If Americans tailgate during the Super Bowl and the Europeans flock stadiums during the FIFA World Cup, Indians always look forward to the start of the Indian Premier League or IPL each year. Cricket is the country’s most popular sport, after all, and more than 400 million can watch a big match either in Kolkata’s Eden Gardens or on their televisions at any given time.
This year will be no different as die-hard cricket fans look forward to the 12th season of the IPL, which will officially start on March 23, 2019 and will be held entirely in India.
Eight teams will compete this season including the Delhi Capitals formerly known as the Delhi Daredevils. But more than the usual favorites, fans and sports bettors are on the lookout for newcomers from abroad to boost their favorite team’s firepower.
Here are five players who will make their debut in IPL 2019:
In India’s tour of England last year, the 20-year old all-rounder from Surrey stood out with his stellar match-winning performances in the 4-1 Test series last summer. He scored 273 runs in seven innings and won Man of the Tournament award, which prompted IPL teams Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings Xi Punjab to start a bidding war. Kings XI Punjab won the auction with a $1.4 million deal for Sam Curran to join their team, the highest deal for an overseas player signing in an auction so far. So, anyone looking for good IPL betting odds, Sam Curran is a player that you should watch out for.
With an impressive record of 518 runs in 21 T20 matches and a strike rate of 142.42, it came as no surprise that Shimron Hetmyer was one of the biggest prospects for IPL cricket teams this year. The 22-year old batsman from West Indies impressed in an ODI series against India where he scored 106 and 94 in the series’ first two matches, and it caught the eye of Royal Challengers Bangalore who placed the winning bid of Rs 4.20 crore to snatch Hetmyer from other teams. Hetmyer’s presence in Royal Challengers Bangalore will definitely strengthen the team further with his hitting capabilities and fill up the gap left by Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum’s exit.
26-year old Ashton Turner is probably this season’s biggest steal with a deal just under $100,000 for the Rajasthan Royals. His current performance as the top scorer for the Perth Scorchers with 378 in 14 matches makes him one of the strongest overseas players to join the IPL 2019. He also became the first cricket player in the current season to bag six runs for his team at the Big Bash League after hitting the roof of the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne.
Hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, Nicholas Pooran made headlines with a 24-ball-54 against the Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Caribbean Premier League. He is also the youngest player to play in CPL matches since 2014 at just 24 years old. At the IPL 2019 auction, Kings XI Punjab grabbed Pooran for Rs4.20 crore and will be a great addition to the team with his 144.91 strike rate in T20s and excellent performance in previous matches.
Before biddings started for this season’s auctions, two names were ranking high on a lot of the teams’ lists: Shimron Hetmyer and Oshane Thomas. The 21-year old medium-fast pacer made headlines with his stellar performance against India last year in the ODI series where his pace and bounce greatly distracted a lot of Indian batsmen during the game.
Thomas is the youngest fast bowler in the West Indies and the highest wicket-taker in last year’s CPL making him a rising star in the league. Plus with 20 wickets from 20 T20s, it’s no surprise that the Rajasthan Royals was willing to pay Rs1.10 crore for his services in this year’s IPL season.
The IPL 2019: A Roundup
There is a lot that cricket fans can look forward to in this year’s edition of the IPL. Aside from these new overseas players who are sure to set stadiums on fire with their performances, changes in teams’ lineups due to some players being released from teams will surely stir up this year’s league. For the millions of cricket fans in India and around the world, the IPL 2019 will surely be another exciting season filled with twists and surprises. And for those die-hard sports bettors, there is definitely a lot to look forward to in terms of placing their confidence on their favorite teams and players.