Sourav Ganguly is making some pretty big decisions during his 11 month term as BCCI President. After quickly approving the first day-night test match in India during 2019, Ganguly has now approved the first-ever IPL All Stars Match.
The All Stars game will take place on March 29; which is three days before the start of the 2020 IPL. The format will see all eight IPL franchises participating in the inaugural All Stars game. Teams from the North and East compete against teams from the South and West.
All Stars: Format
The four IPL teams that will comprise the North and East sectors will be the Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. Their competition will come from the West and South zones in the form of the Royal Challenges Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad and defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Ganguly was the one who proposed the All Stars game which received support from Brijesh Patel. Patel is the council chairman for the IPL governing council. The BCCI is looking to push a format similar to what is used in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Top players from the NBA gather mid-season to participate in an All-Stars event.
The NBA All-Star game is one of the most anticipated basketball games all season. Ganguly will hope that the IPL All-Star game will grow in popularity with every passing year. It would, moreover, boost the brand image and draw in more viewers from around the world.
Captains For All Stars Match TBD
It is still too early for the BCCI to release detailed information on the inaugural All Stars game. There is no indication as to where the IPL All Stars game will be played. It is not very likely to be in Mumbai. This is because the first game of IPL 2020 will take place in Mumbai. Furthermore, the IPL final will also be held in Mumbai.
The BCCI has also not confirmed who are the two captains will be and this will be very interesting for the fansas the BCCI has to choose between the likes of Virat Kohli who captains the Royal Challengers, MS Dhoni who captains the Chennai Super Kings and Rohit Sharma who captains the Mumbai Indians.
The four captains from the South-West IPL franchises include MS Dhoni for CSK, Virat Kohli for the Mumbai Indians, Rohit Sharma for the Mumbai Indians and Kane Williamson for Sunrisers Hyderabad. It is highly unlikely that Williamson will be chosen to lead the All-Stars and it could very likely be given to MS Dhoni due to his seniority in the team and also because it could very well be his last IPL even though he has continued to stay silent regarding his retirement plans.
The potential captains for the North East All Stars include Steven Smith who plays for the Royals, Dinesh Karthik who plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Ajinkya Rahane who captains the Royals, R Ashwin, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. The three choices are likely to come down to Smith, Rahul and young Iyer. Moreover, given the fact that Smith hasn’t captained for Australia for over a year, it is highly likely that Rahul might get the nod ahead of S Iyer.
The All-Stars team from the South West appear to be a lot stronger and experienced on paper. They also have a slight edge over the North East team. The match is expected to draw huge viewership as this will be the first All Star game in IPL history.