The months of April and May bring along a lot of joy and entertainment. Yes, it is the time of the fun-filled summer vacations. However, the added delight comes with the commencement of the cricket festival in India – the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The love for cricket in India is not restricted to a particular age group, which is why you will witness cricket fans of every age group thronging the stadiums during the IPL. Every franchise has a theme song; every team has a loyal fan-following that never fail in their show of love and support for their heroes.
The IPL is the most successful project by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It is a platform that brings domestic and international players together in their battle for the trophy.
Only South Africa’s Ram Slam T20 Challenge was played prior to the inception of the IPL. The Indian T20 league, in no time, has scaled new heights and is currently ranked sixth among all sports leagues. After the IPL’s success, countries like Australia, England, Pakistan and Bangladesh initiated their respective T20 leagues.
The inaugural edition of the IPL was played in 2008. The tournament had eight franchises and each team comprised both Indian and overseas players. The first match of the 2008 edition was played between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 18.
In 2008, nine venues were used for the tournament – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai, Mohali, Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. However, nine years on, a total of 20 grounds across the country have hosted at least one IPL match.
Let’s go through the top five venues that have hosted the most number of matches:
#5 Sawai Mansingh Stadium – 13 matches
The cricket stadium is based out of Jaipur and a total of 13 IPL matches have been played there since the inaugural season in 2008. It was built during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and seats 30,000.
It is the home ground of the first champions of the IPL, Rajasthan Royals (RR). The Shane Warne-led side defeated CSK in the final to win the historic first edition. Ever since then, though, RR are yet to reach a final.
One of the most memorable matches at this venue was the 23rd group match in the 2013 edition, played between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians. Batting first, the Dravid-led Rajasthan entertained the crowd with some brilliant batting from Watson, Rahane and an uncapped Dishant Yagnik.
Rahane's unbeaten 68 off 54 balls helped RR go past 150 in no time and they ended up setting a defendable total of 179 runs. To add to the delight of the spectators, RR's bowling attack ran through the Mumbai line-up, dismissing them for just 92 runs.
Also Read : World Cup 2019 Venues