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K.R. NAYAR COLUMN: IPL is a league of the masses for the masses

Its not the money that it generates but it’s fans that has made it a success

K.R. NayarChief Cricket Writer
14:21 April 9, 2018

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is hailed as the best among all T20 leagues in the world today. Many countries have their own leagues, but they are not as popular and spectacular as the IPL. South Africa and Afghanistan too are expected to stage their leagues soon.

The general opinion is that the IPL is a huge success because of the money it generates and the big purse that its players receive.

If not for the millions of Indians that make it a 
point to watch or follow every IPL match for 
over 50 days, this league would not have been
such a success.

A study on why it has become the richest cricket league will reveal that it is mainly due to the cricket-crazy Indian fans.

If not for the millions of Indians that make it a point to watch or follow every IPL match for over 50 days, this league would not have been such a success.

Though only eight cities are part of the contest, people from other cities too enjoy every bit of the action.

The first match of the 2018 edition saw Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians through a one-wicket thriller, just as a teaser to increase the appetite of the fans in the coming days.

Every player, including the greatest stars in world cricket, looks forward to play in the IPL and give his best for his franchise.

People have nearly forgotten those early days of Twenty20 when many labelled it as ‘fun cricket’ and that it was not something worthy of being taken seriously.

Today, those sceptics must be shocked at the seriousness with which everyone plays the IPL! In fact, IPL has played a big role in boosting the popularity of the T20 format.

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) too would have been equally successful had they been able to stage it completely in their country with all top players playing in it.

A large turnout is vital for the image of any league. If people fall in love with it, then nothing can stop it from going forward.

Despite the match fixing scandal and allegations of corruption that hit IPL in 2013, it did little to lower the enthusiasm of the fans.

A study was conducted to determine whether strategic marketing had played a big role in IPL’s success, but pundits soon realised that if fans did not love cricket and enjoy this league nothing could have been done.

It is the fans’ constant debate on teams and players that has resulted in the rise in popularity of the IPL. There was a time when budding cricketers dreamt of being a Test star; today he dreams of being selected to play the IPL. Coaches have now started introducing innovative shots and shaping players into hard hitters to realise their dream of playing in the IPL. Any player from any strata of the society can qualify to play in the IPL. Today it is a league of the masses for the masses.