Last year was a difficult one for many people worldwide, but several of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) biggest stars provided some rays of optimism and cause for celebration both on and off the field in 2020.
Players participating in the IPL were required to spend at least two months away from friends, family, and loved ones. It was a difficult time for everyone involved but the players and officials made the necessary sacrifices to ensure the show could go on and the people could be entertained in a time of hardship.
The IPL is a massive tournament that means so much to so many people. Despite the challenges present last year, the 2020 edition of the IPL attracted an average of 31.57 million impressions, with a total of 383 billion minutes of cricket consumed during the event. The opening match drew more than 200 million viewers on its own.
Many of the applications fans use to follow and watch the tournament also offer fantasy games and online cricket betting functionality, which add to the user’s experience. It makes the IPL a much more immersive experience for viewers and a significant part of their daily lives, especially in a year like 2020.
The fact that the IPL was able to take place at all last year was nothing short of a miracle, and it provided an essential and well-needed distraction from the real world for millions of cricket fans around the globe. Some of the tournament’s stars even managed to bring joy off the field too.
Elite fast bowler Pat Cummins, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders and Australia, proposed to long-time girlfriend, Rebecca Boston before the start of the IPL in 2020. He popped the question during a secluded picnic at an exclusive farm. The pair were planning to be married last year, but the ceremony was postponed due to global circumstances and the difficulty it poses to international travel.
India national team and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya hit it out the park with two surprise announcements last year. Towards the start of 2020, he shocked the world with the news of his engagement to Serbian model Natasha Stankovic who he married in June. Towards the end of the IPL, Pandya dropped yet another bombshell that the couple was expecting their first child.
While some have chosen to delay their big day to have the wedding of their dreams, leg spinner Varun Chakravarthy and significant other Neha Khedekar simply couldn’t wait. Instead, the long-time lovers decided to tie the knot in a small, private affair in December with just a few close friends and family members in attendance.
It was a massive year for Jaydev Unadkat. He didn’t have a particularly impressive IPL campaign with the Rajasthan Royals. Still, he did claim the Ranji Trophy as captain of Saurashtra and announced his engagement within a few days of each other in March. Slightly different from the other players on this list, but continuing a long tradition in India, Unadkat also revealed that his parents arranged the marriage.
Royal Challengers Banglore leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal got engaged to his long-time girlfriend in August, just before the IPL kicked off. Vijay Shankar, of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, also announced his engagement via Instagram in what was a jam-packed year for IPL romance.
A special mention needs to be made for South African superstar Faf du Plessis, who’s wife responded to a picture of him shared by the official IPL Twitter page by replying to the post saying they should have more children. The Chennai Super Kings batsmen responded saying he was keen, but there hasn’t been any more news on this front yet. Watch this space.