Cricket: Twenty20 Indian Premier League

Tonight sees the first game in the controversial Indian Premier League – a six-week Twenty20 tournament between eight teams comprised of Indian and international players. For purists it’s the end of the world and even those sympathetic to the game have their concerns.

A central issue is the availability of international players, with the Australian Cricket Board ruling that Australian Test players can only compete in the first two weeks of the tournament.

As only four international players can play for any team, it’s unclear whether any Australians will appear in tonight’s opening match between the Bangalore Royal Challengers and the Kolkata Knight Riders. Ricky Ponting and David Hussey are signed to Kolkata and Nathan Bracken to Bangalore but there are other international heavyweights on both sides.

What we do know is that Ten paid a lot of money for the rights to all 59 matches and will be praying the tournament strikes a chord with the punters, if not the purists.