One of India’s most anticipated Twenty20 cricket leagues, the Indian Premier League [IPL] took to Twitter on Tuesday to thank its global user base for the ‘dream-like’ start to their 11th season, hosted in the United Arab Emirates.
The first match, kicking off in the illustrious Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, starred last year’s reigning champions Mumbai Indians, pitted against one of the top 3 fan favourites, Chennai Super Kings. The high-tension match drawed a viewership of 200 million worldwide, both on-air and digitally, setting a historic record.
Jay Shah, Secretary at the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI], called the event ‘unprecedented,’ saying it was the ‘highest ever’ opening day stats for any sporting league in any country.
“No league has ever opened as big as this,” he cheered on Twitter.
Wildly popular, the IPL is contested annually by eight teams, repping different states of the country, including Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kolkata.
Chennai Super Kings took the crown against Mumbai Indians in the first match, followed by Delhi Capitals bagging a teeth-on-edge Super Over win against Kings XI Punjab. Monday saw a chaser match at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, with Sunrisers Hyderabad sprinting to Royal Challengers Bangalore’s tune – and the latter coming out on top.
And to round it off nicely, the upcoming match on Tuesday, hosted in Sharjah, will see Rajasthan Royals battle it out against first-victors, Chennai Super Kings.