The fourth season of the Indian Premier League, an expanded version featuring 10 teams, will commence in the first week of April, 2011 soon after the conclusion of the ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi said on Wednesday.
“We are going to start the IPL 2011 season a few days after the World Cup in the first week of April. We are going back to the schedule of April-May that we had in the 2008 first season. We will keep this (schedule) in future,” Modi said.
Two more teams have been added to the existing competing outfits – Pune and Kochi – and there will be a total of 94 matches, an increase of 34 ties from the ongoing edition.
Modi also announced that the inaugural IPL awards function, which he called “Cricketainment” – a mix of cricket and Bollywood-style entertainment – as its focus on April 23.
“The IPL awards function would be distinct from the ICC and BCCI awards functions. There would be 22 categories of awards with 10 of them to be adjudicated by a jury panel. There would be eight other viewers’ category awards, three statistical awards and one IPL captains’ award,” Modi informed.
The IPL awards jury panel will include former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Javagal Srinath, Brian Lara, umpire Simon Taufel and commentator Harsha Bhogle with Modi as the convenor.
“We will also have a presentation to the winners of the 2008 and 2009 seasons,” Modi said.
Rajasthan Royals won the T20 event in the inaugural year followed by Deccan Chargers last year.
The IPL jury award categories are: Best Ground, Best IPL Debutant, Best Stadium Experience, Most Consistent Performer, Most Dramatic Performance, Best Fielder, Best Bowler and Best Batsman.
The statistical awards are to be given away for maximum number of runs scored in boundaries, fastest 100 and to the most economical bowler.
Viewers’ Choice Awards are: Best Commentator, Most Fan Friendly Cricketer, Best Catch, Best Fielder, Most Stylish Player, Best Captain, Best Bowler and Best Batsman.
“Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan would be hosting the awards function. We have kept some surprise elements to bring out hidden talents from cricketers. Some are good in music, some are in playing instruments…” Modi said.
He also said that stars from filmdom – Oscar-winning music director A R Rahman, actors Shilpa Shetty, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik Roshan would add glitter to the awards night.
Explaining the logic behind holding the awards before the conclusion of the tournament on April 25, Modi said it was done to reward consistent performance in the league stage.