Even though the New Year Celebrations haven’t yet ended, cricket fans around the world are eagerly waiting for the sixteenth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The IPL 2023 Mini-Auction was held successfully in Kochi on December 23 after the conclusion of which the squads of all the ten participating teams are ready.
While an official schedule from the IPL organising committee is yet to be released, reports have suggested that IPL 2023 will start on April 1. Other than the fact that this will be a brand new season feauturing some young prospects, there are several other factors which make it an edition of the tournament unlike any previous one in the history of the competition.
Here are top things to watch out for ahead of IPL 2023 this year:
1. Impact Player Rule
This will be the first season that the Impact Player Rule will come into consideration. As per this rule, a team will have to list four substitutes at the toss other than the designated Playing XI. Then the captain has the agency to use any one of their four listed subs as their Impact Player. It should be noted that a team can rope in an impact player before the start of an innings, at the conclusion of an over and at the fall of a wicket if a batter reties. In case, the bowling side has brought in an Impact Player in the middle of an over, in such a scenario, the sub won’t be allowed to bowl the remaining balls of the same over.
2. The Home and Away Format is Back
IPL 2023 is all set to see the return of the home and away format. Even though the tournament returned to India last year after COVID-19 forced the competition out of India, the league stage was held entirely in Maharashtra before the business end matches were conducted in Kolkata and Ahmedabad. This year though, the traditional home and away format is expected to be back with the situation with regards to the pandemic seemingly under control.
3. The form of IPL’s biggest buys
Sam Curran, Cameron Green and Ben Stokes became the top-three buys in the history of the IPL auction. While Sam Curran was bought for Rs 18.5 Crore by the Punjab Kings, Cameron Green went for Rs 17.5 Crore to the Mumbai Indians. Ben Stokes was sold to the Chennai Super Kings for Rs 16.25 crore. It would be interesting to see how they perform under the pressure of this massive price tag given that players haven’t been at their best usually when they have been bought for a lot of money.