessman Raj Kundra picked up 12 per cent stake worth over $11.6 million in the Rajasthan Royals franchise team.

Kolkata - Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment in partnership with Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta - $75.09 million

Mohali - Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia (Bombay Dyeing), Karan Paul (Apeejay Surendera Group) and Dabur's Mohit Burman - $76 million

Mumbai - Mumbai Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Limited - $111.9 million.

2010-11 Expansion

After the success of the first season, it has been reported that four new franchises will join the IPL in 2010-11, increasing the total number of teams to 12.

Proposed Expansions for 2010-11 Season(4 new teams)

IPL Ahmedabad
IPL Kanpur
Any two from the following:

Patna-Ranchi joined franchisee
One team from the North-East
One team from the north-western states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand

2012-13 Expansion

The unselected team from the three postulated for the 2010-11 expansion will be considered for another set of expansions in the 2012-13 season. An expansion of two more teams is expected for 2012-13.

Franchise Earnings

The first season that concluded on June 1, 2008, was a roaring success for the IPL. It's noteworthy that during the first season no one had expected the franchises to break even since most of them had invested huge amounts, but even then the table below shows that some of them are already profitable from Season 1.

2008 Winners
Winner - Rajasthan Royals
Runner Up - Chennai Super Kings
Lost in Semifinals - Kings XI Punjab & Delhi Daredevils

2009 Season

Lalit Modi, Chairman & League Commissioner, DLF Indian Premier League, announced that the tentative dates for the second season of the DLF Indian Premier League will be from April 10, 2009, to May 29, 2009. He also said that the format of the tournament will remain the same as that of the inaugural season.

Other existing T20 tournaments across the globe

England - Twenty20 Cup
India - Indian Cricket League
Pakistan - Pakistan Super League
South Africa - Standard Bank Pro 20 Series
Sri Lanka - Inter-Provincial Twenty20
Australia - KFC Twenty20 Big Bash
New Zealand - State Twenty20
West Indies - Stanford 20/20
Zimbabwe - Metropolitan Bank Twenty20
Kenya - National Elite League Twenty20
Canada - Scotiabank National T20 Championship

Topics : Cricket
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