This season has seen the addition of two new teams, namely ‘Gujarat Lions’ and ‘Pune Super Giants.’ These new teams have replaced the ‘Rajasthan Royals’ and the ‘Chennai Super Kings,’ which have been suspended until 2017.
This season is called the ‘VIVO IPL 2016’ since Chinese electronics manufacturer VIVO is the title sponsor. This tournament would also feature for the first time LED stumps, which means that whenever the stumps are hit, they will light up and that the decision cannot be reversed.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Two-time champions ‘Kolkata Knight Riders’, who led with eight points from four wins and one loss will play their home games at Eden Gardens, the largest Cricket stadium in India. Their team is coached by former player and South African Cricket legend Jacques Kallis and captained by veteran Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir who has played for the team since 2011.
Also included in the squad is star World Cup winning Australian Veteran Brad Hogg, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder, Kiwi all-rounder Colin Munro, South African paceman Morne Morkel and the big hitting Yusuf Pathan.
The team is coached by Australian Veteran Brad Hodge and captained by Indian batsman Suresh Raina who is the highest scorer in the IPL of all time.
The Lions team includes big hitting former Kiwi batsman Brendon McCullum, experienced paceman Dale Steyn, star Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, the ever- impressive West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and Australian paceman James Faulkner.
The Gujarat Lions squad has a good mix of batting and bowling talent, making them a favourite to win in their inaugural IPL campaign.
Kings 11 Punjab
Another team with a promising campaign is tail enders Kings 11 Punjab who have won only two points from their last five games. However, their squad consists of hard hitting batsman and captain David Miller, lethal Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson, South African bowler Kyle Abbott, game-changing all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and star opening batsman Murali Vijay.
Delhi Daredevils will also be carrying high hopes from their fans, despite lacking experienced players in the team. They have won three out of their four games so far.
The team is led by Indian Zaheer Khan and includes ace spinner Imran Tahir, star batsman Sanju Samson, opener Quinton de Kock and Indian paceman Mohammed Shami.
This edition of the IPL is expected to be even more entertaining than the previous seasons as two new teams have been introduced along with two former league winning team banned for a couple of years.
A majority of players have found their place in new teams, which boast a perfect blend of experienced players as well as talented youngsters.
IPL fans expect a large amount of sixes, stunning batting displays and brilliant bowling displays along with the drama and action that has made the IPL so popular around the world.
Matthew D’Souza is one of our Sports Correspondents. He is Year 13 student at Avondale College in Auckland.