IPL: The Beginning of Cricketainment
With only a few prominent names in other sports such as Roger Federer in tennis or Tiger Woods in golf, cricket boasts of various key players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, MS Dhoni, Kevin Pieterson, Chris Gayle, Jacques Kallis and many more who are well known to millions around the globe. This is an indicator of cricket's globalization and status enjoyed by cricket players as they are found to be recognized outside their home countries.
The history of cricket in India dates back to the time of the British Raj when the sailors of the East India Company played cricket in the sub-continent leading to the establishment of small cricket clubs in different states. India has always been a cricket crazy nation with a regionalist mindset where people come in support for their respective players every time India plays any tournament. Be it one-day series, test matches, Twenty20 matches or the newer version - Indian Premier League. This new category of Entertainment Cricket combined with the excitement of Bollywood adds glamour, fun and attraction to the game, making it a complete package and a great value for money for the fans.
Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional league for the International Twenty20 cricket format that commenced on 18th April 2008 in India. With test cricket being a lengthy format of the game lasting up to 5 days, one day matches were limited to a day and thus became more interesting. IPL was launched by the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) by Lalit Modi, ex-Vice President of BCCI, who envisioned a new form of cricket on the lines of the immensely popular variant of sports namely NFL, NBA, Super Bowl and EPL - whilst adding an element of glamour to it. He brought together cricket and entertainment making it a fine match 'Cricketainment'. This brand positioning of IPL helped garner a lot of eyeballs and money from the business and entertainment world - with investments running in multi-billion dollars. IPL was estimated to be valued at over $4.13bn in 2010 and is thus regarded as the perfect formula of making mullah from almost all the viable areas concerning the game. Now headed by Mr. Rajeev Shukla, the Vice president of the board who is also the Chairman and Commissioner of the league, the beginnings of the idea of IPL are traced back to Kapil Dev, who started the independent T20 Champions League (ICL) in 2007, which only lasted for about two seasons. Following which the BCCI came up with the IPL bandwagon which has seen all the highs till date.
IPL is played by Indian and foreign players as well through various franchises they are a part of. IPL works on a franchise system based on hiring players, under which sponsors bring player into their teams for a particular amount and a stipulated period of time. The franchises are also required to share a part of their revenues with the board.
Many believe that IPL is a great concept and is here to stay.