Amid much fan-frenzy, and competition among sponsors and players, the Indian Premiere League turns 10 this season. And organisers are preparing for a big celebration for the landmark edition, which kicks off on Wednesday. Unlike past editions, the 10th season will host eight different opening ceremonies, one before the first home game of each franchise, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla announced on Monday. After Pepsi terminated its contract with IPL, Vivo Electronics bagged the title sponsorship for two years in 2015. Business Standard had earlier reported that Vivo will pay Rs 100 crore a year, against the Rs 80 crore Pepsi was paying annually. Broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has signed up 11 sponsors, including Amazon, and it is targeting over Rs 1,200 crore in advertisement revenue from the 10th season. Also Read: IPL 10: Is the world's most popular cricket league at crossroads? E-commerce major Amazon, mobile handset maker Vivo and telecom giant Vodafone will be the presenting sponsors, while Ceat, wire-maker Polycab, Yamaha Motorcycles, Vimal Pan Masala, MakeMytrip, Parle Agro's Frooti, Voltas and YES Bank are associate sponsors. However, the only regret for some fans of the cricket extravaganza this year is going to be the absence of some blockbuster names in the game. Thanks to international cricketing calendar getting busier with every passing year, the players are getting more prone to injuries. Even before the start of the touranment, injuries have already started bothering the franchises as well. Many star players could give this year's IPL a complete or partial miss. Also Read: Fanning the IPL fever The biggest among missing names in IPL 2017 is Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli, who is out due to his shoulder injury. Kohli, however, is likely to return on the field by the second week of April. K L Rahul, Quinton de Kock, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mitchell Marsh, Murali Vijay will completely miss the tournament due to their respective injuries. While Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja are likely to regain fitness, they would be missing some of the initial matches. Lasith Malinga is on a national duty and might miss the first few matches, while J P Duminy pulled out of the tournamnet citing personal reasons. English cricket players were the flavour of the season during the auction held for IPL 2017 in February this year. The IPL teams picked six England players. Among them, two were the costliest picks for this season.
Ben Stokes, who has not played an IPL match yet, was aggressively bid for by five teams but ultimately went to Sanjiv Goenka’s Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) for Rs 14.5 crore. His teammate Tymal Mills, who is also yet to debut an IPL match, was in demand from Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians. Kings XI Punjab finally won with a bid of Rs 12 crore. Last year, the highest bid was RCB’s Rs 9-crore purchase of Australian Shane Watson.Indian capped players Irrfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma, both IPL veterans, went unsold this year, even after being recalled for bidding in the second round. However, Ishant Sharma was picked by Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday. Also Read: In IPL 2017 auction, uncapped players enjoy high bidding by teams The teams went into the auction with a Rs 148.33 crore kitty, and the purse at the end was Rs 57.18 crore. RPS was the highest spender, at Rs 17.2 crore, while the most prudent was Gujarat Lions (Rs 3.85 crore). The season will also see Virender Sehwag beginning a new journey as head coach of Kings XI Punjab, though his official designation is that of "chief strategist". Mahela Jayawardene, will also return to the IPL circuit as a coach after having played for different franchises previously. The Sri Lankan will join Mumbai Indians. On Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released the list of commentators for the 2017 season, with no names from Pakistan. Former India captains Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri are part of the commentary panel. In previous IPL tournaments, Pakistan's Ramiz Raja, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram had been part of the commentary panel. Australia has the highest representation, with 7 former cricketers on the panel, while India has 6 on the list. It was expected that Harsha Bhogle would make a comeback to the commentary panel this year, but he has not been named in the team of 20 commentators.