The glamour-filled and star-studded Indian Premier League (IPL) goes into its 12th edition in 2019, with long-time rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) locking horns in the opening clash of the event at Chennai on Saturday, 23 March.
The tournament holds a lot more importance for international sides this year given the ICC World Cup that is to kick off in England and Wales less than three weeks after the final. That has, in turn, led to the franchises having to chalk out plans concerning the workloads of key players, although some have commented on the T20 tournament being an ideal way for players to warm up for the big ICC event later this summer.
Both Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals (RR) made it to the knockout stage of the 2018 edition after serving a two-year suspension over corruption charges. MS Dhoni-led CSK went on to complete the fairytale by beating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) comfortably in the final in Mumbai, lifting the trophy for the third time as a result.
Chennai are now level with Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians (MI) in terms of number of title victories as a result.
Aside from the fact that the tournament is taking place right before a World Cup, instead of after as had been the case in 2011 and 2015, this edition is unique for an entirely different reason. The Committee of Administrators (COA) had earlier announced their decision to scrap the IPL opening ceremony, stating the funds will instead be donated to the families of the CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack on 14 February.
CSK made a decision in the same vein, stating that the proceeds from ticket sales for the opening clash against RCB will be donated to the said families.
Here's a look at the current Orange and Purple Cap holders in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League:
Orange Cap: David Warner (450 runs, ave: 75.00; SR: 145.16)
Purple Cap: Kagiso Rabada with 17 wickets (ave: 14.45; eco: 7.71)