IPL-2022 Starts From 26th March: New Format, New Teams And New Captains!

The TATA Indian Premiere League (IPL)-2022 starts in the state of Maharashtra from tomorrow, the 26th of March, across three stadiums in Mumbai and one in Pune. This 15th edition of the IPL is set to welcome the fans cum cricket revelers back to the stadiums after the Pandemic cricket-new-normal in 2020 and 2021 editions—the former delayed and had to be held in UAE while the latter started in India, but had to be stopped halfway and later shifted to UAE. As per COVID-19 norms at least 25% of the stadium capacity will be allowed and in light of relaxed restrictions all over India the crowd limit is all set to be increased later on. There will be a total of 74 matches during 26th March-29th May out of which 70 league matches will be played in the stadiums mentioned above and the venues of the 4 play-off matches are yet to be decided. Ahmedabad was earlier earmarked for the final matches.


Only for the second time in the IPL history there are 10 teams or franchises in the IPL-2022 tournament and like in IPL-2011 the group-format is being introduced again to keep the total matches around 70. All the 10 teams are ranked as per their IPL Championship wins and other performance stats: from No.1 to No.10 and are divided into Group A and Group B; the ranks are reflected in the table in serial order across the groups; the teams in the same row across the groups will play each other twice and the remaining teams in one group will play with the remaining teams of the other group only once; and within a group the teams, as usual, will play each other twice. In all, as per earlier standards of the tournament each team will play 14 matches at the league stage.


The following table clears the scenario: the two new teams are Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Gujarat Titans (GT), naturally ranked 9 and 10 respectively; the Championship wins are marked in brackets against the earlier 8 teams.


Group A


Group B


MI (5)


CSK (4)


KKR (2)


SRH (1)


RR (1)











For example, the top team Mumbai Indians (MI) will play Chennai Super Kings (CSK) twice and the same follows down the order, in the last row LSG will play GT twice.


The IPL-2022 auctions conducted in February this year changed the structure of almost every franchise with the retention of players being only about 3-6 for each team and this resulted in the change of captaincy in all the teams except for MI, Delhi Capitals (DC) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). The big news among captaincy changes is Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s surprise move of handing over captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja for CSK. Although this move from the 40-year-old former India skipper MSD had been expected the timing of the same did surprise everyone. Very popular in Chennai as ‘Thala’ (leader), Dhoni has made himself available as a player-cum-mentor for CSK while reiterating that he’d call quits only before his beloved fans in the franchise’s home ground, Chennai.


Earlier, the erstwhile India captain, Virat Kohli also quit his captaincy of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the South African Faf du Plessis is the new captain. Former captain of Punjab Kings (PBKS) KL Rahul was bought by the LSG and later appointed captain. India Test opener Mayank Agarwal takes the reins of captaining PBKS. The former captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Eoin Morgan is nowhere to be seen while the franchise’s earlier captain cum wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik is bought by the RCB, and so KKR’s new captain is its new and dashing buy Shreyas Iyer. Hardik Pandya leads the new franchise GT. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is to lead the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) while its earlier stalwart-opener David Warner is bought away by the DC.  


So then, the biggest T20 cricket extravaganza of India starts tomorrow evening at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai featuring the opening match between the defending champions CSK and the KKR. Starting on Sunday, the 27th of March, the IPL-2022 double-headers will be underway which will be a feature of every weekend during the over two-month long tournament. Regular greats of the IPL like Suresh Raina, Steven Smith and many others will be missed as they remained unsold after the auction.  


The IPL-2022 Group Matches Schedule:


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