Like every season, all eight Indian Premier League (IPL) captains will pledge their allegiance to the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) Spirit of Cricket campaign by signing the spirit of the cricket bat, as well as they will be pledged to play fair in the tournament, this IPL 2018 season as well.
It is as integral a part of the IPL opening ceremony, which is scheduled to be held on 7 April at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Initially, the opening ceremony was planned for April 6 at the Cricket Club of India, but the Supreme Court-appointed CoA decided to stage it on 7 April.
With the 11th edition of the IPL getting underway on the same day (7 April) –opener will be played between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), four captains –Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, R Ashwin and Dinesh Karthik, will miss the opening ceremony of IPL 2018.
The second day of the IPL 2018 will stage two matches on 8 April –first between Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at 4 pm in Delhi, while the second fixture between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Kolkata at 8 PM, due to which they will not able to attend the opening ceremony.
However, a senior BCCI official said that the captain’s pledge will be filmed in advance on April 6 and the recording will be played out during the opening ceremony, so that the leaders can join their respective teams before their team's IPL 2018 opener on 8 April.
According to a report in CricketNext, a senior BCCI official said, “Having the captain’s pledge at the Trident Hotel in Nariman Point on April 6 means that all the leaders can go back to their respective teams before their opening games. With the opening ceremony now on April 7, having the pledge live would mean keeping Virat Kohli (RCB), Gautam Gambhir (DD), Dinesh Karthik (KKR) and R Ashwin (KXIP) away from their teams on the eve of their opening game on April 8. So, if we have the event in advance, they can happily strategies and make last-minute plans before the game.”
He signed off by saying, “See, while it is up to the BCCI to decide on these things, having the captain’s pledge a day in advance augurs really well for the four teams that are playing on April 8. It is the opening game for you in the tournament and you don’t really wish for your skipper to stay away from the team as there are many last-minute plans that need to be chalked out going into the season opener.”