And finally, the wait is over. The Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off on Wednesday evening. This year, in the sixth edition of the tournament, there are quite a few new faces to focus on; some exciting batsmen and clever bowlers capable of turning the game in favour of their teams. Here are the top seven new players we believe could be stand-out stars this term.

1. Kane Richardson [Australia]

  • Team: Pune Warriors
  • Role: Bowler
Kane Richardson

The South Australian fast bowler is relatively unknown to international cricket fans but he is highly rated in Australian circles. The 22-year-old, known for his pace, aggression and a well-directed yorker, has the right mix for a successful T20 bowler. Richardson's strong performances for South Australia and the Adelaide Strikers last season earned him a place in the national side recently and with a $700,000 price tag on him, the pacer is expected to feature regularly for the Warriors this season.

2. Sachithra Senanayake [Sri Lanka]

  • Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
  • Role: All-rounder

The 27-year-old was snapped up by defending champions KKR for a massive $625,000 during the auction this year, raising a few eyebrows. However, the off-spinner was the highest wicket-taker in the 2011/12 Sri Lanka Premier League, with 16 wickets from six matches. On the sub-continent's wickets, Senanayake is expected to form a strong partnership with West Indies international Sunil Narine for the Knight Riders this term.

3. Glenn Maxwell [Australia]

  • Team: Mumbai Indians
  • Role: All-rounder

The Australian all-rounder proved to be the most expensive player at this year's auction, fetching a fee of $1m. The 24-year-old bowls right-arm off-spin and can bat anywhere in the middle. Maxwell hit a 19-ball half-century for Victoria against Tasmania in 2010/11: the fastest One Day fifty in the history of Australian domestic cricket. He also impressed during his time in England, with Hampshire in the Friends Life T20 in 2012, and is expected to play a key role for the tournament favourites this year.

4. Unmukt Chand [India]

  • Team: Delhi Daredevils
  • Role: Batsman

The 20-year-old joined the Daredevils last season as India's U-19 World Cup winning captain. Pundits in the subcontinent touted him as the next Virat Kohli but the youngster struggled for game time in Delhi's experienced batting line-up. However, with Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder ruled out for IPL 2013, the in-form Chand is expected to have enough opportunities to showcase his talent this time.

5. Moises Henriques [Australia]

  • Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore
  • Role: All-rounder

The Portugal-born Australian cricketer played a crucial role for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League and Champions League T20 recently and also impressed for the Baggy Greens in the Test series against India. The 26-year-old failed to establish himself in the IPL in previous seasons but is expected to get some games for the Challengers this year. Henriques has a wide range of shots in his arsenal and can also be handy with the ball, thanks to his tricky medium pace.

6. Parveez Rasool [India]

  • Team: Pune Warriors
  • Role: All-rounder

The off-break spinner from Jammu & Kashmir is set to make his IPL debut this season. Rasool was the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker for his side in the Ranji Trophy [Indian domestic tournament] this season. The 24-year-old found himself on the IPL radar, with his bowling figures of 7/45 against Australia in a warm-up game at Chennai earlier this year.

7. Quinton de Kock [South Africa]

  • Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
  • Role: Wicketkeeper
Quinton de Kock

The 20-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman is one of the most exciting signings of this IPL season. de Kock came to the limelight after scoring 51 not out off 33 balls for South African side Highveld Lions against Mumbai Indians in the 2012 Champions League Twenty20 in Johannesburg. With competition from captain Kumar Sangakkara and former India international Parthiv Patel, de Kock may not get to wear the gloves this season but could still feature in some games as a middle-order batsman.