The Indian Premier League (IPL), also known as TATA IPL for sponsorship reasons, is a men’s T20 franchise cricket league of India. It is annually contested by ten teams based out of seven Indian cities and three Indian states. The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007. Brijesh Patel is the incumbent chairman of IPL. It is usually held annually in summer across India between March to May and has an exclusive window in the ICC Future Tours Programme.
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The IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world and in 2014 was ranked sixth by average attendance among all sports leagues. In 2010, the IPL became the first sporting event in the world to be broadcast live on YouTube. The brand value of the IPL in 2022 was ₹90,038 crore (US$11 billion). According to BCCI, the 2015 IPL season contributed ₹1,150 crore (US$140 million) to the GDP of the Indian economy.
So far there have been fifteen seasons of the IPL tournament. The current IPL title holder franchise is Gujarat Titans, winning the 2022 season and their first season.
The Indian Cricket League (ICL) was founded in 2007, with funding provided by Zee Entertainment Enterprises. The ICL was not recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the BCCI were not pleased with its committee members joining the ICL executive board. To prevent players from joining the ICL, the BCCI increased the prize money in their own domestic tournaments and also imposed lifetime bans on players joining the ICL, which was considered a rebel league by the board.
On 13 September 2007, on the back of India’s victory at the 2007 T20 World Cup, BCCI announced a franchise-based Twenty20 cricket competition called Indian Premier League. The first season was slated to start in April 2008, in a “high-profile ceremony” in New Delhi. BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi, who spearheaded the IPL effort, spelled out the details of the tournament including its format, the prize money, franchise revenue system and squad composition rules. It was also revealed that the IPL would be run by a seven-man governing council composed of former India players and BCCI officials and that the top two teams of the IPL would qualify for that year’s Champions League Twenty20. Modi also clarified that they had been working on the idea for two years and that the IPL was not started as a “knee-jerk reaction” to the ICL.The league’s format was similar to that of the Premier League of England and the NBA in the United States.
In order to decide the owners for the new league, an auction was held on 24 January 2008 with the total base prices of the franchises costing around $400 million. At the end of the auction, the winning bidders were announced, as well as the cities the teams would be based in: Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mohali, and Mumbai. In the end, the franchises were all sold for a total of $723.59 million. The Indian Cricket League soon folded in 2008.
Players of Pakistan are not allowed to take part in the league since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, due to the involvement of Pakistan in that attack, 166 people lost their lives and 238 were gravely injured. The odious attack widespread angered many Indians, resulting in a total ban of Pakistani players in the IPL.
Expansions and terminations
On 21 March 2010, two new franchises – Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala – joined the league before the fourth season in 2011. Sahara Adventure Sports Group bought the Pune franchise for $370 million while Rendezvous Sports World bought the Kochi franchise for $333.3 million. However, one year later, on 11 November 2011, it was announced that the Kochi Tuskers Kerala side would be terminated following the side breaching the BCCI’s terms of conditions.
Then, on 14 September 2012, following the team not being able to find new owners, the BCCI announced that the 2009 champions, the Deccan Chargers, would be terminated. The next month, on 25 October, an auction was held to see who would be the owner of the replacement franchise, with Sun TV Network winning the bid for the Hyderabad franchise. The team would be named Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Pune Warriors India withdrew from the IPL on 21 May 2013 over financial differences with the BCCI. The franchise was officially terminated by the BCCI, on 26 October 2013, on account of the franchise failing to provide the necessary bank guarantee.
On 14 June 2015, it was announced that two-time champions, Chennai Super Kings, and the inaugural season champions, Rajasthan Royals, would be suspended for two seasons following their role in a spot-fixing and betting scandal. Then, on 8 December 2015, following an auction, it was revealed that Pune and Rajkot would replace Chennai and Rajasthan for two seasons. The two teams were the Rising Pune Supergiant and the Gujarat Lions.
The venue for the 2020 season was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic and games were played in the United Arab Emirates. In August 2021, the BCCI announced that two new franchises would join the league starting from the 2022 season. It was also announced that the franchises would be based in two of the six cities shortlisted by the BCCI; Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Cuttack, Guwahati, Ranchi and Dharamshala. In a closed bidding held on 25 October, RPSG Group and CVC Capital won bids for the two teams. RPSG paid ₹7,000 crore (US$880 million) for Lucknow, whereas CVC won Ahmedabad for ₹5,200 crore (US$650 million). The teams were subsequently named Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans.