India’s favorite cricket festival is back!

It’s that time of the year again, when cricketers come together to entertain the fans irrespective of their nationality. Rivalry makes way for feelings of brotherhood and teamwork. It’s time to have some fun. It’s time for the long-awaited T20 action!

India’s biggest Twenty20 League is now in its eighth edition and there’s so much to look forward to. Here’s a round up of all the happenings leading up to the mega event:-
News from the camp:

1. Australia’s David Warner will captain the Sunrisers Hyderabad this year. Warner, who joined the franchise in 2014, has had an impressive run with the bat. The Sunrisers were pretty inconsistent with their captaincy last season, with Shikhar Dhawan leading in the first half, followed by Darren Sammy. This year, they will hope for a change of fortune under Warner. The bad news is – Sunrisers have released Kevin Pietersen, their star batsman for the first phase of the tournament. It’s most likely that KP will be recalled, should the Sunrisers reach the knockout stage.

2. South African cricketer JP Duminy has been appointed captain of the Delhi Daredevils. He will be leading a side that finished last in 2014 with just two wins. But that was the past. This year, the Daredevils will be looking to revive their luck with big names like Yuvraj Singh, Angelo Mathews, etc. Plus, they will also benefit from the services of their newly-appointed bowling consultant, Alfonso Thomas.

3. Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders seem to have a tough time ahead of the tournament. Sunil Narine‘s participation remains a dilemma, but they have more to deal with. Jimmy Neesham and Chris Lynn have been ruled out due to injuries. The Knight Riders have signed Azhar Mahmood and Johan Botha as replacements. Whether the move turns out to be a blessing in disguise will be seen as the tournament evolves.

4. World No.1 ODI bowler Mitchell Starc will miss the start of the tournament owing to a knee niggle. Starc had a dream run in the World Cup, picking 22 wickets and finishing as the Player of the Tournament. His absence means Royal Challengers Bangalore will miss his services for at least two to three weeks, depending on Starc’s recovery.

5. Australian bowler Kane Richardson has withdrawn from the tournament, citing personal reasons. He was retained by his franchise, Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2015 season. Richardson’s exit may not be a huge blow to the Royals. Their bowling department is filled with a variety of options in Shane Watson, James Faulkner, Tim Southee and the likes. The team is yet to name a replacement.  
A star-studded opening ceremony:
Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan, Anushka Sharma, Shahid Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar will kick start the opening night of this blockbuster event at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on April 7. All 8 captains of their respective franchises will be present at the venue to take the Spirit of Cricket pledge.
It’s going to be an epic night and an even more exciting tournament! Are you ready for the T20 heat?

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