The IPL 2009, or the 2009 Indian Premier League season, is the second season for the Indian Premier League, the central authority for cricket in India. The IPL was established in 2007 and held its first season in 2008.
The 2009 tournament will be held in South Africa and will run between April 18 and May 24. The 2009 IPL is expected to be the second largest cricket tournament following the Cricket World Cup.
The tournament will follow the same format as the 2008 tournament and will feature 59 matches. There were some early concerns regarding terrorism attacks since the 2009 IPL would coincide with the Indian general elections.
Because of the elections, the main Indian political party decided that no additional security forces from the Indian paramilitary could be used for the IPL. This was the main factor in the decision to move the tournament to South Africa.
Prior to selecting South Africa as the hosting country, IPL officials considered several other locations, including England. However, due to weather concerns, South Africa was chosen instead.
Of course, moving the tournament to South Africa from India is not without its issues—over 10,000 cricket players and staff will fly from India to South Africa, bringing with them over $100 million in US dollars to the South Africa economy.
While nearly everything about the IPL 2009 is the same as the previous year’s tournament, there have been a few rule changes. Squads can now have ten international players, up from eight, although they are still only allowed to field four of them at any one time.
English cricketers can participate in the tournament for the first time this year and are allowed to participate in the 21 days between their West Indies tour and their return to England. Finally, the player purchase cap was increased, going from five million to seven million.
Many international players who played in the IPL 2008 season signed multi-season deals, so many of them will be returning for 2009. Several teams sent scouts to international games to find new, up-and-coming players to sign.
No drafts were considered for 2009, although one team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, have begun searching for young Indian players. Those signed for the 2009 season include David Warner, Ryan McLaren, Moises Henriques, Shane Harwood, and Burt Cockley. Re-signings include Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Brad Hodge, Ajantha Mendis, and Virat Kohli.
There were few trades made before the season began. Zaheer Khan and Jaydev Shah were traded to Mumbai Indians, while Robin Uthappa, Gaurav Dhiman, and Pankaj Singh moved from the Indians to the Bangalore Royal Challengers. Ashish Nehra from the Delhi Daredevils and Shikhar Dhawan of the Mumbai Indians were also traded.
The 2009 IPL will see a few interesting and controversial moves by several teams. The Kolkata Knight Riders will be led by four captains, a plan Coach John Buchanan hopes will bring the knowledge of each captain to the forefront. The Bangalore Royal Challengers will also be led by a new captain in hopes of doing better than their 2008 seventh place finish.