IPL: 10 Interesting trivia you should know about the league

IPL: 10 Interesting trivia you should know about the league

Ravindra Jadeja is the only player in IPL who has more than 2000 runs and 100 wickets alongside.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has established itself as one of the best T20 leagues in the world. The fourteenth edition of the T20 extravaganza began in Chennai on 9 April 2021 with the clash between MI and RCB and got cancelled on May 4 due to an increase in no of COVID-19 amid the camp. The IPL has played a huge part in the development of young Indian talent, providing them a platform to play with and against the giants of the game. The players don’t look like fish out of water when they enter the international arena and seamlessly adjust to the demands and pressures of the game.

Over the years, there has been a plethora of great matches, breath-taking individual performances, freak efforts to win the game, fierce rivalry between some teams, entertaining celebrations, and a lot of records being achieved and broken. While the major records and achievements are known to the general public, some interesting records or trivia do not come to notice easily. In this article, let us have a look at-

10 interesting facts about IPL

1. Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals have never played the season opener

The tournament is in its fourteenth season, but Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab) and Rajasthan Royals have never been part of the opening fixture. Generally, the first match has the defending Champions as one of the teams. However, 2008 winners Rajasthan Royals were allotted the second match (prime time slot) as the opening day of the IPL 2009 was a double-header. Mostly the top teams like the Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Royal Challengers Bangalore feature with the defending Champions in the season opener.

2. Suryakumar Yadav made most IPL appearances before making India debut

Suryakumar Yadav made his debut in the IPL in 2012 and has been an integral part of the league since. After being a member of the Mumbai Indians until 2013, he switched to the Kolkata Knight Riders from the 2014 season. The stylish Mumbaikar was also named as the vice-captain of the team and played primarily as the finisher. Surya’s best however came after he re-joined Mumbai Indians in 2018 as he delivered magnificent performances in a new role at the top of the batting order.

Despite amassing 400+ runs in three consecutive editions of the league, Yadav had to wait for a long time before getting a call-up to the national side. He eventually made his India T20I debut in the recent series against England in Ahmedabad after a record 101 appearances in the IPL, the most by any player before donning an Indian jersey.

3. Top 2 run-aggregates in a single edition of the tournament came in the same year (2016)

During each season of the tournament, the player with the highest run-tally is awarded the Orange Cap. David Warner has won the prestigious award thrice- in 2015, 2017, 2019 scoring 562, 641, 692 runs respectively. However, his best return in a single edition of the tournament came in 2016 when he amassed a whopping 848 runs which also helped Sunrisers Hyderabad to their only title. But it was not the highest tally that year as Virat Kohli surpassed it by a comfortable margin, plundering 973 runs which also included a record four tons. Kohli and Warner in 2016 are the Top 2 in a single edition of the league, even higher than the Orange Cap winners’ run-tallies in other seasons.

4. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Amit Mishra are the only players who have been part of every IPL but have not won the title yet

The IPL is in its fourteenth year and only a handful of players have been a part of each season. The list includes prominent names like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, AB de Villiers, Amit Mishra, etc. Of these players, only Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Amit Mishra have not emerged triumphant even once. Virat has been a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore since the inaugural edition, while AB de Villiers joined him at the RCB in 2011.

He represented Delhi Daredevils during the first auction cycle of 2008-2010. Meanwhile, Amit Mishra has played for the Delhi team for ten years (2008-2010, 2015-2021) and has also been with the Hyderabad franchises Deccan Chargers (2011-2012) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2013-2014).

5. Baba Aparajith has been part of the squad for five seasons but did not make his debut

If there is one player who can count himself unlucky in the history of the tournament, it has to be Baba Aparajith. After his all-round exploits for the India U-19 team in the victorious U-19 World Cup campaign in 2012, Aparajith was picked by his local franchise Chennai Super Kings before the IPL 2013. He continued to be part of the team for the next two years as well but the settled nature of the Chennai outfit denied him a chance to feature in the playing XI. When CSK and RR were banned for two years, he was snapped up by the new team Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016.

The story was the same again, with other youngsters like Rahul Tripathi, Mayank Agarwal, and Washington Sundar preferred over him confining him to the bench for another two years. He was part of the squad for five straight years, yet could not make the coveted debut. He was unsold in the auctions before the next four editions.

6. Ravindra Jadeja is the only player to achieve both 2000 runs and 100 wickets

Ravindra Jadeja has established himself as one of the premier all-rounders across all three formats on the international circuit. He has been a star in the IPL too and is the only player to achieve the feat of scoring 2000 runs and scalping 100 wickets in tournament history. To date, Jaddu has scored 2268 runs and picked up 119 wickets in 190 matches, plying his trade for four franchises namely Rajasthan Royals, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Chennai Super Kings, and Gujarat Lions. Among the batsmen with 2000+ runs, Shane Watson comes second to Jadeja with 92 wickets while among bowlers with 100+ wickets, Dwayne Bravo has the second-best tally with 1510 runs.

7. Ravindra Jadeja has the most IPL appearances without ever being a Captain

Ravindra Jadeja holds another unique record. The Saurashtra all-rounder has appeared in 190 matches in the tournament, the most by any player who has not led the team even once. Overall, he ranks sixth in the list of most matches played in tournament history despite missing the 2010 season due to a ban. The presence of strong captains like Shane Warne (RR), Mahela Jayawardene (KTK), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (CSK), and Suresh Raina (GL) has meant that Jadeja was never considered for the captaincy role. Further, he also does not have captaincy experience in domestic cricket.

8. No Kolkata Knight Riders batter scored a century in the IPL after Brendon McCullum’s 158* in the inaugural game in 2008

Playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Brendon McCullum lit up the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium with a blistering knock of 158* (73) in the opening match of the tournament history against the Royals Challengers Bangalore in 2008. The innings proved to be a great launchpad for the tremendous success of the league in the future. Strangely, after this knock, no Kolkata Knight Riders batsman has been able to breach the three-figure mark for 13 years. There have been seven knocks in the nineties in the 198 matches (up to 29th April 2021) since then, but the elusive century is yet to come. Royal Challengers Bangalore lead the charts with 14 centuries which includes five tons each from Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle.

9. Chennai Super Kings is the only franchise that has never had an overseas Captain

Over the fourteen seasons, a total of thirteen teams have participated in the IPL. Among all the teams, Chennai Super Kings is the only franchise that has never had a foreign player as the captain. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been their designated captain since 2008 and has led the team in 180 matches while Suresh Raina has filled in for him for five games because of Dhoni’s fitness issues. Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab) has had seven overseas individuals leading them, the most among all the franchises. They are followed by Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have had five overseas captains.

10. Five IPL captains have never played an international T20 match

A captain of an IPL team is generally a well-established name who is a regular in the national team. However, five players have captained the franchises in the IPL but have never represented their national teams in T20Is. Four of them – Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble, and Shane Warne – are from the initial years when the T20 format was not a regular feature in international cricket.

All four were either retired or out of contention for limited-overs formats even before the inception of the IPL. The fifth name on the list is Karun Nair, who led the Delhi Daredevils in the absence of regular skipper Zaheer Khan in the 2017 edition. Karun was a member of the Test team at the time and had notched up a triple century against England in Chennai but he never represented India in T20 internationals.

– Written by Ajinkya Dhamdhere