IPL remains the number one Twenty20 tournament - Darren Gough

Former England pace bowler Darren Gough reckons that the Indian Premier League (IPL) remains the number one Twenty20 tournament in the world.

However, Gough was quick to add that the tournaments like the Big Bash League and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) are quickly catching up with the IPL in terms of viewership numbers and popularity.

“With the emergence of all these T20 competitions around the world, the IPL still remains number one,” Gough said to Unibet.

“(It is) a fantastic tournament. All the best players want to play it.

“But I tell you what, it is being caught slowly by the Big Bash League – unbelievable viewing figures and some great cricket.

“The CPL, the fun tournament – that is the one I love.”

Ahead of the current IPL season two new teams - Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants - replaced the now-suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.

Gough picked Gujarat Lions, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders as his favorites for the tournament.

Though the Royal Challengers Bangalore have started poorly with two wins from the first five games, Gough feels that the side has it in them to finish strongly.

“(It's been a) great tournament so far. (It has been) very close.

“The newcomers, the Gujarat Lions, run by Brad Hodge, Heath Streak and they bought really well in the auction.

“The Royal Challengers Bangalore, they are a fantastic outfit. They have not started too well but I expect them to finish strong.

“Let’s (also) not look further than the Kolkata Knight Riders.”

Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli is currently leading the charts as the highest run scorer with 367 runs from five matches including three fifties and an unbeaten century.

Picking Kohli as the frontrunner for the player of the tournament, Gough also stated that AB de Villiers and Shane Watson have strong chances to emerge as the favorites for the award.

“Potential for the player of the tournament, you are not going to look much further than Virat Kohli, he is on fire.

“(He is) the best batsman in the world at this moment in time but just behind him (is) AB de Villiers.

“Let’s (also) not forget Shane Watson – fantastic all round talent. (He) went for fortunes in the IPL (auction). He is dangerous with the bat and the ball.”

Gough, who played a total of 17 ODIs against India, added that it was always a pleasure to tour India and face off against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

“Touring India was always a pleasure, a great place to play cricket," he remembered.

“As a bowler, sometimes (it was) hard work bowling at Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and they are hitting you to all parts of the park.

“The knowledge of the crowd is an unbelievable experience.

“They are very supportive and they know their cricket inside out.”

With 234 wickets from 158 One-Day Internationals at an average of 26.29, Gough is the second highest wicket-taker in the format for England.

© Cricket World 2016

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