The 2020 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was initially scheduled between March 29 to May 27 in India. But due to the onset of the global pandemic, the tournament was deferred indefinitely.
After months of speculations and gruelling wait, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), along with IPL Governing Council (GC), decided to conduct the tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The 13th season of the IPL will take place from September 19 to November 10. However, this is not the first time the cash-rich league will be conducted outside India. Due to conflicting dates of Elections in India, IPL 2009 was moved to South Africa.
Five years later, the tournament was shifted to UAE in 2014 due to the same reason. Moreover, the latter half of the competition was conducted in India, that year.
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ended up winners of the 2014 edition of IPL. But, it was the Mumbai Indians (MI) who put up a stellar show in the tournament.
After a disastrous start – losing the first five games – MI managed to qualify for the playoffs by winning the remainder of their league matches.
Today, let’s have a look at the highest wicket-takers in IPL from the UAE leg of the tournament:
1. Mohit Sharma
Mohit Sharma was one of the many cricketers backed by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) talismanic captain, MS Dhoni.
Sharma ended up donning the purple cap in the 2014 edition for picking up the most number of wickets in the competition (23 wickets in 16 games).
In the UAE-leg of the tournament, Mohit picked up 8 wickets in five matches, boasting an average of 13.25.
2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) mainstay Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a revelation over the years. He made the Purple Cap his own, donning the orange jersey of SRH.
Bhuvi ended up as the third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 20 wickets in 14 games. In the UAE-leg of the tournament, Bhuvi scalped 8 wickets in 5 games, with an average of 15.
Further, Bhuvi is the all-time sixth-highest wicket-taker in IPL. His tally of 133 wickets is the third-most by any pacer, following Lasith Malinga and Dwayne Bravo.
3. Lasith Malinga
The all-time leading wicket-taker in the IPL, MI’s Lasith Malinga is a living legend of the cash-rich league.
In the 2014 edition, Malinga could only feature in 10 games and ended up with 16 wickets. Eight of those wickets came during the UAE-leg of the tournament.
His tally is the third-most amongst bowlers in IPL, during the games held in UAE.
4. Varun Aaron
Express fast bowler Varun Aaron, had a decent outing in IPL 2014, with 16 wickets in 10 games, donning the jersey of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
The Jharkhand pacer also had a brilliant UAE-leg of the competition, with 8 wickets in just four games. His tally was the second-most by any bowler in the tournament, during the UAE segment of IPL 2014.
5. Sunil Narine
When one talks about the leading wicket-taker in the IPL, it is hard to ignore the name of Sunil Narine, who has scalped a total of 122 wickets in 110 matches for KKR.
In the 2014 edition of the IPL, Narine was amongst the wickets yet again with 21 wickets in 16 games. The mystery spinner from Trinidad ended second in the race for the Purple Cap.
However, Narine picked the most number of wickets in the UAE leg of the tournament – nine wickets in five games – at a phenomenal average of 11.88.