Category Archives: IPL 2018

IPL 2018 opening ceremony

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The eleventh edition of the IPL will be restricted to having just a single opening ceremony unlike last year where one was held in each of the eight home venues of the franchises. The BCCI have already allocated a budget of Rs 50 crore-augmented from the Rs 30 crore laid out for the last edition which was divided between the eight centres-for what they expect to be a grand opening ceremony on April 6, a day before the first match of the tournament in Mumbai. The IPL governing council decided to increase the budget, by what is a significant margin from Rs 3.5 crore per opening ceremony to Rs 50 crore for one, in a bid to provide the build-up event to the IPL with some internationally starry flavour.

“The IPL GC has taken decision to increase the IPL budget to 50 crore. The BCCI felt in order to make it grand we will be needing stars from around the world. And if you want world stars to perform then you need the necessary budget. The Board has decided to do away with having an opening ceremony in each of the eight venues and have a grand event this time around,” sources in the BCCI told The Indian Express.

The IPL is no stranger to having global superstars performing on its stage. From pop stars Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to rock legend Bryan Adams not to forget the likes of Pitbull and Akon, the IPL opening ceremony has been a glitzy affair. The multiple opening ceremonies last year though were limited to having Bollywood celebrities on stage.
IPL makes Lucknow debut

Meanwhile, Lucknow’s Ekana Cricket Stadium is likely to get a few IPL games with Delhi Daredevils having agreed to play in the newly built stadium. The venue had earlier hosted Duleep Trophy games this season with the pink ball. The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association is learnt to be keener to host games in Ekana than at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium. “Lucknow’s new stadium has all the world-class facilities and it is a more convenient venue logistically too,” a source informed.

IPL 2018: Will Delhi Daredevils go for this star player?

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Indian Premier League’s (IPL) most erratic and ever- varying Delhi Daredevils (DD) will yet again be in action for the all important player auction. This time the IPL 2018 auction is bigger than ever with as many as 1,122 players up for grabs. Purchasing players have never been a problem for DD; they have shelled INR 8.5 crore for Pawan Negi and INR 16 crore for Yuvraj Singh in the past.

Sadly for Delhi, what they lack is in team work and approach on the field. Ahead of the player auctions, Delhi decided to retain the trinity of Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Chris Morris. Pant and Iyer have both been stars thus for Delhi, in the 2017 edition, they accumulated 338 and 366 runs respectively. Morris, on the other hand, turned into a valuable asset to Delhi in due time, thanks to his explosive batting and hard-hitting bowling.

Daredevils have a total of two RTM (right to match) cards remaining for the auctions. They have a total of purse of INR 47 crore to spend from. Out of the INR 80 crore allotted, INR 33 crore (though Pant, Morris and Iyer will be earning fees of 8 crore, 7.1 crore and 7 crore respectively) has already been deducted of the purse by retaining three players.

Daredevils have roped in former Australian captain Ricky Ponting as head coach. His credentials with Mumbai Indians (MI) in the same capacity saw the side attain great heights. Let us have a look into who Delhi and team management could pick in the auctions.

Delhi have already indicated that they want to invest in youngsters going ahead. With that in mind, a lot of India A, Under-19 and uncapped players could be under Ponting’s keen eye.

Talking about international stars, DD could look to bring in Gautam Gambhir, who has time and again mentioned that he would love to finish his IPL career with original home, Delhi. Gambhir’s tactical brilliance and his ability to groom youngsters’ could well synch with DD’s ethos.

Kolkata Knight Riders has enjoyed immense success in the last seven seasons under Gambhir, including two IPL triumphs. Delhi’s fortunes can change here.

One could expect Delhi to use one of their RTM for Kagiso Rabada. Rabada was a revelation in the last IPL and has since then grown in stature.

Delhi’s catchment area has a lot of upcoming player that could do well being around the side. The likes of Navdeep Saini, Dhruv Shorey and Kulwant Khejroliya could be in their scheme of things.

Ponting’s emphasis on Australian-grown talent could mean Indian fans witness D’Arcy Short. Short is having a time of his life in BBL and might be picked up by DD. Another healthy addition to Delhi’s arsenal could be Mitchell Johnson.

Another player that could be the glue to Delhi’s plans is Carlos Brathwaite. Despite having a hot and cold IPL 2017, Delhi might use RTM for West Indies’ all-rounder.

With a clear emphasis on youth, Delhi Daredevils might be Rajasthan Royals in disguise heading into the IPL 2018.

IPL 2018: Will he be perfect addition to the Kolkata Knight Riders squad?

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KKR’s decision to not retain Gautam Gambhir or Robin Uthappa means that they have an opening at the top of the order. Considering his incredible recent and his record as the No.1 ranked T20I batsman in the world, Colin Munro would be the ideal addition to the Kolkata Knight Riders set-up ahead of IPL 2018.

Capable of taking the game away from the opposition in the blink of an eye, the world record holder for most centuries in T20Is is a frightening prospect for any new ball bowler. The fact that he strikes at almost 150 despite playing over 150 T20s speaks of the impact that he has on each game. The fact that the 30-year-old can also contribute with the ball shows just how invaluable he can be as KKR look to claim their third IPL title.

Despite his impressive T20 track record, the southpaw has played just four matches in the IPL. Those games came for the Kolkata Knight Riders but he failed to impress in his short stint as he averaged just 10 and scored at a strike rate of 100. But a career T20I average of over 32 and strike rate in excess of 160 with three centuries from 38 matches show that is just an aberration.

Although KKR decided to go with Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, they will still be looking for an explosive top-order batsman. While Chris Lynn seems like the ideal fit, his injury worries and Munro’s electric form with the bat might just propel him to the top of the wishlist for KKR as they look set to write a new chapter in the franchise’s history.

Eden Gardens’ recent tendency to reward pace and bounce makes Munro the ideal candidate to make the most of it. His teammate Colin de Grandhomme has already made an impact with the side and the 30-year-old will be hoping to do the same if KKR go out and splash the cash and secure his signature.

Munro will be looking to rack up the runs in the T20I series against Pakistan and ensure that he is one of the biggest buys of the IPL Auction that will take place in Bengaluru on January 27.

The No.1 ranked T20I batsman in the world is certainly going to high on many teams’ wishlist when the IPL Auction comes around. But the fact that Munro has already played for KKR and the franchise has recently become a safe haven for Kiwi cricketers might just make his chances of making a return to Eden Gardens very likely.

While he might be one of the most expensive players in the auction, his potential upside will make him well worth the risk as KKR look to lift their third IPL title.

IPL 2018: Virender Sehwag wants two players in KXIP squad

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Virender Sehwag has always spoken his mind. A sensation on Twitter, the squash buckling opener is as flamboyant with his words as he was in his playing days. After his retirement, at the age of 39, Sehwag continues to coach and do some punditry. He has been fantastic with that as well.

The former Indian opener sat down with Times of India and talked about IPL and ousted players. He was quite vocal about certain things and like his bat, his words were hitting the questions out of the stadium. Sehwag talked about his team KXIP, Yuvraj Singh and he did not forget to talk about Ashish Nehra as well.
Virender Sehwag was asked whether his team is smaller than any other team. It is because the team from Punjab don’t have big Indian names. Sehwag denied it straight away and said that no team is small. He was quick to remind that they reached the finals in 2014 with young Indian players. He also said that the purse for every team in the auction is the same, so it is just about buying smart for Viru.

“There isn’t any small team in the IPL, the purse size (Rs 80 cr) stays the same for all and everyone will try to spend their entire purse. In fact, in this year’s auction, the best part is that we and Rajasthan Royals have the most amount of money to spend.

“However, we’re called a ‘small’ team because we don’t have ‘big’ players. In 2014, we had a team with not too many star players, but we reached the final using a limited purse. Our aim this time is to spend money to buy many Indian players,” Viru added.
Virender Sehwag is a huge admirer of exuberant batters and that is what he is looking for. The fact that they have only retained Axar Patel shows that KXIP is looking to rebuild the team from scratch. When asked about who he would target at the auction, Virender Sehwag was quick to talk about dodge the question and said, for the fans, it would be the Punjab boys.

“I think the fans would want Punjab stars like Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh in the Kings XI team,” said Viru. The name of Yuvraj Singh led to another question which saw the former Indian vice-captain back the southpaw. He said the Yuvraj Singh is not done yet and he will be back in the Indian team sooner rather than later.

“He’s not in the Indian team, but Yuvraj is still an amazing player. His talent is intact. Even a current India player can lose form. I don’t think we’ll get a player like him again. If his form his good, he’s a match-winner,” said Virender.
Sehwag didn’t blink while taking these names. He was quite sure that players like Ben Stokes, Dwayne Bravo and some others will be in demand. He also talked about how much these players will cost in the auction which is scheduled on 27th and 28th of January.

“Ben Stokes, Dwayne Bravo and Mitchell Starc are the international players everyone wants. I won’t be surprised if Stokes goes for around $1.5 million. I expect the capped India players to fetch around Rs 10-12cr too. Among the uncapped players, Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda would be in demand,” concluded Sehwag.

IPL 2018: MS Dhoni wants Chennai Super Kings to go for this ‘local boy’

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MS Dhoni on Friday revealed Chennai Super Kings’s plan to retain local boy Ravichandran Ashwin during the upcoming IPL 2018 auction slated to take place in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.

Dhoni has now made it clear that the franchise will go after Ashwin in the auction. “I want local players in the Chennai Super Kings. Being a local lad, will go for him during auctions and try to get him,” the former Indian captain said during a promotional event in Chennai.

CSK, who had a total of INR 80 crore in their auction purse, are left with only 47 crore to spend in the upcoming players’ auction after shelling out 33 crore on retention of Dhoni (Rs 15 crore), Suresh Raina (Rs 11 crore) and Ravindra Jadeja (Rs 7 crore).

They have also two Right To Match (RTM) cards that can be used to regain the services of a couple of their former players.

MS Dhoni, though, added that the franchise would not be able to use RTM cards for Ashwin and instead they would be used to select other proven CSK performers.

“We also have our former players Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo. We have two RTMs. But we have to know when and where to use them. With Ashwin we cannot use the RTM as we have already got three Indian players retained. We have to buy him in the auction. He will come first in the auction. But as I said, we will have to wait and watch. We will try to get him,” he said.

IPL Auction 2018 : Harbhajan Singh has a message for all franchise owners

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The Indian Premier League auction is all set to take place on January 27 and January 28 in Bengaluru and the many players are awaiting their fate on which team they will end up at.

Former Indian offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who has not been retained by Mumbai Indians this time around seems to be eagerly awaiting for the auction as he posted a photo with the Indian Premier League trophy on the social media site Twitter.

Bhajji captioned it with: “First one to lay the hands on the IPL trophy this year.. an incentive of getting me in the team, you get the trophy with me ! Lol 😝! #IPLAuction #StarSports #re.imagine”

With this tweet, Harbhajan made it clear to all the eight franchises that he is all set for the eleventh edition of the tournament. Harbhajan has set himself top base price of INR 2 crore. Likes of Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh are also in the same bracket.

13 Indian and 23 overseas players have set their base prices at INR 2 crore among 1122 players which are all set to go under the hammer. BCCI in a media release stated, “The list that has been sent out to the eight IPL franchises has 281 capped players, 838 uncapped players, including 778 Indians and three players from the associate nations.”

IPL 2018: Will he be perfect addition to the Chennai Super Kings squad?

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India may have lost their 2nd Test match against South Africa in Centurion on Wednesday and in the process, surrendered the three-match series to the Proteas, but Lungi Ngidi has managed to make a stunning name for himself even in the country.

The 21-year-old right arm fast bowler, who made his debut in the Test match after Dale Steyn was ruled out of the remainder of the Test series owing to injury, picked up a total of seven wickets in the match.

Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and others remained in his hit list in the second innings as he picked up a total of six wickets for 39 runs from 12.2 overs.

With the grand IPL auction 2018 just a few days away in India, Lungi might have just done wonders to his luck. As per reports, the fast bowler has managed to impress some of the teams already.

Lungi’s base price in the auction is Rs 50 Lakh.

“His name was already there in the overseas players’ list before the Centurion Test, since he was a part of the South African squad, but he’s likely to be in huge demand now,” the Times of India has quoted a source as saying.

After Australia, South Africa have the most number of players throwing their hat to take part in the IPL 2018 tournament.

According to the official release, 57 cricketers, which includes the likes of Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and Kagiso Rabada, are vying for places in the teams during the IPL auction.

In our view, nothing should stop Lungi Ngidi from being a part of Chennai Super Kings. The two-time IPL champions are returning after a ban of two years and they are looking at making an impact straightaway.

The franchisee have already retained their star player MS Dhoni, along with Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja. Getting Lungi now could be an instant hit with the fans.

Having a player whose name is Lungi will no doubt be an absolutely super step on the behalf of CSK. And the player has proven himself too.

The 21-year-old has played 39 T20s (including three T20Is) in his career so far and has a total of 43 wickets. Lungi is also a part of famed South African T20 franchisee Titans.