51-day IPL kicks off on April 7, fi­nal at Wankhede

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO -

IPL’S gov­ern­ing coun­cil had last month ac­cepted a re­quest by broad­caster Star Sports to change the tim­ings, but it was learnt that the fran­chises, who are 50% stake­hold­ers in the rev­enue model, op­posed the re­vised tim­ings as they had not been con­sulted.

Most of the fran­chises have re­jigged line-ups this year. Ben Stokes (Rs 12.5 crore) emerged as the costli­est player at the auc­tion and Jayadev Unad­kat (Rs 11.5 crore) was the costli­est In­dian player. Both play­ers were roped in by Ra­jasthan Roy­als who, along with Chen­nai Su­per Kings, are back in the league af­ter serv­ing a two-year ban for il­le­gal bet­ting.

How­ever, Stokes’s par­tic­i­pa­tion is still in doubt as he faces trial for a brawl out­side a pub in Bris­tol a few months ago.

Gamb­hir, the 36-year-old who had led Kolkata Knight Rid­ers to two ti­tles in his seven-year stay, was not re­tained. He will be the Delhi Dare­dev­ils skip­per.

Gamb­hir’s de­par­ture from KKR has left a void. An­dre Rus­sell, Robin Uthappa and Di­nesh Karthik are the likely choices for lead­ing the t wo-time cham­pi­ons.

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