The 2016 IPL opening match, Mumbai Indians vs. Rising Pune Supergiants, will stream live online Saturday as the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League, the world’s most popular T20 cricket league, gets underway after a winter of controversy.
One result of that controversy will be on display Saturday night in Mumbai, with the Rising Pune Supergiants making their debut as an IPL franchise and featuring several former members of one of the league’s perennial powerhouse teams, the Chennai Super Kings.
— Cricmates (@Cricmates) April 8, 2016
But the Super Kings are no more, at least for the next two seasons, after a gambling scandal led the Board of Control for Cricket in India to suspend the franchise, along with a second IPL team, the Rajasthan Royals. With the BCCI unwilling to go forward with a six-team IPL tournament in 2016, two new franchises were formed — Rising Pune and one other, the Gujarat Lions.
But both teams feature stars from the two temporarily disbanded franchises. In fact. Rising Pune is captained by Chennai skipper M.S. Dhoni — who of course is also captain of the India one-day sides and remains an iconic figure in Indian, and world, cricket.
But the Rising Pune glamor factor extends well beyond the captain. Also featuring for the new side will be Australia Captain Steve Smith, generally considered one of the world’s best multi-format batsmen, South Africa T20 Captain Faf du Plessis, former England slugger Kevin Pietersen, and India international stars Ravichandran Ashwin, arguably the world’s top spinner, and Ajinkya Rahane.
Watch a preview of the Mumbai Indians vs. Rising Pune Supergiants match in the video below.
To watch a live stream of the match, try the following video — or see the final paragraph if this article for more streaming links. The Mumbai Indians vs. Rising Pune Supergiant IPL 2016 opening match is scheduled to get underway at 8 p.m. India Standard Time at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, April 9. For United States cricket fans, the live stream will start at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 7:30 a.m. Pacific.
While the spotlight may focus on the star-packed new IPL franchise, the fact remains that the hosts, Mumbai Indians, are the Indian Premier League defending champions, and are still captained by India’s Rohit Sharma. The Indians also feature a pair of big name new international additions this season in New Zealand pacer Tim Southee and England wicket keeper Jos Buttler.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) April 8, 2016
Mumbai, while they enter the tournament as a favorite to repeat their trophy run, hope to avoid the predicament they found themselves in last year, and in 2014 as well. In 2014 Mumbai dropped their first five games and last year went winless in their first four before turning their season around.
A pair of West Indies stars who recently recovered from injury will also be on hand to help propel Mumbai to what they hope will be a second straight title. Lendl Simmons, who was recalled into the West Indies squad for the T20 World Cup semifinal last month, helped propel his country to its second championship of that tournament.
Another Windies great, Kieron Pollard, missed the entire World T20 with an injury, but has been declared fit to join Mumbai for the 2016 IPL opener.
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The India-based site CricHD will stream the match live online at this link. But viewers should be aware that the site carries large amounts of both pop-up and embedded ads that could cause browser crashes and other online slowdowns. For the most reliable live online stream of the Mumbai Indians Vs. Rising Pune Supergiants Indian Premier League opening match, cricket fans can go to this link to subscribe to and watch all 60 IPL 2016 matches for $29.99 via ESPN Cricket Pass. The one-time price also includes unlimited on-demand replays of each Indian Premier League Season 9 match. Viewers in India can find the Indians vs. Supergiants match live stream at the Star Sports site at this link, while Cricket Gateway also carries the entire 2016 IPL in 155 countries outside of the United States, India, and Europe.
[Featured Photo via Indian Premier League Facebook]