There is hardly a league tournament in the cricketing world that would have attained parity to the stature of what the IPL has managed to create for itself. The IPL is a cuisine which has the correct ingredients to penetrate and predispose all sections and age groups of Indian society. It has had everything in its plate in the past 9 years: Preponderance of money gushed over, drama, politic, corruptions, nail biting finishes and most importantly – endless entertainment for Indian Fans.
Year after year, it has managed to pull out tricks that got the stadium packed and made the game all the more popular among the Indian fans.
But it is time to tweak a few chords in order to rekindle the energy level that the IPL brings with itself. Are we looking at a time when we stop hiding behind the chimera of Indian cricket’s biggest festive season in order to orchestrate and infuse longevity and interest in the league?
And the reason why it is becoming more and more important to look into such whimpers is because of the uncanny reaction that the tournament has received this season. The stadiums are no longer packed, the favourite players are missing and the quality of cricket has not really matched up to the expectations. Looking into the intricacies, we will observe that a lot of things have coalesced to back fire the much touted tournament.
First, the spectators seemed to have an overdose of T20 cricket. Keeping the Indian spectators in mind, we are coming to the IPL after an Asia Cup T20 tournament and the T20 World Cup. So the alacrity that kept the fans yoked with the game seems to be gradually fading away.
Second, the reason why the IPL is conferred with so much popularity is the number of International stars that are linked with tournament. It’s a platform that brings in the specialists from all around the globe under one roof and puts some of the biggest names in one dressing room. But somehow it is even lacking on that front.
It’s mostly an end of the season time for most of the teams and thus plenty of them would love to take a flight back in order to take care of the niggles after an tiring season , spend some time with family and get fresh and fit for the next season. The fact that the World Cup was played in India means that most of these International stars have been enjoying the Indian hospitality for more than a month already and may have had enough of it.
Third, though it is purportedly believed that the amount of cash involved can coax the players to play the tournament, the length of the tournament doesn’t help the cause. The IPL is played for a span of almost two months, without a break. This makes it both cumbersome for the players and appalling for the spectators. Because no matter how much you advertise or sell your product, it is almost impossible to sell it to your customers for two months. And that too for nine straight years. Just to vindicate on that front, this is the list of the famous ‘’Injured XI” that are expected to miss most or at least a fair share of tournament:
1. Steve Smith (RPS)
2. Lendl Simmons (Mumbai Indians)
3. FaF Duplesis (RPS)
4. Yuvraj Singh (SRH)
5. Kevin Pitersen(RPS)
6. Shaun Marsh(KXIP)
7. Mitchell Marsh(RPS)
8. Lasith Malinga (MI)
9. John Hastings (KKR)
10. Samuel Badree (RCB)
11. Mitchell Starc (RCB)
Thus the bells are ringing, introspection is inevitable. Intransigence needs to be relinquished and innovation needs to be put high on the priority list. The board needs to take a call on how they can manage to fill the coffers enough in order to keep the show running, keeping in mind that they don’t stretch the tournament to the point of rejection.
The needs and schedules of the players need to be respected as well and the quality of how it is brought to people (The commentary especially) needs to be revised. Because if they want the duck to keep on giving the golden eggs, it’s high time they take care of the duck as well.