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The 2015 season of the Indian Premier League (abbreviated as IPL 8 or Pepsi IPL 2015) is the eighth season of the IPL. Kolkata Knight Riders are the defending champions having won the title in the 2014 season. The complete tournament is expected to be held across different cities in India unlike the previous season. The tournament was started on Wednesday, 8 April 2015 after the end of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. A total of 60 T20 matches will be held in the entire tournament. No matches will be held in Kolkata between April 12 and April 25 due to Municipal Elections.

Franchises retained 123 players 8th IPL season before moving into auction. The released players provided an option to register themselves for auction. 6 Players were transferred across teams before the auction took place. In the Pepsi IPL 2015 auction held on February 16 at Bangalore, Yuvraj Singh was sold to Delhi Daredevils for 16 crores INR, for a record bid in IPL auction history. A total of 67 players were sold out in the auction and all franchises spent total of 87.60 Crores to buy players.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders – live!

Rob will be here from 3pm. Until then, why not read Mike Selvey on the fascinating appointment of Duncan Fletcher as India coach.

It looks as if the succession was in hand all along. Gary Kirsten had an enduring relationship with Duncan Fletcher as a young player for Western Province so is as familiar with his ethos and methods as any and, of course, in the primary position to make a judgment on who may be most suited to take on the unique task of coaching India, perhaps the most challenging role in the game outside actually playing.

Kirsten's success as national coach gave him absolute credibility with the players, administrators and supporters alike and his recommendation, which Fletcher's appointment appears to be, would carry consequent weight.

For Fletcher, this will be one last grand coaching hurrah. His failings with the England side in Australia in 2006‑07 and in the 2007 World Cup, disasters both, should in no way camouflage the debt owed by England cricket, which even now is reaping the benefits of the structures he put in place.

His success in regaining the Ashes in 2005 from one of the most powerful teams ever to take the field remains one of the outstanding England achievements in any era. But there was success in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in the sort of conditions in which England traditionally struggled to compete, and in South Africa, too. He also drew a Test series in India. So he brings with him a considerable CV, more substantial in fact than that of the man he succeeds.

Why he feels he needs the challenge at 62 is another matter. Since leaving the England job he has filled his time with consultancy positions, at Hampshire, and with the South Africa and New Zealand sides. It has helped to keep him in the loop. Has he missed the more permanent contact and influence that he could bring to bear?

Presumably the Indian authorities made him a financial offer he would find hard to refuse, although clearly he took the job strictly on his terms rather than be required to fit into a system that did not meet with his approval. The retention of Eric Simons, the bowling coach who also worked with Fletcher at Western Province, is testament to that.

Fletcher may give the impression of being a curmudgeon, and at times an autocrat, but Kirsten and of course MS Dhoni will recognise and appreciate someone whose qualities tend to involve working in the background. He has never craved attention, believing that as it is the players ultimately who win or lose games, then it should be they who have the profile.

He was always keen to set up a business‑style structure – whether it was at England or Western Province, or Glamorgan before that – in which the captain was viewed as the chief executive and himself as managing director. If there were ever any doubts that whoever was appointed it would be Dhoni, along with Sachin Tendulkar, who ran the show, then they have been dispelled by Fletcher's advancement.

His first task will be to form a relationship with Dhoni. With England his bond with Nasser Hussain was immense, but those who believed that Hussain's departure would preclude a similar relationship in the future, underestimated Fletcher's pragmatism: that with Hussain was seamlessly replaced with an equally strong relationship, with Michael Vaughan.

Whatever it was to the two England captains, to Fletcher it was always business. He will, no doubt, operate on a similar basis to Kirsten which, given the nature and stature of the players he had, was consultative. He did not reside in India for any length of time, but commuted as and when necessary. It is unlikely, then, that Fletcher will uproot from his Cape Town home.

Now he faces a challenge of a different kind to that he faced when he took over England more than a decade ago. They had reached the bottom of the heap and it was by instilling the team values, with the aid of a determined captain who sought respect before popularity, that he gradually helped drag them up. This is different for, as it stands, India are the top-ranked Test side and World Cup holders.

There is an analogy, of sorts, with the situation in Australia when Steve Waugh handed on the captaincy to Ricky Ponting. Waugh chose his moment well for, although Ponting would enjoy great success with an established side, it was always going to fragment. Fletcher will enjoy being associated with one of the finest of all batting line-ups, but will do so in the knowledge that it is rapidly ageing.

So he may see his main role not as maintaining the performance of the star players, but of bringing on the next generation, not just batsmen but bowlers, where there appears to be a dearth of emerging talent.

He will do so knowing that, as with West Indies fast bowlers, things in all probability will never again be the same. He will also know that a decline during his tenure is almost inevitable.

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