The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League gets underway this weekend, and 13 Australians have already ventured to the subcontinent ahead of the two-month tournament.
The 2023 IPL kicks off this Saturday morning (AEDT) when reigning champions the Gujarat Titans host the Chennai Super Kings at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was the lone Australian in last year’s triumphant team, scoring 8 (10) in the final against the Rajasthan Royals.
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After 70 group stage matches, a four-match finals series will determine the champions for 2023, with the season finale taking place at Narendra Modi Stadium on May 28.
Several Australians participating in this year’s IPL have already been in the subcontinent for several weeks, facing India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and subsequent three-match ODI series.
Meanwhile, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc elected not to take part in this year’s IPL to manage their workloads ahead of a busy winter campaign in England, which includes the World Test Championship final and the Ashes.
Earlier this month, West Australian seamer Jhye Richardson, signed by the Mumbai Indians for $270,700 at this summer’s Auction, was ruled out of the tournament after undergoing surgery on his hamstring.
CAMERON GREEN – MUMBAI INDIANS
Green became the second-most expensive IPL player in history after the Mumbai Indians snapped up the Australian all-rounder for a whopping $3.15 million at December’s Auction.
The 23-year-old turned heads during last year’s T20I tour of India, smacking twin fifties in Mohali and Hyderabad to become one of the sport’s most in-demand cricketers.
ADAM ZAMPA – RAJASTHAN ROYALS
After going unsold in last season’s Auction, Zampa was grabbed by the Rajasthan Royals for $270,700 this year.
One of the world’s most consistent white-ball spinners, Zampa was Australia’s leading wicket-taker during the triumphant T20 World Cup campaign in the United Arab Emirates with 13 wickets at 12.07 and an economy rate of less than six.
DANIEL SAMS – LUCKNOW SUPER GIANTS
Sams was picked up by the Lucknow Super Giants for $135,000 at this summer’s Auction after another prolific campaign for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League.
The crafty left-armer, who represented Australia in 10 T20Is after his international debut in 2020, has taken the most BBL wickets since the start of 2019 with 78 scalps in 56 matches.
MATTHEW SHORT – PUNJAB KINGS
Short’s meteoric rise continues, with the Victorian joining the Punjab Kings ahead of this year’s IPL as an injury replacement for England superstar Jonny Bairstow.
The 27-year-old, who featured in last week’s Sheffield Shield final, was named Player of the Big Bash League this summer after registering 458 runs at 35.23 while striking 144.47 for the Adelaide Strikers.
MATTHEW WADE – GUJARAT TITANS
Wade, one of the reigning IPL champions from 2022, will rejoin the Gujarat Titans following his brief Pakistan Super League cameo with the Karachi Kings.
Despite the Titans’ success last year, the 35-year-old had a forgettable campaign with the willow, scoring 157 runs in 10 knocks at 15.70 with an underwhelming strike rate of 113.76.
MARCUS STOINIS – LUCKNOW SUPER GIANTS
Stoinis was retained by the Lucknow Super Giants after being arguably Australia’s best player during the recent T20 World Cup on home soil.
The all-rounder’s recent form has been patchy, but there are not many cricketers who can hit the ball cleaner than the 33-year-old when he’s at his best.
NATHAN ELLIS – PUNJAB KINGS
Ellis, a death-bowling specialist, was retained by the Punjab Kings in another chapter of the Tasmanian seamer’s extraordinary rise through the ranks.
Since the start of 2021, the talented right-armer has made his IPL debut, his ODI debut and his T20I debut – during which he took a hat-trick against Bangladesh.
GLENN MAXWELL – ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Maxwell, one of the world’s most successful and respected T20 cricketers, was unsurprisingly retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore despite a modest 2022 campaign.
However, “The Big Show” is still recovering from a horrific leg injury he sustained last year, and Cricket Australia will be eagerly watching his progress ahead of this year’s World Cup in India.
JOSH HAZLEWOOD – ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Hazlewood, the world’s No. 3 T20I bowler, is a former IPL champion, winning a title with the Chennai Super Kings in 2021.
However, the New South Welshman is still nursing an Achilles injury that ruled him out of the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy, meaning he will miss at least the first half of the T20 tournament.
TIM DAVID – MUMBAI INDIANS
Regarded as one of the best finishers in T20 cricket, David will rejoin the Mumbai Indians after his impressive 2022 campaign, where he smacked 186 runs at 37.20 with a mind-boggling strike rate of 216.27.
Last year, the powerful right-hander became just the third cricketer to finish an IPL campaign with more than 100 runs and a strike rate greater than 200, joining short-format legends Brendon McCullum and Andre Russell.
JASON BEHRENDORFF – MUMBAI INDIANS
Behrendorff has a new home in the IPL this year, having been traded from the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the off-season.
The left-armer, who represented Australia at the 2019 World Cup, has taken over 100 wickets for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League, winning multiple titles with the West Australian franchise.
DAVID WARNER – DELHI CAPITALS
Warner, who won an IPL title with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016, was retained by the Delhi Capitals after finishing as the team’s leading run-scorer last year with 432 runs at 48.00 and a strike rate of 150.52.
However, the veteran opener only recently recovered from an elbow fracture he sustained during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
MITCHELL MARSH – DELHI CAPITALS
Marsh missed the entire 2022 campaign with the Delhi Capitals due to injury, but has thankfully recovered from ankle surgery in time for this year’s tournament.
The West Australian all-rounder is coming off some remarkable form, named player of the recent ODI series against India after smacking twin fifties in Wankhede and Visakhapatnam.
AUSTRALIANS UNSOLD IN IPL AUCTION
Travis Head, Riley Meredith, Lance Morris, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Peter Hatzoglou, Chris Lynn, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye, Moises Henriques, D’Arcy Short, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Nathan McAndrew, Hayden Kerr, Jack Prestwidge