IPL 2019 is less than a month away. It will start with the opening match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 23. IPL organisers have already won fans by taking the decision to not host the opening ceremony this time and instead donate the money to the kin of Pulwama martyrs. Cricwizz takes a look at top 10 strangest facts on IPL.
Fact 1: Ricky Ponting’s first team was not Mumbai
Mumbai Indians was not the first team that Ricky Ponting played for in IPL. Ponting first traded his skills for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2008. He played 4 matches for KKR in IPL 2008 scoring 39 runs. He then played 6 matches for 52 runs for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2013 before giving up his place and captaincy to Rohit Sharma who went on to win three IPL titles.
Fact 2: Mumbai Indians’ first skipper was not Sachin
Not Sachin Tendulkar, but Harbhajan Singh was the first skipper of Mumbai Indians. Sachin was suffering from a hamstring injury before IPL 2008 and Harbhajan Singh captained Mumbai for few games before Sachin took over.
Fact 3: 11 Pak cricketers played in IPL
11 Pakistan players were part of only one IPL edition in 2008. They never played another edition then. Those Pakistan cricketers are Shoaib Akhtar (Kolkata Knight Riders), Shoaib Malik (Delhi Daredevils), Shahid Afridi (Deccan Chargers), Younis Khan (Rajasthan Royals), Mohammad Asif (Delhi Daredevils), Kamran Akmal (Rajasthan Royals), Umar Gul (Kolkata Knight Riders), Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals), Mohammad Hafeez (KKR), Salman Butt (KKR) and Misbah-ul-Haq (RCB).
Fact 4: Azhar Mahmood was an exception
Although no Pakistan players participated in IPL post 2008 edition, Azhar Mahmood, a former Pakistan cricketer, played for two IPL teams after he got his British citizenship in 2011. He played for KXIP in 2012-13, and KKR in 2015.
Fact 5: McGrath was once benched throughout one season
Glenn McGrath was part of Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2008 and was the most economical bowler for the team. However, he did not get a single game in IPL 2009 and Delhi bought the remaining years in McGrath’s contract to bring his cricketing career to an end.
Fact 6: Aaron Finch played for a record number of teams
7 Aaron Finch is the first and only player so far to play for 7 different IPL teams. He has played for Delhi Daredevils, Gujarat Lions, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Fact 7: Pollard, Malinga, ABD only overseas players to…
Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, AB de Villiers are the only three overseas cricketers to play 100 or more matches for a single franchise. Pollard has played 132 matches for Mumbai Indians, Malinga has played 110 matches for Mumbai and ABD has played 114 matches for RCB.
Fact 8: A no ball after 386 overs
Piyush Chawla of Kolkata Knight Riders took 386 overs to bowl his first no ball in his IPL career. The no ball happened in the 2016 IPL match against Delhi Daredevils. Piyush Chawla is the third highest wicket-taker in IPL with 140 wickets in 144 matches.
Fact 9: Most dot balls holder
Harbhajan Singh has bowled the most dot balls in the history of IPL. He has bowled 1128 dot balls in 149 matches in IPL. The second best is 1075 by Praveen Kumar.
Fact 10: Zaheer Khan’s unique appearance
Zaheer Khan is the only player to feature in both the 1st match and 500th match of IPL. He played the inaugural IPL match in 2008 for RCB vs KKR. He played the 500th IPL match for Delhi Daredevils against Rajasthan Royals. Zaheer ended on the losing side both the times.