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