Humungous sixes, sliding stops and brilliant run-outs, they are all part of a 4-hour frenzied show which also features trumpet tunes, excited fans and pretty cheerleaders. This is the Indian Premier League in a nutshell. The shortest format of the game was designed to indulge the young crowd who neither have the time nor the patience to slog through 5 days of Test Cricket. IPL is a twenty-overs-a-side tournament that has all the ingredients of an entertaining evening.
IPL is a brand today as it has the right amount of star power as the world’s best players participate in the tournament. The Bollywood support that IPL has garnered has made the event a huge success.
The concept of a franchisee-league which Mr Lalit Modi got from the EPL has continued to be the favourite of the masses.
BCCI got excited about T20 cricket only after India won the World T20 cup in 2007, under Dhoni. Just in time for the IPL to be launched
When Kerry Packer came in and signed up world’s top players for his league, dressed them up in coloured jerseys and broadcasted the limited overs matches on his own Channel 9, the world saw how cricket could rake in the moolah!
But now the 50-over game is now passé. Twenty-over cricket brings in the cash and the crowds. Following the IPL, the Caribbean Premier League, Bangladesh and Pakistan leagues have also started. Therefore IPL is the trendsetter, with its worth being $4.2 billion.
Sachin Tendulkar recently said, “When IPL was introduced in India, we knew it would be a success. But nobody could imagine the magnitude of its accomplishments over the last ten years.”
The IPL is literally a money minting machine. The international stars, who play in the league get hefty price-tags. It is also a bonanza for those who are involved with the event in different capacities like anchors, commentators, administrators etc.
The Indian Premier League has the ability to bring uncapped players into the limelight. These uncapped players often end up picking up huge pays and spending time with celebs, film stars and top cricketers. It is a dream come true for most of them.
It has also brought in a lot of improvements in the standards of the game, the carefree strokeplay and the brilliance in the field are just 2 examples.
Customer Satisfaction is what keeps the IPL Fans happy. IPL administration and the various franchises have worked hard to bring in the spectators. The various venues and associations make the fan-experience unforgettable. The ‘Star of the Match’ and the ‘VIP Box’ are a few concepts that keep fans involved in the game. Fans get excited when they are shown dancing and waving on television screens. These fans flaunt their favourite team’s jerseys and merchandise and show messages to their favourite players through placards.
The team of IPL has given us a few other innovations. The ‘Strategic Time-out’ is a brilliant idea. It gives the teams a breather and an opportunity to regroup and rethink their strategies in high-intensity games. Spider cams, stump and umpire’s hat cams, have added a different dimension to the viewing experience for television viewers. They provide a close-up view.
The setting up fan parks in small towns has brought IPL closer to the spectators who can’t come to the stadiums. The big-screen and theatre screenings should be used profitably in big towns too.
The IPL broadcasts have a huge reach beside covering the whole of India, now they reach United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, USA, South Africa, Middle East and Africa, and the West Indies.
IPL has also had its own fair share of controversies, over the last decade. The betting scandal leading to the ban of CSK and Rajasthan Royals, the spot-fixing scandal, the Bhajji-Sree ‘Slapgate’, Lalit Modi fleeing the country, midway through the IPL journey, allegedly due to financial irregularities ,Shah Rukh Khan’s fight with a Wankhede Stadium security guard, Rahul Sharma and Wayne Parnell’s rave party presence and many more. People believe that any type of publicity is good publicity.
Now that IPL has grown manifolds during these 10 years, the BCCI will have a lot of rethinking to do. Some of the important issues to be dealt with shall include the number of teams and better spectator.
BCCI will also have to help develop the game in other countries as the fact remains that star players from around the globe have contributed to IPL’s success. So it is important that the game prospers in every cricket playing country.