After weeks of hype and controversy, the Indian Premier League finally gets under way in Bangalore on Friday.
Bangalore Royal Challengers will face Kolkata Knight Riders to kick off a six-week tournament featuring most of the finest talents in the world game.
The highest-paid players will be earning weekly salaries normally associated with Premier League footballers and it seems no exaggeration for co-founder IS Bindra to describe the IPL as "a new milestone in the cricketing history of the world".
Here is a guide to the eight teams that will be contesting the inaugural IPL and bidding to reach the final in Mumbai on 1 June.
Name: Bangalore Royal Challengers
Owner: Vijay Mallya
Ground: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Coach: Venkatesh Prasad
Captain: Rahul Dravid
Star player: Jacques Kallis
Most expensive player: Rahul Dravid, annual salary US$1,035,000
(ICON PLAYER, earning 15% more than next highest earner in franchise)
Squad: Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn (South Africa), Nathan Bracken, Cameron White (Australia), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies), Misbah-ul Haq (Pakistan), Abdur Razzak (Bangladesh), Ross Taylor (New Zealand), Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Wasim Jaffer, Praveen Kumar, Sunil Joshi, B Akhil, Vinay Kumar, Devraj Patil, Bharat Chipli, KP Appanna, B Arun Kumar, Virat Kohli, Sreevats Goswami.
Total cost of squad: US$5,795,000
Odds: 6/1 (odds provided by William Hill and correct as of 11/04/08)
Name: Chennai Super Kings
Owner: India Cements
Ground: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Coach: Keppler Wessels
Captain: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Star player: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Most expensive player: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, $1.5m
Squad: Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey (Australia), Stephen Fleming, Jacob Oram (New Zealand), Makhaya Ntini, Albie Morkel (South Africa), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Parthiv Patel, Joginder Sharma, Lakshmipathi Balaji, Napolean Einstein, Abhinav Mukund, Sudeep Tyagi, Rashwin, Viraj Kadbe, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Anirudha Srikkanth, P Amarnath, S Sresh Kumar, Arun Karthik and Shadab Jakati (India).
Total cost: $6,225,000
Odds: 10/3 favourites
Name: Deccan Chargers
Owner: Deccan Chronicle
Ground: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad
Coach: Robin Singh
Captain: VVS Laxman
Star player: Andrew Symonds
Most expensive player: Andrew Symonds, $1.35m
Squad: Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds (Australia), Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, Chamara Silva (Sri Lanka), Hershelle Gibbs (South Africa), Scott Styris (New Zealand), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), VVS Laxman, RP Singh, Rohit Sharma, Venugopala Rao, Pragyan Ojha, Halhadar Das, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Arjun Yadav, Paidikalva Vijay Kumar, Kalyan Krishna, Sarveesh Kumar, Sanjay Bangar (India).
Total cost: $6,105,000
Name: Delhi Daredevils
Owner: GMR Holdings
Ground: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Coach: Greg Shipperd
Captain: Virender Sehwag
Star player: Virender Sehwag
Most expensive player: Virender Sehwag, $833,750 (ICON PLAYER)
Squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof (Sri Lanka), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Glenn McGrath, Brett Geeves (Australia), Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), AB de Villiers (South Africa),Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik, Rajat Bhatia, Mithun Manhas, Mayank Tehlan, Pradeep Sangwan, Yo Mahesh (India).
Total cost: $6,372,500
Name: King's XI, Punjab
Owner: Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia, Karan Paul and Mohit Burman
Ground: Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Coach: Tom Moody
Captain: Yuvraj Singh
Star player: Brett Lee
Most expensive player: Yuvraj Singh, $1,063,750 (ICON PLAYER)
Squad: Simon Katich, Luke Pomersbach, Brett Lee, James Hopes, Shaun Marsh (Australia), Kyle Mills (New Zealand), Ramnaresh Sarwan (West Indies), Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Yuvraj Singh, Sree Santh, Piyush Chawla, Karan Goel, Uday Kaul, Tanmay Srivastava, Sahil Kukreja, Sunny Sohal, Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Pankaj Dharmani, Nitin Saini, Wilkin Mota (India).
Total cost: $6,503,750
Name: Kolkata Knight Riders
Owner: Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla & Jai Mehta
Ground: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Coach: John Buchanan
Captain: Sourav Ganguly
Star player: Chris Gayle
Most expensive player: Sourav Ganguly, $1,092,500 (ICON PLAYER)
Squad: David Hussey, Ricky Ponting (Australia), Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan), Tatenda Taibu (Zimbabwe), Chris Gayle (West Indies), Akash Chopra, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohan Banerjee, Yashpal Singh, Debabrata Das, Sourav Ganguly, Wriddhiman Saha, Brendon McCullum, Ajit Agarkar, Iqbal Abdulla, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Ishant Sharma, Shoaib Akhtar, Murali Kartik, Umar Gul, Siddarth Kaul, Ranadeb Bose, Sourashish Lahiri (India).
Total cost: $6,222,500
Name: Mumbai Indians
Owner: Reliance Industries
Ground: Nerul, Mumbai
Coach: Lalchand Rajput
Captain: Sachin Tendulkar
Star player: Sachin Tendulkar
Most expensive player: Sachin Tendulkar, $1,121,250 (ICON PLAYER)
Squad: Loots Bosman, Ashwell Prince, Shaun Pollock (South Africa), Dilhara Fernando, Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Luke Ronchi, Dominic Thornely (Australia), Sachin Tendulkar, Abhishek Nayar, Ajeenkya Rahane, Ankeet Chauhan, Ashish Nehra, Dhaval Kulkarni, Gaurav Dhiman, Harbhajan Singh, Manish Pandey, Musavir Khote, Pinal Shah, Rajesh Pawar, Robin Uthappa, Rohan Raje, Saurabh Tiwary, Sidharth Chitnis, Swapnil Singh, Vikrant Yelligeti, Yogesh Takawale (India).
Total cost: $5,496,250
Name: Rajasthan Royals
Owner: Emerging Media
Ground: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Coach: Shane Warne
Captain: Shane Warne
Star player: Graeme Smith
Most expensive player: Mohammad Kaif, $675,000
Squad: Graeme Smith, Morne Morkel, (South Africa), Justin Langer, Shane Watson, Shane Warne (Australia), Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanvir (Pakistan), Dimitri Mascarenhas (England), Mohammad Kaif, Anoop Revandkar, Taruwar Kohli, Niraj Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Siddharth Trivedi, Swapnil Asnodkar, Sumit Khatri, Munaf Patel, Pankaj Singh (India).
Total cost: $3,610,000