The billions and the IPL story

2008. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Zaheer Khan becomes the first ever wicket taker at the IPL’s first ever edition as he dismissed the “dada” of Indian cricket, Sourav Ganguly. I was fortunate to be watching it unfold at the Chinnaswamy Stadium as the entire nation witnessed the shift in how T20 cricket will be played thereafter. McCullum’s 158* in the very first game was a subtle sign of what is called as the “Bazball” mentality today. Fast forward to 2023. The landscape has changed, the dreams, aspirations, excitement levels, the money in the game and of course the quality of cricket, all have been injected for 15 years recurring with the adrenaline pumping Steriod, called the Indian Premier League (IPL). Here, we capture some aspects of IPL that would make for some interesting facts as we wade our way through the new forthcoming edition.

So, How Rich is the Indian Premier League? How do the numbers stack up?

Let’s start with IPL’s current valuation sitting at a staggering USD 8.4 Billion ( currently. This is due to the mammoth Rs. 48,390 crore media rights deal the BCCI struck lately.

Where does the IPL stand when pitted against other Global Sporting Leagues?

The IPL comprises of only 10 teams as opposed to other global sporting behemoths such as the EPL (English Football) with 20 teams, NBA (USA based Basketball league) with 30 teams & the AFL (Aussie Rules) with 18 teams. While we say that, the IPL is perched to a nicety at the second spot on Revenue generated per Match, just behind the NFL (American Football).

Now, here is another fact for you. The IPL generates 2 times the revenue per game as opposed to the NBA (Basketball) league in the USA that has a history of decades behind it. It’s for your own imagination to construct a vision as to what the IPL is heading towards in the future.

For those salivating over some more numbers and just how successful the IPL is already, here’s some more perspective. The IPL gets richer per match conducted as opposed to the Bundesliga (German Football league), La Liga (Spanish Football league), the EPL (English Football League) amongst so many more. Bottom line, the IPL generates more revenue per game that it plays that any other league in the world barring the NFL (American Football, USA)

It is also interesting to note that the very first sponsor of the IPL was DLF (2008 – 2012). They shelled out Rs. 40 crores (USD 5.3 million) per annum. Cut to 2023, Tata now coughs up Rs. 439.80 crores (USD 58.4 million) per annum now. It’s a 10x investment to be a title sponsor now. Compare that to what Barclays signed with the EPL (English Football league) as it is USD 40.5 million* per annum. Hence, it shows the value of the IPL and its growth story.


Are each of the IPL Teams also growing their brand value per year?

Source :

Mumbai Indians is the most valued brand within the IPL sitting pretty at a whopping USD 1.2 billion valuation followed very closely by three other teams valued over a billion as well, namely Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders & the Lucknow Super Giants. Ironically, the current Title Holders Gujarat Titans are the least valued of the 10 teams.

So, the IPL is here! But, what does it bring for you in its 16th Edition?

It is that time of the Year. 31st March until May 28th 2023. The IPL is Back with its 16th edition. A Billion people all over the globe get ready to witness the multi-Billion dollar league. There will be numerous defeats and successes enjoyed by the respective 10 IPL teams which will either break hearts or create cherished memories for the heavily invested fanbase. Hockey stick curves will be witnessed in the ad spends across the board as corporates budget for the IPL to launch, revive or cement and upwardly increment their respective business’ revenues and brand positioning. Needless to say the broadcasters will have a field day as the TRP’s see a real surge.

My TOP “DID YOU KNOW” Tips about the IPL

  • IPL will host only 74 games as compared to 285 games by the NFL (USA: American Football) & 380 games by the EPL (England : Football / Soccer).
  • IPL was broadcasted LIVE on Youtube in 2010
  • Mumbai Indians have won the IPL Trophy a record 5 times
  • David Warner has won the Orange Cap 3 times (2015, 2017 & 2019)
  • Virat Kohli is the ONLY current player in the history of the IPL to play for one franchise (RCB) since its inception in 2008.
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the ONLY player to hold back to back Purple Cap (Highest Wicket Taker) in consecutive years : 2016 & 2017.
  • Dwayne Bravo has also won the Purple Cap 2 times (2013 & 2015)
  • KL Rahul has the record for the Fastest IPL 50 in just 16 balls.
  • Brad Hogg has been the Oldest Player to have played the IPL at the age of 45 years.
  • Prayas Ray Burman is Youngest player to play at the IPL at just 16 years and 157 days.
  • AB Develliers holds the record for the most number of Man of the Match Awards, 25 in total.
  • Virat Kohli is the Highest Run scorer in a single season (973 runs with 4 centuries)

The Flag Off: 31st March 2023

Defending Champs, Gujarat Titans take on MSD’s side: the mighty Chennai Super Kings. The grand stage for this monumental encounter is the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Expect a full house with more than 100,000 spectators egging on the home side.

The Group Stage is now divided up differently to cater to 10 teams;

Group A: Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants

Group B: Chennai Super Kings, Punjab Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Titans

Quick Fact check about what’s new and exciting about the IPL 2023 Edition!

Jio Cinema sans any subscription costs are to provide the entire IPL to the Indian population for FREE this year and too in 4k resolution. This is the first time Star Sports & Hotstar shall not be broadcasting this behemoth.

The matches will be played in the Home and Away format where all the 10 teams will play 7 home games and 7 away games in the league stage.

The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League is scheduled to have 70 league-stage matches and will be played across 12 venues over 52 days.

Post Covid it will be the first edition of the IPL to be played across the length and breadth of the country.

The KL Rahul led LSG side will finally play a Home Game this year at Lucknow. This is a first for LSG in its existence. The Delhi Capitals would be their first opponents at Home on the 1st of April.

Guwahati as a venue will be making its IPL Debut as it is a home ground for 2 games for Rajasthan Royals.

The picturesque Dharamsala stadium is back in the mix after a 10 year hiatus from the IPL. It shall now be a Home Ground for the Punjab Kings team for 2 games.

New Rules, laws & regulations bring a new dimension to the game.

Impact Player : Teams can mainly field an Indian substitute Player (unless team plays less than 4 overseas) as an impact player from a substitute list (up to 4 names) prior to starting the game. A player can bat and bowl, but only in the 2nd innings of the game.

DRS for No Ball & Wide has been introduced this year. It was about time. Don’t we all remember that Jasprit Bumrah No-Ball blunder committed by the umpire a couple of seasons ago.

While these are great additions, here are some rules I would like to personally see get implemented in one of the upcoming IPL’s:

5 overseas players (4 + 1 Associate nation) instead of the usual 4. The Women Premier League (WPL) has seen this used to a nicety with Tara Norris (Associate Nation player from the USA) of DC picking up a 5-wicket haul as the 5th overseas. With 10 teams vying for the title, there is now room to accommodate further talent from Associate nations too. Players like David Wiese of Namibia (Associate Nation) can become gold dust to any team as the 5th overseas.

The SA20 recently allowed teams to amend their Playing XI post toss as well. This allows for a neutral ground for both teams to play on. Takes away the disadvantage of losing a toss and puts skill in the forefront.

The inaugural SA20 also introduced the Bonus Points rule wherein getting extra points for winning games with high margins were rewarded in the league stages.

The leg bye rule. Free runs should not be given. If the bowler has beaten the batter fair and square then why allow the batter to steal a run.

Amendments in retiring batters and allowing strategic decisions to be able to send the same retired batter back at any point in time. Allows for teams to play roles and squad selection puts more emphasis on the think tank behind the scenes.

But, what went on behind the scenes at the Auction table?

An initial total of 991 cricketers, including 714 Indians, had registered for the IPL 2023 Players’ Auction that was held in Kochi on December 23, 2022.

Among the 14 overseas countries, Australia with 57 players had the most players in the auction pool, followed by South Africa (52).

Among other nations, here is the list;

West Indies (33), England (31), New Zealand (27), Sri Lanka (23), Afghanistan (14) Ireland (8), Netherlands (7), Bangladesh (6), UAE (6), Zimbabwe (6), Namibia (5) and Scotland (2) are the other countries.

The final auction pool had been halved to 405 players from the originally registered 991, with a maximum of 87 slots available to be filled by the 10 franchises. Of these, 30 will be overseas players.

A total of 273 Indian players, and 132 overseas – including four from Associate countries – were a part of the final list. There were 119 capped players alongside 286 uncapped players.

Which Players can be the Dark Horses? Did the Scouts do a good job?

It’s important to recognise the breed of a player very early prior to going to the auction. This is where quality scouting becomes key for any team. Typically scouting not only happens in India, but in the overseas markets too. This can be Test playing or Associate Nations. Bottom line, if you need to induct players such as Tim David who was once a player from Singapore and was just playing freelance cricket globally in T20 leagues, then scouting efforts need to be at their optimum. Not only did he get picked at the IPL, but thereafter Australia brought him into the squad without playing much of domestic cricket in Australia and are bearing the fruits of the effort put in by the IPL team scouts.

Having followed the domestic circuit (Ranji, VHT, SMAT & Irani) in India along with the International Associate Nations games, these were some names one feels shall now have their time in the sun and this exposure will get them to the next level.

Key Question – Is there a Loyalty Factor established to a particular IPL team? Who does the fanbase support : Players, their respective cities or the Teams? Or both?

Ask the avid IPL fan, even they might want to “phone a friend” on this one as they will scrap for answers as to which player this season is playing for which of the 10 teams. Yes, you have Virat Kohli (RCB) & MS Dhoni (CSK) who are at one end of the spectrum as their teams are associated with the player’s brand image itself. But, on the end of the stick, there is an Aaron Finch who has played for 9 IPL Teams. There is consistent chopping, changing and trading at the auction table that leaves the fanbase rather confused prior to the start of every season. Not to forget mid-season and retention trades leave the spectators baffled every further. Here’s a look into some players who’ve been rather notorious with shifting teams almost every season.

Musical Chairs of the player trades leaves the Fanbase rather confused!

Aaron Finch (Aus) – RR DC RCB PWI SRH MI Gujarat Lions, PBKS, KKR

Dinesh Karthik (Ind) – DC, PBKS, MI, RCB, KKR, Gujarat Lions


KL Rahul (Ind) – SRH , RCB, LSG, PBKS

Shikhar Dhawan (Ind) – SRH, PBKS, MI, DC, Deccan Chargers

Manish Pandey (Ind) – RCB, PWI, MI, SRH, DC (this year ), KKR, LSG

Are the fans loyal to the teams?

In the last 15 years, the IPL has profited more than what Lalit Modi and his IPL Committee would have set out to achieve initially. However, besides the monetary success, the one thing that IPL still grapples with is the fan following related to some teams such as the Punjab Kings and even so the Delhi Capitals. They’ve been rebranded as teams and rechristened too. This, however hasn’t really seen a fanbase loyalty factor growth as compared to the CSK, RCB or the MI brands. These three brands have done well to maintain their core group of players along with the leadership despite them winning or losing in various years. As the IPL grows into the Tier 2 cities of India with LSG & GT coming into the mix, there will have to be some semblance to this musical chairs played by the players.

Who are the TOP Earners to look forward to this year?

  1. Sam Curran (Punjab Kings): 185 million rupees (approximately $2.26m)
  2. Cameron Green (Mumbai Indians): 175m rupees ($2.14m)
  3. KL Rahul (Lucknow Super Giants): 170m rupees ($2m)
  4. Ben Stokes (Chennai Super Kings): 162.5m rupees ($1.98m)
  5. Nicholas Pooran (Lucknow Super Giants): 160m rupees ($1.95m)
  6. Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings): 160m rupees ($1.95m)
  7. Rishabh Pant* (Delhi Capitals): 160m rupees ($1.95m)
  8. Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders): 160m rupees ($1.95m)
  9. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians): 160m rupees ($1.95m)
  10. Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians): 152.5m rupees ($1.86m)
  11. Hardik Pandya (Gujarat Titans): 150m rupees ($1.8m)
  12. Rashid Khan (Gujarat Titans): 150m rupees ($1.8m)
  13. Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers): 150m rupees ($1.8m)


Sam is an excricketer having played for Singapore U23’s and at a semi professional level in England in the 1990’s.
He is a cricke-preneur working on the online & offline space in partnership with stalwarts such as Mickey Arthur.


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