Thursday, December 14

Indian Premier League: Sustainability of Its Popularity

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It made headlines in 2008 as it launched its first season and proved it to be widely accepted and financially fulfilling for the sponsors as well as for the players.

Being an event of Twenty twenty cricket, it has taken over the lantern from the Australians and New Zealanders whom was the pioneers in the new form of the game. Many people thought of it as a non sustainable event and the reasons for such thinking were backed by several factors. These were,

*The game was not yet popular at that time among the fans as an alternative to the 50 over version

*The event was among several clubs rather than between international teams

*Certain cricketing bodies restricted the participation of star cricketers as it would disrupt their own cricketing calendar.

*The idea of ‘playing for money’

*The notion that, cricket is fast becoming commercialized and is no longer the gentlemen’s game that it’s used to.

*The rivalry between two cricketing tournaments in India.

With such a background, the Board of Control for Cricket in Indian the BCCI was masterful in addressing these critics and to initiate the process of ‘auctioning’ cricketing stars for each IPL club. These clubs were considered to be separate franchise and were based on different regions of India. When the time was right to kick off the first season, the tables were turned and much enthusiasm was formed as if a new star studded ‘bollywood’ movie has been released. It would not be false to sate that, the glamour it brought to the cricketing arena opened up the flood gates to fans of different nature to become Cricket lovers.

In its first season, the immense success it had, in both revenues as well as from its wide spread acceptability was due to several reasons. Some of which can be stated as,

*Presence of much loved cricketing stars from all over the world

*World wide coverage that made millions of fans to follow the tournament all the way through

*Being a shorter version of the game that gives excitement and thrill all the way through

*Thrilling encounters and emergence of stars from local talent in India

*The active participation of bollywood stars in supporting their teams

*Wide spread media publicity and bollywood style clips that made IPL to become a glamorous event, etc.

Although the second season of the IPL had to be shifted from India to South Africa for security reasons, the enthusiasm and the following it received was not so diminished. Even though the participation at grounds was less than in the first season, it was watched by many millions of fans worldwide, especially in India.

By 2010, IPL has established itself as a mega event. It has become an event which fans are eagerly waiting and it continues to attract many international stars to represent the franchised clubs. Even though there are several controversies regarding player auctioning and its dominance by commercial establishments as well as from other such cricketing events, the followers of IPL will be there for many years to come and thus will not encounter a problem towards its popularity.

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