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    Indian Premier League or Injured Premier League?

    New Delhi: Even before it has started, the sixth season of the league has seen franchises hit by several significant player injuries. As of Saturday, the injury toll count for IPL 6 had reached eight, with five of nine franchises losing or standing to lose key members of their squads. The worst hit so far has been Delhi Daredevils, who have lost two key batsmen and a genuine quick even before their first preparatory camp got underway.

    Kevin Pietersen (knee)
    The talismanic England batsman has been ruled out of the IPL with a knee injury sustained during the tour of New Zealand recently. Pietersen played in the first two drawn Tests but missed the third, at which time the ECB released a statement saying he needed six to eight weeks to recover. Pietersen's withdrawal is major setback for Delhi Daredevils, whom he joined in 2012 and helped guide to the play-off stages of IPL 5.

    Jesse Ryder (coma)
    Ryder, the New Zealand batsman, was the victim of a violent attack on March 28 during a night out in Christchurch, which left him with a fractured skull and after being rushed to the hospital he fell into an induced coma. The cricketing future of Ryder, who was bought for $260,000 by Delhi Daredevils, remains in serious doubt.

    Varun Aaron (rehabilitation)
    Delhi Daredevils team director TA Sekar admitted on Thursday that the franchise was looking for a replacement for the Jharkhand fast bowler, who has not played any form of competitive cricket since IPL 5 on May 25, 2012. Aaron is still on the recovery trail from a back injury.

    Michael Clarke (back, hamstring)
    The to-and-fro over the Australian captain's participation in IPL 6 was put to rest on March 26 when it was confirmed that he needed up to ten weeks on the sidelines to overcome injuries relating to his back and hamstring. Clarke, who was purchased by Pune Warriors for his base price of $400,000 was tipped to lead the side in IPL 6.

    Faff du Plessis (back)
    The South African batsman, who made an impact in IPL 5 at the top of the order for Chennai Super Kings, is facing at least a month's layoff from the league after experiencing pain and inflammation in his lower back. Du Plessis missed the last two ODIs against Pakistan and is set to be sidelined for the first four weeks of the IPL. His comeback is slate for the week starting April 29, which means at least nine matches will have elapsed in his absence.

    Shikhar Dhawan (finger)
    India's latest batting sensation looks set to miss a chunk of IPL 6 for Sunrisers Hyderabad after the BCCI announced that he faces a six-week injury lay-off. Dhawan, who scored 187 on Test debut in Mohali, sustained a fracture in his left hand while fielding during Australia's second innings. Playing for the now terminated Deccan Chargers last season, Dhawan was one of the batting stars with 569 runs at 40.64, which was the highest for the Hyderabad-based franchise and third highest overall, behind Chris Gayle and Gautam Gambhir. It is foreseeable that the earliest that Dhawan could return would be the latter stages of the tournament.

    JP Duminy (heel)
    Hyderabad will be without the services of the South African allrounder for IPL 6 as he continues his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury.

    Cheteshwar Pujara (finger)
    Pujara, who is part of Royal Challengers Bangalore, sustained an injury in his right index finger during the recent Delhi Test against Australia and is doubtful for the team's first four matches.