The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India that was founded in 2008 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The league has since evolved into one of the most popular sporting events in the world, attracting top cricket players from different countries. It’s also popular with many sports punters, and IPL betting is easily the main contributor to India’s thriving online betting scene.
In this article, we will discuss how the IPL has evolved since its inception in 2008, including the league’s growth, expansion, and changes in format.
How and When Did IPL Start?
The idea of this cricket tournament came from Lalit Modi who was the vice president of the BCCI from 2005 to 2010. Modi thought that having something like the English Premier League and Australian Big Bash League could be a huge success in India.
True enough, the IPL became that and more since cricket fans all over the world are always looking forward to watching this annual tournament since its start in 2008. It also helped promote cricket, and today, it’s now the second most popular sport worldwide next to football.
The IPL was launched with eight franchises representing various cities in India. These franchises were bought by a mixture of Indian and international business owners, with the likes of Mukesh Ambani, Shah Rukh Khan, and Preity Zinta investing in the league.
The first season in 2008 was a huge success with packed stadiums and record-breaking TV ratings. The league’s success continued in the following years, with the introduction of new franchises and the expansion of the league’s reach to new markets.
The Evolution of the IPL Format
The format of the IPL has undergone significant changes since its inception.
In 2009, the league introduced a new rule that allowed teams to replace a player who was unavailable due to injury or international duty. This was followed by the introduction of a strategic timeout, where each team could take a two-and-a-half-minute break during an inning.
It was in 2011 when the league introduced the Decision Review System (DRS), which allowed teams to challenge umpiring decisions. The following year, the IPL implemented another new rule that capped the number of overseas players in a team to four. This was done to promote the development of domestic talent in India.
Then in 2018, the league allowed teams to retain up to five players before the player auction. This decision helped provide some stability to the franchises and ensure that they could build a core team that won’t last only within a season.
2020 was quite a year for sports tournaments, including the IPL because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The league was initially scheduled to start in March, but it was postponed to September and moved to the United Arab Emirates. The tournament was then played in a biosecure bubble, with no fans in attendance.
Despite the challenges, the league was a huge success, with record television ratings and an increase in the number of digital viewers.
The IPL is already back to normal since there are no more pandemic-related restrictions. This also pushed the BCCI to finally add two new teams to the league. The 2022 edition of the IPL was when Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants were added to the IPL mix.
This isn’t the first time that the IPL had 10 teams in total as in 2011, there were also two teams added to the roster which were Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
Unfortunately for these two teams, their IPL stay was short-lived. Kochi Tuskers Kerala only lasted one season as they were terminated the following year because of certain financial issues with the league.
Meanwhile, Pune Warriors withdrew from the tournament in 2013 also because of financial issues surrounding the annual franchise fee.
While those were unfortunate times for both teams, the BCCI has surely learned a lot from that. This is why when they once again decided to sign two new teams, they had stricter terms. So far, no issue has arisen from either Gujarat Titans or LSG.
The Indian Premier League has surely changed a lot throughout the years, but one thing remains, and that’s the excitement that cricket fans have for this tournament.
It’s simply the ultimate stage for the biggest cricket stars out there. Today, it’s the playground of the best cricketers we’ve seen including the likes of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, and David Warner.
The 16th edition of the IPL is ongoing. It started on March 20, 2023. The final is set on May 28, 2023, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.