It’s just over 10 years since the IPL arrived and changed cricket forever. 20/20 cricket was at first an English experiment with the ECB originally trying out the format in place of one of the regular 50 over tournaments to try and create a new energy and following to the sport. It wasn’t until the birth of the Indian Premier league that the cricketing landscape dramatically shifted to the shortest format of the game with millions pumped into the league and the best players from across the globe signed up to play franchise cricket in a six-week block.
The knock-on effect has seen 20/20 leagues spring up all around the globe now and players playing all year round with the Australian Big Bash, the Pakistan Super League, the English T20 blast vying for similar success to that of the IPL.
It is also by far the most bet on cricket tournament as well, with punters all around the world betting on every game with the worlds best players fighting it out in front of packed houses of wild Indian support for their teams. As with the fast paced and relentless schedule of 20/20 leagues with games taking place every day and sometimes two on the same day, information on team selection and batting orders for teams becomes vital for bookmaker and punter alike.
Such is the interest in the IPL that each side has now set up its own website with news, previews and interviews taking place and can be a useful place to glean information regarding a team’s plan for a player. The nature of franchise cricket sees quite a random mix of players from around the world thrown together with Indian stars and exciting and slightly unknown Indian talent. The format allows sides to pick four overseas players for any one game and often teams chopping and changing these players whilst they look for the best balance and formula for their specific teams.
The opening salvos begin on Saturday and will make interesting viewing from a fans and punters perspective to begin to decipher what each side is looking to do with its resources and who they will use in what role for the coming games and extracting value from the subsequent pricing up of markets.
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