The Indian Premier League has truly revolutionised the way we perceive cricket. After all, IPL has reduced a regular, six-hour cricket match to a mere three hours and thrown in some Bollywood, cheerleaders, music, and star-studded franchises to make it more enticing and appealing. The entertainment value is on point with the league and it continues to grow exponentially, year after year.
Whether it is the pandemic like Covid-19 or general elections in India, IPL has always found a way to keep marching on and deliver on its promises to cricket fans all across the world. In fact, we can also go as far as saying that IPL is too big to fail – it is like Facebook or Google of the sporting world! If we are to go by a Duff & Phelps evaluation report, the league was valued at approximately $6.8 billion in 2019, making it the most expensive cricket league globally.
And as we all know, where there is money, there is action. Entertaining, nail-biting, jaw-dropping action.
A Platform for International Stars
One of the reasons why the Indian Premier League has cemented its position as the most popular cricket league in the world is owing to the kind of talent it attracts, year after year.
Some of the biggest names in cricket this century have participated in one or the other editions of the IPL. The league’s early editions saw international players like Brendon McCullum, Michael Hussey, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mark Boucher, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Sanath Jayasuriya, Graeme Smith, and more.
From an Indian perspective, we saw legends like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, and Yuvraj Singh lead the respective franchises.
As the league developed and grew in popularity and the quality of games, more and more players from all corners of the globe started to register for it. The league gave these gents an opportunity to develop and showcase their skills on the centre-stage and allowed them to gain the much-needed experience to perform at the international level for their countries.
Case in point, when the West Indies won the 2016 T20 World Cup in India, a majority of their star performers like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Carlos Braithwaite, Kieron Pollard, and others were already used to the conditions and players, thanks to their repeated runs in the IPL.
For the 2021 IPL, 125 overseas players have registered for the mini-auction, which alone speaks scores about how players perceive the league in terms of opportunities and exposure.
Great, Great Matches
It is not just the big names that people are getting to enjoy in the IPL. It is also the quality of the games itself. Whether it is Chris Gayle’s memorable 175 not out or Brendon McCullum’s trailblazing 158 not out in the very first match of the Indian Premier League, the competition has time and again entertained the spectators to the fullest.
Throughout the course of the league, we have seen some really spectacular games. For instance, the 2019 IPL final was won by Mumbai Indians by just 1 run – imagine that, winning the final (or losing) by a mere run! Imagine the chaos that match would have caused in the online cricket betting in India, which sees a lot of betting action during the IPL months.
Even when IPL was conducted in the UAE in empty stadiums owing to the pandemic, the league did not lose its value or popularity. If anything, it rose to prominence even more by adhering to its commitments and delivering what we cricket fans love the most – a great game of T20.
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