IPL Betting

Inaugurated in 2008 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over a dispute with the Indian Cricket League, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is India’s professional league for Twenty20 cricket competition, one of the newest forms of this traditional sport. A Twenty20 match involves two teams, each of which has a single inning, batting for a maximum of 20 overs.

The IPL season is similarly short, lasting just eight weeks between March and May. Play is conducted in a tournament format, with a double round-robin of matches followed by a knock-out bracket to determine the ultimate champion.

Headquartered in Mumbai, the IPL consists of ten teams made up of the top professionals from around the world. On average, the starting line-up of each team receives $3.84 million in annual salary, second highest in all of sports to the payments made to starters in the National Basketball Association.

One reason the salaries are so high is the system used for initial player selection. An auction is held in January or February, with teams vying to gain the most sought-after players in the world. In 2008, Indian National Cricket Team Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni received the highest bid ever for a cricketer: US$1.5 million. Then in 2009 and despite a $2 million cap per team, English players Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff each fetched $1.55 million.

Now that teams have their regulars, the bidding wars have subsided somewhat. No player attracted a bid higher than $750,000 in 2010. However, trades and off-season deals are now a viable method of bolstering a side’s batting and hurling capabilities, and the salaries continue to rise.

On the other hand, the investments appear to be worth it. Over the course of its first five to ten years, the IPL is expected to contribute an income of approximately $1.6 billion to the BCCI. Of that, 40% goes to the IPL, 54% is disbursed to the franchisees, and the remaining 6% is used as prize money.

Sponsorship is a major source of income, with India’s biggest property developer, the DLF Group, paying $50 million as the title sponsor from 2008 to 2010. Secondary sponsorships worth over $60 million have been sold to motorcycle maker Hero Honda, beverage manufacturer PepsiCo, and beer and airline conglomerate Kingfisher. Merchandising deals are also a major revenue stream.

For its initial edition, the IPL scheduled 59 matches in total, with each of eight teams playing every other team at home and away. The highest ranking four sides then moved on to the single-elimination semi-finals, with the Rajasthan Royals emerging to play and eventually defeat the Chennai Super Kings in the final by three wickets at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.

In 2009, the Deccan Chargers took the title by out-dueling the Royal Challengers Bangalore by six runs at New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The final returned in 2010 to Mumbai, where the Chennai Super Kings outscored the Mumbai Indians by 22 runs to become the reigning champions.

A variety of markets are available for IPL betting. The most popular ante post betting is on the Outright Winner, beginning as early as a year out with odds changing right up to the semi-final matches. Other ante post opportunities include picking a team “To Reach Final” and the option to “Name the Finalists,” in which case both of the teams selected must make it to the final match. Accumulators can be set up, too, for even higher payout possibilities.

As the tournament gets into full swing, match betting is the wager of choice. Betting opportunities are also offered on Top Batsman, Top Bowler, Highest Individual Score, and Highest Team Score. Look for in-running or live betting options, too, as the televised semi-finals get under way.

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