In India cricket is no less than a religion, the phenomenon that has been around for decades. The inception of IPL in 2008 would allow fans to enjoy more thrilling and exciting cricket. But before its inception, when the initial sketch of the league was outlined there were doubts about the reach of the cash-rich league. However, with twelve editions completed, every new season comes with much more intensity and more exhilarating power-packed performances, and the carnival of cricket that has made an effort to revise the belief of the classical game attracts millions of viewers from all over the globe.
The tale of the tournament’s success is a tale of a powerful combination of serendipity and opportunism. IPL is the biggest commercial event outside of international cricket and various factors contribute to what the league is today. The answer lies in two major factors, the timing, and the scheduling of the tournament.
THE TWO FACTORS: TIMING AND SCHEDULING
For the IPL to have been this popular it would have to take great timing for it to work, and that is exactly what the creators attained. The sport of cricket had started witnessing lower turnouts, especially from the younger generation who preferred to adopt other sports rather than cricket. It was then when it was suggested to look at a compressed format of the game that would keep the audiences engaged. It took a while for IPL T20 cricket to establish itself and be liked the way it is liked today. Initially, international cricket found it hard to take the format seriously.
The first-ever T20 match was played in February 2005. The games drew a mix of curiosity and perplexity. Even the BCCI wasn’t too fond of the format. Niranjan Shah the then BCCI secretary thundered at the 2006 ICC board meeting that India would never play a T20 game. One of the last “big nations” to play a T20 match was India. They played their first match on 1st December 2006 against South Africa and won the match.
In 2007, after the ICC world cup tournament in March, the ODI format had plateaued. Australia had very easily won their third title being the standout team and very few surprises left. ICC had made various attempts for enlivening the game but nothing worked. The ludicrous 2007 world cup final was a fine example of everything that went wrong with the ODI format.
RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME
It was after the show that was the 2007 world cup, the T20 format was successful in capturing the public imagination. It is hard to believe that India wasn’t too keen on sending a team for the World T20 championship, and had their arm twisted subtly by the former ICC president. The short crisp tournament showcased everything that the ODI format wasn’t. Even the world’s best team (Australia) were beatable, the matches were close and nail-biting. The Indian team’s victory ensured eyeballs, and instant love by fans. IPL had a very low-key launch two days after the inaugural World T20 championship began. But with India’s victory, BCCI was now at the right place at the right time.
THE POPULARITY OF THE LEAGUE
Twelve years later since its inaugural edition, it can be safely said that cricket hasn’t been the same. IPL also got its scheduling on point, which was the second factor for its popularity. Played during the months of April-May was a masterstroke by the board. It also aligns with the school summer vacations.
But In today’s day and age, it becomes slightly difficult and overwhelming to keep up with such a massive tournament. Even with ample live coverage on television and live-streaming apps, it gets difficult to watch matches owing to the busy schedules of people. No matter how much of a cricket-loving nation India is, keeping up with IPL at the workplace can be difficult. But iplt20.live is a new and upcoming website with an easy and interactive interface. All IPL 2020 live scores can easily be accessed and viewed, with the scores being updated regularly. IPL live streaming can also be watched here. The website allows easy access to all the domains. It also has interesting match coverages and discussions.