The build-up has been somewhat low-key, what with several players, both international and domestic, involved in playing representative cricket for their countries, their states or franchises and the tournament seemingly materialising suddenly. But while the hype and the hoopla have been somewhat muted, there is no doubt that all teams are in a state of complete preparedness, going into edition six of the Indian Premier League.
Kolkata Knight Riders, the defending champions, have the honour of kicking off this season’s tournament with a home clash, at the Eden Gardens, against Delhi Daredevils on Wednesday (April 3) night. It’s a rematch of the first game for both teams in season five, which the Daredevils won by eight wickets in a match reduced to 12 overs a side. Much water has flowed under the Hooghly Bridge since then, and the slate has been wiped clean.
For all their dominance of the league phase, the Daredevils failed to make it count towards the knockout stages of the competition, while the Knight Riders kept unearthing one hero after another. Manvinder Bisla emerged as the unlikeliest of them all with an innings of supreme brilliance in the final against Chennai Super Kings.