The first IPL match was played on April 18, 2008 in Bengaluru, India. Since its inception, the tournament has grown to feature matches overseas, especially in the UAE.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced and launched the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2007. BCCI officials scheduled its first match for the second quarter of 2008 at a pre-determined venue. Franchise and league format cricket were not popular during that time apart from an old competition with limited following and sparse sponsorship.
Fast forward to over 14 years later, and the IPL has become one of cricket’s most followed events globally. The competition is now a multibillion-dollar franchise and attracts fans and investors from different countries worldwide.
Diversity in the IPL has exceeded expectations since its first match, as players from The West Indies, Australia, England, and many other countries ply their trade under different IPL franchises.
So much has changed since the uncertain early days of the IPL. The previously round-robin tournament now holds for months and attracts over 100 million fan impressions every season.
There’s so much to talk about when you look at the IPL’s progress. Let’s see vital details about the first IPL game and other related information about the IPL’s rise and significant events since its founding.
Where Was the First IPL Match Played?
The first IPL match took place at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on April 18, 2008. IPL cricket commenced with a match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
The first IPL match saw unbelievable heroics for a starting game, as Kiwi batsman Brendon McCullum stole the show. His stellar performance on the opening event will set a fever-pitch tone for IPL cricket years ahead. McCullum was able to score 158 runs from 73 balls in the inaugural IPL game.
McCullum is the current KKR gaffer and always takes pride in his match-winning performance on that day. The former Kiwis skipper smashed out most RCB bowlers as he raced to the remarkable total. His heroics on that day gave KKR a win by 140 runs.
Was There Any Cricket League in India before the IPL?
The Indian Cricket League (ICL) existed before IPL cricket but faced several problems months before the BCCI’s landmark announcement.
The BCCI and International Cricket League (ICC) did not recognize ICL teams and its brand throughout its operation. BCCI bureaucracy grew against ICL players and officials around when IPL cricket hosted its first match.
The BCCI also increased prize monies for all its domestic competitions and prevented its players from joining ICL cricket.
All ICL players received lifetime bans from joining the IPL. BCCI officials tagged this competition as a ‘rebel league’ and continued to block its potential recognition by the ICC. Continued pressure from the BCCI and ICC eventually crippled ICL cricket, effectively disbanding the competition.
How Has the IPL Expanded Since its Founding?
IPL cricket has experienced several groundbreaking strides since its first match in 2008. The competition has recorded some of the following milestones within 15 years:
- 1st sports event to broadcast games live on YouTube
- 1st rank among most-attended cricket championships in the world
- 6th rank among most-attended sports leagues in the world
- $11 billion brand value
- Contributes over $150 million every year to the GDP of India
- Global broadcasting spread comparable to major football and basketball sporting events
- Over 122 million fans at every given moment in each season
Further appeal to fans in other countries is at an all-time high, and cricket lovers will only attract more investment to IPL as a brand.
The IPL also recorded a remarkable feat in its 2022 season. This franchise experienced a first-time winning the league at their first attempt. The Gujarat Titans beat other IPL franchise to become the 2022 champion. News of such an unbelievable performance brought more attention and investment to the IPL brand.
Can Players from Pakistan Take Part in the IPL?
Players from Pakistan have never taken part in the IPL since its founding. Cricketers from the neighboring countries received a permanent ban due to their country’s role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Over 160 people died in the attack and almost 250 people were injured. The BCCI released a statement on the attack’s aftermath, effectively banning all IPL franchises from ever signing any player from Pakistan.
IPL cricket has grown from an uncertain event to one of the most-anticipated sporting championships worldwide. The money-spinning league continues to attract global attention and is only second to ICC and WTC championships. BCCI officials kicked off the cricket fiesta and would be proud of their achievement many years after McCullum swung his first bat