The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off on Saturday, 23 March, with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) hosting the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Following the CSK-RCB clash, Sunday will witness the first double-header of the season. While Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) host the 2018 runners-up Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Eden Gardens, Mumbai Indians (MI) take on the newly-christened Delhi Capitals (DC) later in the evening.
The BCCI has unveiled the schedule for the group stage of this year's tournament, with the final set of matches taking place on Sunday, 5 May — Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) hosting CSK at Mohali, with MI facing KKR in the second match of the double header. The dates for the knockouts are yet to be announced.
The return of the Australian duo Steve Smith and David Warner has also added to the anticipation of this year's tournament. Smith and Warner had been handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia for their role in the ball-tampering scandal in March, 2018, and haven't played international cricket since. The pair will be looking to utilise the tournament as an opportunity to prepare themselves for the World Cup that kicks off in the UK on 30 May.
Here's everything you need to know as far as the 2019 edition of the IPL is concerned:
Teams, venues and tickets:
Following are the teams and their respective home grounds as well as the websites where one can get tickets for their matches:
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (franchise website)
Delhi Capitals (DC): Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi (fanchise website)
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH): Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad (Events Now)
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Eden Gardens, Kolkata (BookMyShow)
Rajasthan Royals (RR): Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur (BookMyShow)
Mumbai Indians (MI): Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai (BookMyShow)
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali (Insider)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK): MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai (BookMyShow)
CSK: MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Billings, Mitchell Santner, David Willey, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, N Jagadeesan, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Mohit Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad.
DC: Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Jayant Yadav, Manjot Kalra, Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Ankush Bains, Nathu Singh, Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Jalaj Saxena, Bandaru Ayyappa.
KXIP: Ravichandran Ashwin (c), KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Moises Henriques, Nicholas Pooran, Varun Chakaravarthy, Sam Curran, Mohammad Shami, Sarfaraz Khan, Hardus Viljoen, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin.
KKR: Dinesh Karthik (c), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Carlos Brathwaite, Lockie Ferguson, Nikhil Naik, Harry Gurney, Yarra Prithviraj, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe
MI: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Quinton de Kock, Lasith Malinga, Anmolpreet Singh, Barinder Sran, Pankaj Jaiswal, Rasikh Salam, Yuvraj Singh.
RR: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Krishnappa Gowtham, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal, Aryaman Birla, S. Midhun, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mahipal Lomror, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas, Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Shubham Rajane, Manan Vohra, Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag.
RCB: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Shivam Dube, Heinrich Klaasen, Gurkeerat Singh, Himmat Singh, Prayas Ray Barman.
SRH: Kane Williamson (c), Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Khaleel Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Billy Stanlake, David Warner, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill.
As per the schedule announced by the BCCI for the group stage, all the matches will take place at 8 pm barring the afternoon matches during the weekend double-headers, which will start four hours earlier.
Following are some of the cricketers who are set to miss a part or the entire tournament due to injury or international commitments:
Lungi Ngidi (Chennai Super Kings, injury), Anrich Nortje (Kolkata Knight Riders, injury).
What's different this year?
This year's edition is unique for a number of reasons. Not only is it the first time the IPL's taking place before the World Cup, the opposite of what had happened in 2011 and 2015, but this event will also kick off without the glitzy opening ceremony that fans of the league have grown so used to over the years.