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Indian Premier League

The DLF Indian Premier League or the IPL is a Twenty20 cricket tournament, backed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Season - 1 of the DLF Indian Premier League was introduced on 18 April, 2008. Eight teams from all over the country are participating in what will be the debut version of the Indian Premier League. The eight teams are representing the eight major cities of India.

The DLF Indian Premier League 2008 will consist of 59 matches and will go on for 44 days. The IPL works on the basis of franchise system, much like the American system of hiring players.

All the franchises were put on auction where the highest bidder won the rights of a particular team. On January 24, 2008 the auction took place and the total price for the auction was $400 million. However, the auction roped in a staggering $723.59 million. Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh have been declared as the 'Icon Players' by the BCCI which means that they will represent the city in which they are based. An 'Icon Player' will also get 15% more match fee than what the highest paid member of that particular team will get. Apart from this, there was another clause with regard to the whole bidding procedure which stated that each team could not select more than two Australian players each.

Some of the world's best known players are participating in the tournament. They were bought by an open auction by a host of well known businessmen and celebrities. The list of franchise owners and celebrities include names like Mukesh Ambani, whose Reliance Industries got the Mumbai franchise for $111.9 million over a period of 10 years; liquor giant and business tycoon Vijay Mallya who is also the owner of a Formula 1 team, acquired the Bangalore franchise for $111.6 million; Bollywood super star Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment won the Kolkata Knight Riders for $75 million while another Bollywood star Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia together won the Chandigarh franchise for $75 million. The team which wins the first edition of the DLF Indian Premier League will get richer by $3 million.

Indian cricket star Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Australia's Andrew Symonds fetched big amounts with the Chennai franchise buying Dhoni for US$1.5 million while Symonds was bought by the Hyderabad franchise for US$1.3 million. But everyone was not so lucky; Australia's Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath were sold for US$450,000 and US$350,000 respectively.

The Indian Premier League has some of the top names from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand as coaches for the teams. While Mohali signed former Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody, Kolkata got former Australian coach John Buchanan as their coach. Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe is the advisor of the Bangalore franchise while Delhi recruited Victoria coach Greg Shipperd. The coach of Chennai will be former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels. Hyderabad will be coached by Indian fielding coach Robin Singh and Jaipur's coach and captain will be Shane Warne.

IPL has generated tremendous amount of hype since it gives an opportunity to top players of different countries to play alongside with each other in the same team. So, one can see Saurav Ganguly sharing the crease with Ricky Ponting and Irfan Pathan sharing the new ball with Bret Lee. . Indian Premier League has got the backing of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and it is expected that ICC will make its future schedule keeping in mind the commitment of IPL.