IPL 2023: All you need to know as T20 juggernaut returns


As the Indian Premier League returns for its 16th season, live on Sky Sports, we tell you everything you need to know about the teams, format, rules and more…

How can I watch the 2023 IPL?

Live on Sky Sports, that’s how. All 74 games will be broadcast, starting with the opening fixture on Friday between defending champions Gujarat Titans and four-time winners Chennai Super Kings (3pm, Sky Sports Cricket). The league stage runs until May 21 before the play-offs and final take place the following week.

Friday 31st March 2:50pm

Sky Sports Cricket HD
Sky Sports Cricket HD

Which other teams are involved?

Joining Gujarat and Chennai in the 10-team tournament are last year’s beaten finalists Rajasthan Royals as well as five-time champions Mumbai Indians, plus Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lucknow Super Giants, Punjab Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

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Buttler scored four IPL centuries for Rajasthan last season, including this one against Mumbai Indians

How does the group stage work?

Bear with us as this is a little complicated! In simple terms, the 10 sides play 14 group games each – seven at home and seven away – with the top four then progressing to the play-offs.

Now for the more complex bit…

In the group stage, the teams are split into two pools of five. They will play the five teams in the other pool twice and the four teams in their own pool once. Got all that?

Two points are awarded for a win, with the teams taking a point each in the event of a no-result. If teams are level on points after 14 games, league placings will be determined by net run-rate.

Who’s in what group?

  • Group A: Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants
  • Group B: Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Titans, Punjab Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad

Saturday 1st April 10:50am

Sky Sports Cricket HD
Sky Sports Cricket HD

Saturday 1st April 2:50pm

Sky Sports Cricket HD
Sky Sports Cricket HD

How do the play-offs work?

The sides that finish first and second in the table will meet in Qualifier 1 with the winners of that match advancing directly through to the final.

The losers will head to Qualifier 2 and face the winners of the Eliminator between the sides that come third and fourth in the group phase. The winners of Qualifier 2 will then make the final.

Which England players are involved?

Thirteen in total, with Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Reece Topley, David Willey and Phil Salt either retained from 2022 or purchased during December’s auction.

That number would have been 15 but Will Jacks’ thigh injury kiboshed his planned stint with RCB, while Punjab Kings’ Jonny Bairstow has pulled out to focus on getting fit for The Ashes as he continues to recover from a double leg break.

RCB and Punjab still have England players, with Topley and Willey at RCB, and Punjab making Curran the IPL’s most expensive player by forking out £1.85m to pair him with Livingstone.

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Harry Brook hit the most runs by an England batter in a Test over when he took Pakistan leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood for 27 in Rawalpindi in December

England batting sensation Brook was picked up for £1.35m by Sunrisers, the same franchise that landed leg-spinner Rashid, while England Test captain Stokes was a £1.6m acquisition for Chennai, where he will play alongside Moeen Ali.

White-ball skipper Buttler is joined by Root at Rajasthan as the latter experiences the glitz and glamour of the IPL for the first time. The fit-again Archer will feature for Mumbai with fellow speedster Wood at Lucknow and opening batter Salt at Delhi.

Ireland seamer Josh Little will also be involved, becoming the first man from his country to earn an IPL contract when Gujarat swooped in a deal close to £450,000. Eoin Morgan previously featured in the competition, of course, but only after he became an England player.

Josh Little (Associated Press)
Can Ireland’s Josh Little force his way in to the Gujarat Titans line-up on a regular basis?

Jos Buttler wants it to be 2022 all over again, right?

Well, he’ll be hoping to go one better with Rajasthan, but in terms of his own performance a direct repeat would be superb.

Buttler topped the run-scoring charts and six-hitting list in 2022 en route to being named the IPL’s Most Valuable Player – an award previously won by Stokes in 2017 and Archer in 2020.

Buttler struck four hundreds last season – matching Virat Kohli’s record from 2016 – as he amassed 863 runs in 17 innings, while his haul of 45 sixes was 11 more than his nearest challenger in England team-mate Livingstone (34).

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Buttler smashed an unbeaten 106 against RCB last season to equal Virat Kohli’s record for four centuries in a single IPL campaign

Gujarat are defending champions, you say?

Yep. Titans triumphed during their first year in the tournament, winning 10 of their 14 group games before beating Rajasthan by seven wickets in Qualifier 1 and then defeating the same opponents, and by the same margin, in the final.

2022 was also the debut campaign for Lucknow as the competition expanded from eight teams to 10 and the Super Giants impressed, too, reaching the Eliminator before they were dumped out by RCB.

However, the IPL’s two most-decorated franchises Mumbai and Chennai, who have won nine titles combined, finished as the bottom two after picking up just four wins apiece, with Mumbai losing their opening eight games.

When Mumbai and Chennai meet for the second time this season, on May 6, it will be in the 1,000th IPL game since the tournament’s inception in 2008.

MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings (Credit: AFP)
MS Dhoni will captain Chennai Super Kings once again in the 2023 IPL

What rule changes are there for 2023?

Teams are now permitted to name their XIs after the toss has taken place, while the ‘Impact Player’ rule has also been introduced, allowing a team to bring in a substitute who can bat and bowl.

That player must be among the four nominated substitutes in a 15-man squad and must be an Indian, unless the side has fewer than four overseas players in their initial XI.

Other tweaks for 2023 see teams being allowed to review wide and no-ball decisions through DRS, plus unfair movement of the wicketkeeper or fielder resulting in a dead ball and five penalty runs.

Watch the 2023 IPL live on Sky Sports, starting with the season-opener between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings from 3pm on Friday

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