IPL 9: 13 ‘firsts’ in Indian Premier League this season

The ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) commences from April 9, 2016 and this year many new implementations have been applied in this so called festival of India. IPL is the only T20 tournament to have been played consecutively for nine years. On the eve of this mega event of India, Abhishek Kumar presents some of the notable firsts, which will occur in this edition of IPL.

1.  Gujarat Lions is one of the two new teams alongside Rising Pune Supergiants and this is the first instance of a team coming from Gujarat in this tournament.

2.  First time when an Australian Test captain — Steve Smith will be playing under Indian captain MS Dhoni in IPL.

3.  This is the first instance of two former champion teams of the tournament are not participating. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals are not the part of this year’s IPL because of the two-year ban.

4.  Dhoni and Suresh Raina both played for CSK since the inception of IPL. This will be the first time, when both these players will represent different teams.

5.  Shaun Marsh becomes the only foreign player to play atleast one match in every season of IPL since 2008 for the same team — Kings XI Punjab. Lasith Malinga has been the part of Mumbai Indians since 2008 but he didn’t play any match in 2008.

6.  First season of IPL with only two teams from South India. Royal Challengers Bangalore and SunRisers Hyderabad are the only two teams from South India in this edition of IPL. There have been atleast three teams from South India in every season of IPL.

7.  Shane Watson was the part of Rajasthan Royals since the beginning of IPL in 2008. This will be the first time, when he will be playing for any other franchise in IPL.

8.  Virender Sehwag is the only player to quit from IPL with a strike rate of above 150 amongst the players who have faced atleast 150 balls. He scored 2728 runs in his 104 IPL matches with the strike rate of 155.44

9.  RCB was bought by Vijay Mallya in IPL and this will be the first time when he is not associated with this tournament as he stepped down as the director of Royal Challengers Sports Pvt Ltd (RCSPL) and Amrit Thomas replaces him as the head of the franchise.

10.  First time when LED stumps will be used in IPL.

11.  Dwayne Bravo will be performing at the IPL opening ceremony and this will be the first time when a cricketer is going to perform at the opening ceremony of the tournament.

12.  This will be the first occasion where spectators will get an opportunity to express their views on decisions referred to third umpire. Crowd at stadium will be given a placard, and whatever they feel they can say with that placard by mentioning — out or not out and it will be caught by the camera and shown on the big screen. But the decision of the third umpire will be final one.

13.  RCB came up with the idea of different kits for home and away matches. They are the only team in the history of IPL to do so.

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with Criclife.com. He can be followed on Twitter @abhishekkr2593 and on Facebook at abhicricket.kumar)