The Indian Premier League (IPL) began in 2008. The idea was to develop a franchise-based cricketing league on the lines of the EPL. Lalit Modi, the then IPL commissioner wanted to marry cricket with entertainment. The tournament initially turned out to be exactly (worryingly) that. We discussed here about Is IPL Good Or Bad For Cricket?
Is IPL Good Or Bad For Cricket?
Cricket took a backseat. Glitz and glamour dominated. The after-parties post every game caught a lot of attention. It was observed that The IPL is spoiling not just Indian but cricket culture too. The results at first indicated the same.
IPL’s showbiz that stole the thunder:
The auctions that preceded the competition were a different beast in themselves. It transformed lives overnight. Players hitherto unknown ended up winning million-dollar contracts. The quick money that players fetched distracted the best in the business. A player of Virat Kohli’s class self-admittedly conceded that The IPL euphoria was too much for a youngster like him.
Money and power know no limits. The IPL remains no exception. Spot-fixing scandal that emerged in 2013 threatened to derail The IPL in totality. The image of the competition was tarnished. Players’ integrity was questioned. It took time for The IPL to regain its footing.
Did The IPL help India win multiple T20 World Cups?
The tournament came into life owing to India’s historic win in the inaugural T20 World Cup. India was an unheralded team before the competition. They went to stun everyone winning the World Cup despite having played just 1 T20I game. The IPL was expected to help India win multiple T20 World Cups. But the result is now in front of everyone. 6 World Cups later, India are yet to win another T20 World Cup. So was The IPL a failed exercise?
The IPL’s main contribution:
Critics of the league often complain about the excess money the tournament generates. But have they ever wondered where does all the money percolates? BCCI, the parent board of IPL, was able to share a one-time sum of INR 1 crore each to all its former players.
A move of such magnitude was unprecedented and well respected. The IPL helped improve salaries and provided employment to the last person in the cricketing chain. Umpires, scorers, match officials, analysts, all got a secured job thanks to The IPL.
The domestic structure:
IPL played a huge part in improving India’s domestic structure. State units got the funds from IPL revenue. This in turn helped the domestic infrastructure. Fitness was no longer just an international thing. Domestic players benefited largely owing to this.
Pressure, no longer a problem:
The Indian Players post The IPL revolution never felt any sort of pressure. The crowds, the expectations built in The IPL allayed all pressure when they played international cricket. Indian Players no longer succumbed to pressure in crunch scenarios. They were prepared brilliantly thanks to The IPL.
The fast bowling revolution:
India earlier was blessed with just an odd quality seamer. Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, were all pace spearheads who rarely had support. It was thanks to The IPL that India had a ready supply of fast bowlers. Pacers who would then go on to hunt as a pack. India now owes its major overseas wins thanks to its fast bowling battery.
The game’s power-center:
India though a money-spinner was never a powerhouse in world cricket. England and Australia were the two dominant forces. But The IPL completely overthrew the colonialization. It helped India dictate the terms. India became an undisputed cricketing powerhouse.
The IPL has given Indian cricket and its stakeholders a billion reasons to be happy but the skeptics just keep pointing out the flaws. As in life so in IPL, progress does invite critics, and at times even unfairly so!