The tournament with the most media coverage is finally actually in the stadiums, and while Uppal simply isn't Lakdi-ka-Pul, it still promises to attract big crowds. The first match of the The DLF Indian Premier League's Twenty20 Tournament will happen at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium today, between Deccan Chargers and Delhi Daredevils, and will be held on 22nd April from 8pm.
Deccan Chargers is one the strongest teams of the IPL, captained by the prolific Indian test batsman V V S Laxman (this is his big chance to show the world that he can manage strike rates, too), and the team has big international stars such as the Australian big-hitters Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds, South African opener Herschelle Gibbs, Pakistani dynamite Shahid Afridi, New Zealand allrounder Scott Styris, Sri Lankan pacers Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, and the reliable Chamara Silva.
The team also consists of Indian youngsters and seniors, such as Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, P Vijaykumar, D Kalyan Krishna, Halhadar Das, N Sarveesh Kumar, Arjun Yadav, Venugopal Rao and Sanjay Bangar. Robin Singh is the coach of the outfit.
On the other hand, Delhi Daredevils is headed by the explosive Veerendra Sehwag, and has overseas players such as the legendary Australian bowler Glenn McGrath and Tasmanian devil Bret Geeves, South African Abraham De Villiers, Pakistan's captain Shoaib Malik and fast bowler Mohd. Asif, Sri Lankan allrounders Farveez Mahroof and Tilakaratne Dilshan and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, and Indian players Gautham Gambhir, Mayank Tehlan, Amit Mishra, Vijay Kumar Yo Mahesh, Manoj Tiwary, Dinesh Karthik, Mithun Manhas, Pradeep Sangwan, Rajat Bhatia and Shikhar Dhawan. The team is coached by the Australian Gregory Shipperd.
With both teams consisting of plenty of pinch-hitters, the match promises a run riot. With the ceiling of only four international players per team (you didn't know this, did you?), the captains of both the teams will have a tough task in selecting the final eleven.
The tickets are priced at Rs. 250 / Rs. 500 / Rs. 1,000 / Rs. 1,500 / Rs. 2,000 / Rs. 2,500 per head. Please contact the Hyderabad Cricket Association at 2790-5676 for further details.