The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will kick start April 7 with defending champions Mumbai Indians hosting Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium. The final will be played at the same venue May 27.
The domestic T20 league in India attracts best cricketing stars from the country and around the world. It has been hugely popular over the last 10 years and the IPL 2018 is expected to reach the same heights, if not more.
Rajasthan Royals and the Super Kings had been banned from participating in the IPL for the last two years. The two franchises have returned to the mix now and will take part in this year's competition, replacing Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant.
Former India captain MS Dhoni will lead Chennai Super Kings. At the IPL 2018 auction, all the franchises have reshuffled their squad for the new season.
Australia's Steven Smith and David Warner, who were set to lead Rajatshan and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively, will miss this year's IPL after they were suspended for their involvement in ball-tampering scandal.
Mumbai Indians have won the competition for record three times, while Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders have managed to win it once. Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab are the franchises that are to yet to win the IPL.
Eight franchises taking part in IPL 2018:
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Chennai Super Kings
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kings XI Punjab
In the group stages, winning team will get awarded two points, while the losing team will be left empty handed. In case if the match is washed out due to bad weather, each side will get a point.
Each side will face the remaining other sides twice in the group stages. One match will be played at home and the other side will be played away. After 14 matches, the top four teams will qualify for the knockout phase, while the remaining team will not have a chance of making it to the Play-Off.
In IPL Play-Off, the top two teams will face each other in Qualifier 1. The third and the fourth place will face each other in Eliminator. The losing side of the second tie will be knocked out of the competition.
The losing team of Qualifier 1 will face the winner of Eliminator, which is called Qualifier 2. The winner of this team will face the winner of Qualifier 1 in the IPL final.
Mumbai Indians: Wankhede Stadium
Royal Challengers Bangalore: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium
Chennai Super Kings: M. A. Chidambaram Stadium
Delhi Daredevils: Feroz Shah Kotla
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eden Gardens
Rajasthan Royals: Sawai Mansingh Stadium
Kings XI Punjab: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium