April 23, 2008

Indian Premier League

IPL at 4am

Will Luke

Amar Shah is doing his best to keep abreast of all things IPL...from Los Angeles at 4am:

Since the league began, I've risen as early as four in the morning each day to log on to my computer to watch live choppy streams of such grandiose (ok, nascent) rivalries as the Bangalore Royal Challengers vs. the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Daredevils vs. the Rajasthan Royals.

For the next six weeks, top cricketers from all over the world will participate in a league that could shift the entire landscape of the sport. Traditional cricket, the test variety, lasts up to five days. But the IPL's Twenty20 format , where matches are limited to 20 overs (one over equals six pitches), is a run and gun, slap-happy form of the game that perfectly suits the waning attention span, especially my own.

As a recent cricket convert, I've come to realize that cricket is not so much a sport in India, but the lingua franca as Cricinfo.com blogger Lawrence Booth put it. Which makes the audacious experiment of the IPL an exciting proposition for the commercial expansion of the sport. And just perhaps, intriguing enough, for the American sensibility.

ESPN has the full story.

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Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

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