The Indian Premier League is a series of Twenty20 cricket matches that are held annually in India. It started in 2008 as a reflection of soccer leagues such as the Barclay’s premier league and the English Premier League. It is today a billion dollar enterprise that entertains audiences in India and other countries alike. However the game does abide by a certain set of predefined rules that are to be strictly followed. Not very different from the conventional rules of cricket, the Indian Premier League offers slight variations to provide the extra boost to the action.
When acquiring players every team has a number of ways to include a certain player into their team. The most common method is the annual auction wherein the franchise owners can bid for players and the highest bidder takes the cake. The other methods include signing domestic and un-capped players and signing replacements. For the final count the team must have a minimum of 16 players, one coach and one physio. The team can comprise of up to 11 foreign players, i.e. players who are not from India, but the top eleven can consist of a maximum of 4 non Indian players. In addition the team must include a minimum of 14 Indian players and 6 players from BCCI under 22 pool. These rules are designed to ensure fair play and avoid unfair advantage to any one team.
The Indian Premier League follows the ‘robin-round tournament’ pattern. This is basically a pattern in which every team faces off every other team. The teams are required to play every other team twice and the points are summed up to establish which teams precede to the semi-finals. After the initial group stage the top four teams enter into the Playoffs stage which consist of four matches namely Qualifier 1, Eliminator, Qualifier 2 and Final.
The Indian Premier League matches don’t have any time cap and hence the players are free to utilize all the time to their convenience however the umpires monitor the time and ensure that this freedom isn’t taken advantage off. Something unique to these matches is the Strategic Timeout. This is a two and a half minute break given between the 6th and 9th over and the 13th and 16th over. These breaks are given in each innings so that the teams can revisit their strategy. It can be taken as per convenience. Usually a win guarantees two points to a team and a loss gives no points. However in case of a draw or abandonment of a match due to undue circumstances such as rain etc, both teams are given one point each.