In recent years the emergence of the Indian Premier League has sparked different T20 cricket leagues springing up all other the world. With some very exciting franchise teams making names for themselves in the rapidly expanding shortest form of the sport.
From India to Australia to the Caribbean, any number of competitions are now offering cricket spectators the biggest bangs going and an unprecedented level of buck with those bangs for players.
With such a multitude of teams now permeating around the globe, I have decided to put together a list of the best franchises going. Here they are, lead by the top five...
Chennai Super Kings
CSK are the Harlem Globetrotters of cricket at the minute, because their squad is filled with some of the best players in the world right now. During the 2014 IPL their squad included players such as Francois du Plessis, Brendon McCullum and David Hussey. They also have the two West Indians Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith.
CSK also have some India’s most important players right now including Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin, though of these players come close to matching the importance though of their captain MS Dhoni.
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The Indian national team captain is treated like a god in his home city of Chennai, and his batting ability’s has seen him help his side to some big wins. CSK don’t just have world class players thy back this up by consistently playing well in the IPL.
CSK have won the IPL twice in 2010 and 2011 and have also won the Champions League T20 twice in 2010 and 2014. They have also never failed to make the playoffs off the IPL.
Mumbai Indians have made the IPL playoffs in each of the last five editions of the tournament and have line up capable of matching any in the IPL. Mumbai won the tournament for the first time in 2013 after beating CSK in the final.
They have also won the Champions league T20 on two occasions despite disappointing at this year’s tournament. Mumbai’s side in the past contained the ultimate cricketing icon in India, Sachin Tendulkar, whose last campaign was in the victorious side of 2013.
Mumbai lost a number of key players from that team but managed to keep hold of Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh. They are captained by Rohit Sharma and brought in 'Mr Cricket' Mike Hussey and New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, whose big knock in the final game of the 2014 season got them into the playoffs.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The final IPL franchise on the list is KKR. They didn’t start to have an impact on the IPL until the 2011 season, when they made the playoffs for the first time. A year later they claimed their first IPL crown with a victory other CSK in the final.
In 2013 they once again failed to make the playoffs but came back strong this year to win their second IPL title after defeating Kings XI Punjab in the final. KKR are captained by Gautam Gambhir who, along with Jacques Kallis, provides some excellent experience to the team.
Their side also has one of the world best spin bowlers in the world right now in the form
of Sunil Narine who is backed up in their attack by South African Morne Morkel. KKR rely heavily on their all-rounders Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan and Ryan ten Doeschate for both runs and wickets.
The Sydney Sixers belong to Australia’s Big Bash League and are currently its most successful side. The Sixers won the first Big Bash in the 2011-12 season and followed that up with a Champions League T20 victory in 2012.
The Sixers then had a poor season in the following year’s addition by not making the playoffs but came back strong in the most recent addition of the Big Bash by finishing second in the group and qualifying for the playoffs in the process.
Their squad contains England’s Michael Lumb at the top of the order and are skippered by their other overseas player Dwayne Smith. As far as their Domestic players go they have Aussie test keeper Brad Haddin.
Their bowling attack is also very strong and includes Brett Lee, Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc, with Nathan Lyon and Stephen O'Keefe providing the spin options.
South Africa’s Highveld Lions are made up of the combined players from two other domestic sides in South Africa. The Lions have provided a South African side’s best showing in the T20 Champions League by reaching the final of the competition in 2012 only to be beaten by Australia’s Sydney Sixers.
The Lions have won the Ram Slam T20 twice, which has led to them appearing in the
Champions League on three occasions. Their squad is made up of only South Africans and their current best player is Quinton De Kock.
They are captained in the T20 format by Neil McKenzie. Some other notable players for the lions are Alviro Petersen and Aaron Phangiso.
In the upcoming months keep an eye out for The Melbourne Stars of the Big Bash and the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab of the IPL, the stars have made it to the playoffs in every season of the Big Bash but never made the finals.
This year could be their year and have a batting line up containing David Hussey, Cameron White and Glenn Maxwell as well as England pair Luke Wright and Kevin Peterson, plus young Australian all-rounder James Faulkner.
As for the Kings XI they have come on a great deal in the last few months after finishing runners up in the 2014 IPL, and will look to go one better in the 2015 edition. As for RCB, after a poor season in 2014 the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers will be looking to bounce back in 2015 with the RCB.