This month the 12th season of the Indian Premier League gets underway and it promises to be one of the most hotly contested Twenty20 tournaments we have ever seen.
Ahead of the tournament, the SunRisers Hyderabad are one of the leaders in the Indian Premier League Betting but only just.
Defending champions, the Chennai Super Kings as well as the Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians are all closely behind in the betting and nipping at the Sunrisers heels.
Arguably the best thing about the IPL is the player auction that usually happens in the December prior to the tournament.
Big money is dished out to players by teams in an attempt to coax the worlds best (and most marketable) to play for them throughout the tournament.
Englishman Sam Curran was one of the big winners in the auction being picked up for a whopping £800,000 by the Kings XI Punjab, but even that was not the most spent by the Kings XI Punjab.
Indian bowler Varun Chakravarthy went for £940,000 while fellow Indian bolwer Jaydev Unadkat was picked up for the same fee by the Rajasthan Royals.
In total, the IPL franchises spent £12 million on new recruits for 2019 and it is this type of auction style policy that ensures there is a certain ‘level-playing’ field in the competition hence the reason the betting is so close.
With so much money spent and the tournament drawing ever nearer, its time to look at three of the important questions ahead of the first toss.
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Can the Sunrisers live up to the favourite tag?
The simple answer is yes.
The 2018 beaten finalists are ready for another assault on the IPL looking to add to their single title they claimed in 2016.
Kiwi Kane Williamson has retained the captaincy once again after impressive last season while the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Martin Guptill and Rashid Khan has added real steel to the team that gives them real potential of repeating their rise to last years final before losing out to the Chennai Super Kings.
Who will be the star of the show?
Trinidadian cricketer Sunil Philip Narine stole the show last year scoring 357 runs and taking a total of 17 wickets.
This year, all eyes will be on Englishman Sam Curran.
The 20-year-old was named Cricket Writers’ Club Young Cricketer of the Year in 2018 and averaged 37.33 runs for England in two test matches against Sri Lanka close to the end of last year.
Much is expected of the youngster, but he has already shown in his young career that he is more than up to the task.
Who went unsold in the auction?
There were a host of big names in the world of cricket who missed out on a bumper pay day in Decembers IPL auction.
New Zealander Brendan McCullum was arguably the biggest name to miss out but the most surprising player to fail to get picked up was another Englishman in Alex Hales.
The tournament gets underway on the 23rd March and the action looks set to be hot.