How Does The Indian Premier League Work?

Cricket is one of the popular sports in South Asia, mainly in India & Pakistan. In old days, Cricket was only played in the form of Test Cricket (5 days event). At that time, Cricket was played & viewed by a selected segment of society. It gained popularity with the introduction of One Day International Cricket but the real boost to its popularity came with the start of T20 Cricket, a reasonably short form of cricket.

ipl team

The “Indian Premier League”, most commonly known as “IPL”, brought the popularity of the short form of cricket, to ultimate heights. What is IPL and how it works is a common question? Let us explore the IPL!

History & Background

India won the T20 World Cup in 2007. Soon after this success, “Indian Cricket League” (ICL) was founded with the financial support of “Zee Entertainment Enterprises”. However, this couldn’t attract the attention of Cricket fans, as it was recognized neither by International Cricket Council (ICC) nor by the BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India).

In September 2007, the BCCI officially launched the “Indian Premier League” (IPL), a franchise based T20 Cricket League. The first tournament of IPL was eventually played in April 2008 and quickly gained the ultimate popularity, not only in India but all around the Cricketing nations.


Soon it attained the highest viewership base and become the sixth most popular league in all sports. IPL is the first-ever sporting event broadcasted live on YouTube in 2010. IPL tournament is staged in April & May each year. Till date, 10 seasons of IPL have been played successfully.

How Many Teams Participate In IPL?

Initially, 8 teams were formed to contest the League. Later on, two more teams were inducted and a couple of teams were abandoned, whereas a couple more have been suspended for two seasons. The last championship was contested by following eight teams, in 2017.

IPL teams
  • Chennai Super Kings
  • Delhi Daredevils
  • Kings XI Punjab
  • Kolkata Knight Riders
  • Mumbai Indians
  • Rajasthan Royals
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore
  • Sunrisers Hyderabad
kolkata knight riders

Formulation of Teams

Each franchise can formulate their teams in the following composition.

  • Foreign Players 8
  • Players from local catchment area 4
  • Big name Indian players 4

Players can be acquired in three ways, Annual Player Auction, Trading between the franchises with the consent of players and signing replacements for the unavailable players.

Some of the rules are given below which the Franchises must follow.

  • Squad must be between 16 to 27 players with maximum 9 overseas players
  • Playing eleven can have a maximum 4 overseas players
  • Salary cap of entire team is 66 crore Indian Rupees (as of 2017)

What Is The Format Of Tournament?

The tournament is played between all the 8 contesting teams on Double Round Robin League basis. Each team plays with all the other teams, twice, on home ground and away from home ground. Four top teams emerge after the league phase, which qualifies for the playoffs.

team ranking

Teams ranked First & Second in the league phase play together in the first playoff game. The winning team qualifies for the final. Third and fourth-ranked team after completion of the league phase, play with each other in eliminator match; winner getting through to the second playoff game to be played with the loser of first playoff game.

Winner of the second playoff game qualify for the final, to be played between winners of the First & Second Playoff games. Winner of the final is crowned as the “Indian Premier League Champions.”

Playing Conditions / Rules

There is no specific time limit for a team to complete its innings as the IPL games are played utilizing “television timeouts”. However, Umpires can impose the penalty on any team if they feel that the team is misusing this privilege.

Two and a half minute “strategic timeout” is given to each team during each innings. One is taken by the bowling side between 6th to 9th over. Batting side can avail this timeout between 13th to 16th over.

What Is Orange Cap?

The top run-scoring Batsman during an IPL season is awarded “Orange Cap”. It is a continuous competition throughout the tournament and the leader has the privilege to wear this Cap till the final. The eventual winner of the entire tournament holds this cap for the relevant season.

What Is Purple Cap?

Top wicket taking Bowler gets the “Purple Cap” and just like the Orange Cap, it is also an ongoing competition. The leader of the competition wears this cap throughout the tournament till final game. The eventual winner of the competition keeps the cap of the season.


What Is “DLF IPL” & “VIVO IPL”?

Nothing Extra Ordinary! These are just the names given to each IPL season based on the brand name of the sponsors. For the first four years (2008 to 2012) DLF, the largest real estate developers of India bought the title sponsorship rights of IPL; hence the official name “DLF IPL” was adopted.

For the next seasons, sponsorship rights were bought by Pepsico but they terminated their deal in 2015. The organizers awarded the title sponsorship rights to a Chinese Mobile Phone manufacturing company “Vivo”. Since 2015 to date the IPL is therefore officially named as “Vivo IPL”.

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