TOP 10 Game-changing Moments in IPL 2023
Cricket, Showbiz, and Politics are the lifelines of the great Indian populace, and that includes the non-resident Indian crowd as well. No matter where they are seated, their heart and soul feed off the glitz, glamour, scoops, and scandals that go hand in hand with these three prominent fields. Setting politics aside, cricket and showbiz themselves have the power to keep the whole nation in raptures. So, when you put them both together, it is obviously a win-win situation, a game-changing moments in IPL!
The Indian Premier League that debuted in 2008 was the perfect, heady mix of cricket and entertainment! Furthermore, it has since grown to be one of the most awaited sporting events in our country.
#1 - The Buzz
For Cricket Puritans who swore by Test cricket and looked at the 50-over game as an unholy blemish, the T20 format was even less impressive. However, for the mass audience, the adrenaline rush that the shortened game time brought was (and is) equal to sitting through the gripping climax of a full-on action flick with an ensemble cast! A nation that breathes and bleeds cricket, the sprinkling of 'Bollywood' that came along with the IPL was a welcome concoction.
Around the same time that India won the T20 World Cup in 2007, the idea for a franchise-based private cricket league had begun to take shape in India. Zee Entertainment India bankrolled the Indian Cricket League! Moreover, in 2007 in the hope to capitalise on the fervour generated by the 20-20 format. With Kapil Dev at the helm, much was expected from this new cricket league. However, the ICL did not have the BCCI's support and gradually fizzled out. The bigger cricket stars were pulled in for BCCI's own cricket league and by 2009 ICL ceased to exist.
In summary, the BCCI's Indian Premier League entered the fray with a big bang in 2008. The Indian Premier League (IPL) operates on a franchise system inspired by the American model of player recruitment and transfers. The IPL franchises underwent an auction process, in which the team ownership rights were awarded to the highest bidder representing each city.
#2 - The Franchise Auctions
The IPL auction took place in January 2008, with a total base price of $400 million. The auction yielded an impressive sum of $723.59 million.
In addition, Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) secured the title of the most expensive franchise! The Mumbai team fetched a whopping $111.9 million. Vijay Mallya's United Breweries paid $111.6 million to acquire the Bangalore franchise, close behind.
Deccan Chronicle won the Hyderabad chapter of the IPL for $107 million! India Cements' Chennai franchise commanded a price of $91 million!
Furthermore, Bollywood personalities made their mark in the IPL, with two leading stars acquiring ownership of their respective teams. Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla's Red Chillies Entertainment purchased the Kolkata franchise for $75.09 million! Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia secured the Mohali team for $76 million.
#3 - The Founding Teams
The first season of IPL had the who's who of International Cricket playing for it. The eight teams that jet-setted this spectacular cricket entertainment event were:
- Mumbai Indians captained by Cricket-God Sachin Tendulkar himself.
- Kolkata Knight Riders headed by everyone's favourite Sourav Ganguly.
- Royal Challengers Bangalore with Rahul Dravid as captain and Venkatesh Prasad as the coach of the team.
- Chennai Super Kings starring Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain.
- Kings XI Punjab captained by Yuvraj Singh.
- Delhi Daredevils with Virender Sehwag as captain.
- Rajasthan Royals led by former Australian spin bowler Shane Warne.
- Deccan Chargers with VVS Laxman as captain and Robin Singh as the coach.
The very first IPL match was between Shahrukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders and Vijay Mallya's Royal Challengers Bangalore. It was the perfect start to what was soon to be the most expected cricket extravaganza from India.
The Reason Behind the IPL's Popularity
Just as drinking a cup of fresh coffee can provide a burst of energy and rejuvenation! The IPL offers an exhilarating experience for cricket fans. Moreover, the fast-paced matches, and thrilling performances, can stimulate excitement and captivate viewers, just like a great cup of coffee.
So, here is what we think makes IPL so popular:
- Cricket Fever - Cricket is the most popular sport in India. The IPL taps into the nation's deep-rooted love for the game. The tournament brings together top cricket talent from around the world, making it highly appealing to cricket enthusiasts. In fact, the IPL is so popular that it has been dubbed "Cricket Fever".
- Starry Ensemble on and off the field - The IPL attracts renowned cricketers from various countries, including Indian cricket icons and international superstars. Additionally, these high-profile players add to the glamour and excitement of the tournament, making it even more popular.
- Regional Pride and Patriotism - The IPL's franchise-based model allows fans to support teams representing their respective cities or regions. This fosters a sense of regional pride and loyalty, which encourages fans to passionately support their favourite teams. In fact, some fans even travel long distances to watch their teams play.
- Entertainment Unlimited - The IPL is not just about cricket! It offers a complete entertainment package featuring cheerleaders, glamorous opening ceremonies, celebrity team owners, and performances by popular artists. These elements create a carnival-like ambience, which appeals to fans of all ages.
- Firstly, IPL is Short and Sweet - The T20 format of the IPL matches is fast-paced, action-packed, and highly engaging. This shorter duration of matches appeals to fans with limited time and provides a thrilling and condensed cricket experience. In fact, the IPL is one of the most popular sporting events in the world, thanks in part to its short format.
- Second, Youthful Energy - The IPL's energetic and dynamic nature resonates strongly with the younger generation. In fact, the tournament is one of the most popular sporting events among young people in India. This is due, in part, to its blend of cricket, music, and entertainment, which creates a unique and exciting experience for fans.
- Thirdly, the thrills of rivalry - The IPL has seen the emergence of intense rivalries between teams, which add to the drama and excitement of the matches. Additionally, iconic clashes like Mumbai Indians Vs. Chennai Super Kings or Kolkata Knight Riders Vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore have become highly anticipated encounters.
- Finally, economic boost - The IPL has a substantial economic impact, benefiting various sectors such as hospitality, tourism, media, and advertising. Firstly, the tournament generates employment opportunities. Secondly, it attracts investments. Thirdly, it boosts local economies. These factors make the IPL highly valued by stakeholders.
Memorable Moments at IPL 2023
IPL 2023 was just as entertaining as every season of this series has been since its inception in 2008. There was no dearth of thrilling encounters and nail-biting final overs.
Here are some of the most entertaining moments from IPL 2023 (in no particular order):
Ravindra Jadeja's Saving Strike - The IPL 2023 finals saw Chennai Super Kings face off against Gujarat Titans. In addition to the buzz that Dhoni might retire from IPL this year, everyone hoped the star cricketer would bring his A game to take his team to victory. But when he walked off the field with no runs to his credit, CSK fans lost all hope.
Enter Ravindra Jadeja. CSK needed 10 runs from two balls and that is precisely what he got with a four and then a six! Thanks to him CSK went on to win its 5th IPL title.
- Rinku Singh's Five Sixes - The Kolkata Knight Riders needed 29 runs from six balls in the last over of their match against Gujarat Titans. At the crease, Umesh Yadav faced the first ball from Yash Dayal and barely managed a single. With all hope out the window, KKR fans watched on in dismay as Rinku Singh stood at the striker's end.
Nobody was prepared for the runs he heaped in the next five balls - six after six after six! With five spectacular sixes in a row, he took his team to a roaring success!
- Lucknow Super Giants' Ginormous Score - In the match against Punjab Superkings, Lucknow Super Giants, that batted first, amassed a whopping 257/7. This is the second-highest score in IPL history since Royal Challengers Bangalore's mega 263/5 against Pune Warriors in 2013. LSG backed its big score with some great fielding and made a convincing 56-run win. Marcus Stoinis' 72 runs off 40 balls earned him the Player of the Match Award.
More Exciting Moments:
- Yashasvi Jaiswal's Fastest Fifty - Spurred on by their unfortunate loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the RRs faced the KKR team with a disciplined game plan. The bowlers restricted the KKR batters, and they ended their innings with 149 runs. When it was their time to bat, RR's opening batter Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a super-fast 50 from 13 balls. His unbeaten 98 played a significant part in his team's victory.
- 1000th game, first 100 - Yashasvi Jaiswal created history in the 1000th IPL match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, scoring his maiden IPL century. He blasted 124 runs off just 62 balls, including 16 fours and 8 sixes, to power Rajasthan Royals to 212/7. Despite the loss, Jaiswal was awarded the Player of the Match for his outstanding performance.
- Virat Kohli's New Records - On May 6, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi, Virat Kohli celebrated his half-century in the match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. This milestone made him the first cricketer to score 7,000 runs in the IPL, a feat he achieved over 225 innings. Kohli's exceptional performance this season included two centuries, bringing his total to seven and surpassing Chris Gayle's record for the most centuries by a player in IPL history.
Rashid Khan's Hatrick: Afghanistan's ace leg-spinner Rashid Khan caught everyone's attention when he grabbed the first hat-trick of the 2023 IPL season against the KKR. However, destiny eventually went against Rashid in that game. Despite his heroics, his side lost the contest courtesy of Rinku Singh's 5 sixes in the final over.
The Rise of Shubman Gill: Gill continued his incredible performance at his team's home ground, in IPL 2023, scoring 572 runs in nine innings.
His outstanding achievement further cements his position as one of the IPL's most promising young talents. Furthermore, he finished the season as the highest run-scorer, earning the coveted Orange Cap. In 17 matches, he scored 890 runs at an average of 63.57 and a strike rate of 158.08. His performance included three centuries, four half-centuries, and the highest individual score of 129.
Let us round up the Top Ten IPL Moments with two that tugged at our heartstrings:
Rishabh Pant at IPL 2023: Delhi Capitals suffered a demoralising 50-run defeat in their opening match against Lucknow Super Giants at the Ekana Stadium. DC may have lost the match, but they managed to win hearts by expressing respect for their esteemed player/captain, Rishabh Pant who is recovering from a major road accident. The DC management displayed his number 17 jersey in the dugout as a tribute and was widely appreciated by fans for this gesture.Rishabh Pant in turn showed his support for his team when he made his first public appearance since the accident during DC's first home game of the season. He was seen in the stands, using crutches but wearing a bright smile on his face as he cheered for his team.
- An Autograph to Remember: Ravindra Jadeja's brilliant four and six won Chennai Super Kings their fifth IPL trophy. Unexpectedly, Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar rushed out and got his shirt autographed by MS Dhoni. There was much speculation about whether Dhoni would return to play in the next IPL season, and that is what prompted Sunil Gavaskar's action. Whether or not Dhoni returns, this moment will stay etched in our memories forever.
The Wait Begins!
The adrenaline rush and excitement of the IPL would remain intact even if the next season began right away. The unlimited entertainment from the rivalries and camaraderie, brilliant batting, and dazzling wicket-taking, is what keeps cricket lovers coming back for more. The emergence of new talents, new heroes, and new records is yet another reason fans find the IPL irresistible. But now it is time to sit back, reminisce, and wait for IPL 2024.