IPL 2012 April 4, 2012

Will the IPL revive itself or continue to wear out?

26


By Aamod Desai, India

It is that time of the year when you have a live cricket match every day, when popular VJs discuss and analyse games instead of the more familiar cricket hosts, when you and your friend don’t necessarily cheer for the same side … The IPL is round the corner, promising to be its usual self – extravagant and glamorous. Along with the cricket, this year the big focus will be on whether the IPL brand can revive itself after a below-par performance last season.

With a poor international season (for India) preceding this edition and no home matches for the previous four months, the levels of interest and following should rise – at least top the abysmal stats for last year. The availability of a majority of India’s international players would also encourage the franchises and the tournament organisers. Seventy-six matches and two months – that is the extent of this edition. It appears to be too long, raising questions regarding the fatigue factor for players and the boredom factor for followers. But, like we have seen over the first four seasons, that is not so much of an issue unless your side isn’t winning.

All that said, for a meal to be judged well, the main course has to be up to the mark. The starters and desserts could add to the experience, but they cannot substitute for the quality of the main. The cricket has been key to the IPL’s success: the apparent equal distribution of talent and ability across all teams ensures that no team starts the tournament as an underdog. In the lead up to IPL V, there have been several swaps, new buys and much tweaking of team composition. It would be very interesting to see how the teams fare with their new look squads, and how fans react to these changes.

For India’s big names, it is another test of fitness and mental toughness following a long, international season, made more draining by the fact that the team hasn’t won too much. The timing of the IPL has been criticised, for it occupies what was once the off season for India’s players. A couple of injuries to key players here, and the tournament is in for another good dose of bashing.

Also, do not forget that this is World Cup year. The bigger picture suggests that this edition of the IPL is an indicative standard to gauge form and ability leading up to the World Cup Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September. Most of the overseas players will have this at the back of their minds. And, as India’s Twenty20 form hasn’t been the greatest since that memorable win in Johannesburg five years ago, the national selectors, the media and the public would be eyeing the IPL from this perspective as well.

Broadcasters, advertisers, investors, team owners and the BCCI would be hoping for a ‘profitable’ season, the fans would be hoping for a close one in terms of the results. A glossy opening ceremony is being planned for, but the success of the tourney, or the lack of it, will ultimately boil down to the competitiveness of the participating teams. This edition has the potential to go both ways – the brand could revive itself by replicating the zest with which began or it could continue to wear out. Which will it be? Come Wednesday, the answers will begin to roll in.

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rakesh on May 12, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    test matches should be given more priority than ipl...

  • Rakesh on May 12, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    ipl is just a bakwass. it is making the indian players very moneycentric.every indian plyer's performance has decreased in test matches due to ipl....even they get injured all the time..so ipl should be stopped!!!!

  • Minhaj on April 6, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    If the teams continue to discriminate when selecting teams then it is going in only ONE DIRECTION>>> Collapse!!!

    This is unbelievable, yesterday KKR opt to leave the best ALL-ROUNDER in the world, who's also on the form of his life, also currently won two major player of the tournament award. And today Pune left out another Bangladeshi man who's on the current form is millions times better option then his counterpart. THIS IS CLEARLY A DISCRIMINATION AGAINST BANGLADESHI PLAYERS! Pune already lost 3 batsman and i hope they lose too! SHame! SHame!! SHame!!!

  • Sourav Dutta on April 6, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    MY SUGGESSION TO MAKE A NEW RULE IN NEXT IPL:

    The value of wickets will be made as 3 runs. Below “extras”, it may be considered “penalty” row, whose value will be (-)(3*no. of wickets lost). Hence, suppose a team batting 1st scores 300/8 in 50 overs, its actual score will be (300-8*3)=274. Hence, the 2nd team will have to score 275 runs to win in 50 overs. The penalty rule will apply for the 2nd team also. Hence if at a definite stage of game, 2nd team requires 1 run to win and loses 1 wicket, the rule will impose (1+3)=4 runs to win for the team and the bowling team may get an opportunity to come back in the game.

    This rule will make teams to value their wickets more seriously, as if any pinch-hitter is doing 0 and gets out, he Is actually contributing (0-3)=-3 runs for the team. And at any stage of the game, the value for wickets will be preserved.

  • Ashwin on April 6, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    IPL is entertaining only for those of them having a team to support (living in either of the 9 cities currently having an IPL team). For the rest of the country it's just any other meaningless T20 cricket tournament. you cannot compete with the big time leagues like that of the EPL. Having money doesn't mean you can compete with any one. Cricket is a completely different game compared to football. Hope some genius out there does something to preserve the 'Gentleman's Game'

  • Dravid the real master on April 6, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    1st two matches in this IPL edition are very similar to indian teams recent performance. Can they improve? IPL will be interesting and gain TV ratings, audience support only if indian (local and national) players perform well. We are not interested to watch the foreigners alone to shine.

  • Ravi R on April 5, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    IPL is cricket's item number - loud and crass. Tolerable as an occasional distraction but annoying beyond a point. Not against T20 per se but IPL is too damn long and just icky - the cringe-worthy commentary, the constant spewing of sponsor names, the horrible costumes, Ravi Shastri... It was a curiosity piece the first time, genuinely competitive in South Africa. Been getting worse since then.

    The league format is nice but doesn't go far enough. May be time to convert all domestic teams to league format, make it competitive. Who really watches Ranji or Duleep trophies? How many IPL finds are really test or ODI class?

  • Ravi R on April 5, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    IPL is cricket's item number - loud and crass. Tolerable as an occasional distraction but annoying beyond a point. Not against T20 per se but IPL is too damn long and just icky - the cringe-worthy commentary, the constant spewing of sponsor names, the horrible costumes, Ravi Shastri... It was a curiosity piece the first time, genuinely competitive in South Africa. Been getting worse since then.

    The league format is nice but doesn't go far enough. May be time to convert all domestic teams to league format, make it competitive. Who really watches Ranji or Duleep trophies? How many IPL finds are really test or ODI class?

  • Anonymous on April 5, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    it appears to me that IPL is fixed. When Lalit Modi was the head RR won it. Then because of Srinivas Chennai won it. In 3rd edition sachin did not bring pollard. In 4th edition chennai was at 7th and they won it

  • sagar on April 5, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    it will wear out.. 70+ matches are too high.. the ticket prices are also high compared to last year.. and already we have this effect in the first match itself.. no full house

  • Rakesh on May 12, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    test matches should be given more priority than ipl...

  • Rakesh on May 12, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    ipl is just a bakwass. it is making the indian players very moneycentric.every indian plyer's performance has decreased in test matches due to ipl....even they get injured all the time..so ipl should be stopped!!!!

  • Minhaj on April 6, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    If the teams continue to discriminate when selecting teams then it is going in only ONE DIRECTION>>> Collapse!!!

    This is unbelievable, yesterday KKR opt to leave the best ALL-ROUNDER in the world, who's also on the form of his life, also currently won two major player of the tournament award. And today Pune left out another Bangladeshi man who's on the current form is millions times better option then his counterpart. THIS IS CLEARLY A DISCRIMINATION AGAINST BANGLADESHI PLAYERS! Pune already lost 3 batsman and i hope they lose too! SHame! SHame!! SHame!!!

  • Sourav Dutta on April 6, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    MY SUGGESSION TO MAKE A NEW RULE IN NEXT IPL:

    The value of wickets will be made as 3 runs. Below “extras”, it may be considered “penalty” row, whose value will be (-)(3*no. of wickets lost). Hence, suppose a team batting 1st scores 300/8 in 50 overs, its actual score will be (300-8*3)=274. Hence, the 2nd team will have to score 275 runs to win in 50 overs. The penalty rule will apply for the 2nd team also. Hence if at a definite stage of game, 2nd team requires 1 run to win and loses 1 wicket, the rule will impose (1+3)=4 runs to win for the team and the bowling team may get an opportunity to come back in the game.

    This rule will make teams to value their wickets more seriously, as if any pinch-hitter is doing 0 and gets out, he Is actually contributing (0-3)=-3 runs for the team. And at any stage of the game, the value for wickets will be preserved.

  • Ashwin on April 6, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    IPL is entertaining only for those of them having a team to support (living in either of the 9 cities currently having an IPL team). For the rest of the country it's just any other meaningless T20 cricket tournament. you cannot compete with the big time leagues like that of the EPL. Having money doesn't mean you can compete with any one. Cricket is a completely different game compared to football. Hope some genius out there does something to preserve the 'Gentleman's Game'

  • Dravid the real master on April 6, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    1st two matches in this IPL edition are very similar to indian teams recent performance. Can they improve? IPL will be interesting and gain TV ratings, audience support only if indian (local and national) players perform well. We are not interested to watch the foreigners alone to shine.

  • Ravi R on April 5, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    IPL is cricket's item number - loud and crass. Tolerable as an occasional distraction but annoying beyond a point. Not against T20 per se but IPL is too damn long and just icky - the cringe-worthy commentary, the constant spewing of sponsor names, the horrible costumes, Ravi Shastri... It was a curiosity piece the first time, genuinely competitive in South Africa. Been getting worse since then.

    The league format is nice but doesn't go far enough. May be time to convert all domestic teams to league format, make it competitive. Who really watches Ranji or Duleep trophies? How many IPL finds are really test or ODI class?

  • Ravi R on April 5, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    IPL is cricket's item number - loud and crass. Tolerable as an occasional distraction but annoying beyond a point. Not against T20 per se but IPL is too damn long and just icky - the cringe-worthy commentary, the constant spewing of sponsor names, the horrible costumes, Ravi Shastri... It was a curiosity piece the first time, genuinely competitive in South Africa. Been getting worse since then.

    The league format is nice but doesn't go far enough. May be time to convert all domestic teams to league format, make it competitive. Who really watches Ranji or Duleep trophies? How many IPL finds are really test or ODI class?

  • Anonymous on April 5, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    it appears to me that IPL is fixed. When Lalit Modi was the head RR won it. Then because of Srinivas Chennai won it. In 3rd edition sachin did not bring pollard. In 4th edition chennai was at 7th and they won it

  • sagar on April 5, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    it will wear out.. 70+ matches are too high.. the ticket prices are also high compared to last year.. and already we have this effect in the first match itself.. no full house

  • priyath on April 5, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    the IPL peaked and now is on its way down. i used to be excited about the IPL a few seasons ago but now i hardly watch any of the matches. honestly i prefer a good game of test cricket over this money centered cricket tournament thats turning sport into a business.

  • Abul Hasan on April 5, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    I believe that the very long duration, along with the poor quality of cricket will bring down the interest level compared to the inaugural edition. Frankly I don't watch it, but if people enjoy it let them have fun.

  • Chaman on April 5, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    We need to reduce the amount of games being played each IPL season. My suggestion is play 8 games for each franchise taking on the other teams once. Play 4 games at home and 4 games away. We will have 36 games in the league stage and the knockouts should be short and sweet. Let the top team in the table qualify directly to the Final while teams 2 and 3 play each other for a spot in the Final. This way the IPL will get over within 2-3 weeks and players get enough rest as well.

  • Giri on April 5, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    Tell me how many people would listen to the VJs discussing? Men may ogle at the way the female models/VJs and women may sneak a peek at some of the male models. Then it is about Cricket. And that had better be serious else IPL will collapse. If cricketers discussed the IPL instead of VJs, it would have more authority. Remember it is ultimately those who love the sport that watch it. The new gen in India is either a) anti-indian, US-hopeful, software-gaming, and prefer dressing up in shorts. They prefer pasta, cold coffee, oats, etc. They like to be associated with EPL, or Formaula 1 or b) local-cinema watching and watch Cricket if only Shewag hits it for a six or c) the traditional in mind and foods but working hard for a better life. the 3rd kind is the key. None of these though like the masala. They may all like IPL. For what? CRICKET.

  • Nishit on April 5, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    the key to English premier league and football league success is to have consistency.. which is not in IPL, i mean you see CSK retaining all their teams n how shud kochi n pune compete!!!! n then 1 team lefts, im sure with badluck of pune they will quit.. you need to stick to 1 set of rules and stick to it for long with no exceptions!!! EPL is 200 country favourite, didnt happen in 2 yrs but took 100 yrs!!

  • Rahim on April 5, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Champion league with team from Pakistan and Bangladesh may revive the cricket at this level or more cricketers from Bangladesh and Pakistan into IPL else it very boring IPL, happy to read news in the next morning.............

  • Vivek on April 5, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Things that are killing the IPL. In Chennai we were not allowed to carry water bags that my nephew carried in his back. No cameras allowed. Reason given was water was sold inside and we have to get water only from them and cameras are against copyright of pictures. This is not how we want to watch cricket. I wish i was born in australia where crickets play for the crowd and we are allowed to carry our own food, drinks and camera and enjoy the day out. This IPL money digging is just sick and this is the last time i will ever watch a match live in a stadium. My 8 year old nephew said he doesnt want to watch cricket because he felt he was being ordered to watch with restrictions on water and what not.

  • Vidyesh on April 5, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Only Lalit Modi had the vision and the way he promoted the brand was awesome. The after parties helped the brand to sustain intrest of people and involvement of Bollywood. Now its only cricket which is near hundred year old game in shorter version. Good for cricket but not for the brand as it will eventually fall short of making noise and appeal for public interest.

  • Ranjit Kumar on April 5, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    After India's dismal performances, who in the world wants to see them play ? They play like bullies in India & run like cowards in an overseas tour. With this perception, nobody wants to see them strut around at the IPL. The IPL is an ideal paltform to reward mediocre players. Case in point : Ravindra Jadeja valued at US$ 2 million !!!!

  • Hari on April 5, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    The IPL could do well if it can incorporate some changes in my opinion

    (1) Convert the franchises into clubs with share holding by fans like Barcelona etc (2) Create the second and third divisions so that all cities will have teams with (3) Promotions and relegations based on performances (4) Do away with finals and semi finals, let the points table decide the champions (5) All this will lead to emphasis on training, scouting and not on buying trophies

    Is there someone at BCCI to think along these lines

  • Murali Mohan on April 5, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    @Ravi Shankar.. were you at the ground yesterday? Do you know how many ppl came there? I was there and i know.. Except for the stand which does not have the corporation approval, it was a full house yday and all the ppl who came were having wonderful time enjoying the action on display.. i find it strange that many ppl here are against IPL but i can see lots of ppl in the stadium.. Believe it or not the IPL is here to stay..

  • Rahul Kulkarni on April 5, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    u hate it or love it , ipl is the future of cricket like football clubs wherein players play for their country for world cup only !!! Players are getting money .. even ex players will get money , so many ranji and club level players are house hold names 2day , even ranji matches are being monitored if ipl star is playing , what sports lovers can ask for.. study first and then why so much bla bla bla .. and living in past and commenting like typical Aussie and British mentality and test cricket and so on .. Be proud of Indian .( even i love test cricket the most..

  • K Ravi Shankar on April 5, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    This is such a silly silly tournament. Trying to get too much money riding on a concept that has not taken off. The first match and that too among two of the top teams - all the hyped up players - local ground - a holiday the next day and what do you get, probably a few thousand spectators. Guess most were paid to attend.This is a dead horse and any amount of flogging will not get it on its feet. Or, was it more like the golden goose that was killed !!!

  • Annan Balaji on April 5, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    Product IPL is on downhill after its peack in its product life cycle. Procuct has to be revived with some contests which can unsettle fan nerves AND that can only be done by including a couple of teams from Pakistan. T20 drama isn't much different than Bolywood and in both of these industries pak and india must go hand in hand. BCCI should act before PPL starts it rout.

  • indian 30s on April 4, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    i dont care who wins the IPL.

  • RashadBanna on April 4, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    The IPL will eventually wear out in the not too distant future. They base their model on the English Premier League? Lol. What a joke. Far too many useless matches. 70+. Too many for the public to digest. Plus, the formless state of the Indian cricketers will make it worse.

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  • RashadBanna on April 4, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    The IPL will eventually wear out in the not too distant future. They base their model on the English Premier League? Lol. What a joke. Far too many useless matches. 70+. Too many for the public to digest. Plus, the formless state of the Indian cricketers will make it worse.

  • indian 30s on April 4, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    i dont care who wins the IPL.

  • Annan Balaji on April 5, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    Product IPL is on downhill after its peack in its product life cycle. Procuct has to be revived with some contests which can unsettle fan nerves AND that can only be done by including a couple of teams from Pakistan. T20 drama isn't much different than Bolywood and in both of these industries pak and india must go hand in hand. BCCI should act before PPL starts it rout.

  • K Ravi Shankar on April 5, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    This is such a silly silly tournament. Trying to get too much money riding on a concept that has not taken off. The first match and that too among two of the top teams - all the hyped up players - local ground - a holiday the next day and what do you get, probably a few thousand spectators. Guess most were paid to attend.This is a dead horse and any amount of flogging will not get it on its feet. Or, was it more like the golden goose that was killed !!!

  • Rahul Kulkarni on April 5, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    u hate it or love it , ipl is the future of cricket like football clubs wherein players play for their country for world cup only !!! Players are getting money .. even ex players will get money , so many ranji and club level players are house hold names 2day , even ranji matches are being monitored if ipl star is playing , what sports lovers can ask for.. study first and then why so much bla bla bla .. and living in past and commenting like typical Aussie and British mentality and test cricket and so on .. Be proud of Indian .( even i love test cricket the most..

  • Murali Mohan on April 5, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    @Ravi Shankar.. were you at the ground yesterday? Do you know how many ppl came there? I was there and i know.. Except for the stand which does not have the corporation approval, it was a full house yday and all the ppl who came were having wonderful time enjoying the action on display.. i find it strange that many ppl here are against IPL but i can see lots of ppl in the stadium.. Believe it or not the IPL is here to stay..

  • Hari on April 5, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    The IPL could do well if it can incorporate some changes in my opinion

    (1) Convert the franchises into clubs with share holding by fans like Barcelona etc (2) Create the second and third divisions so that all cities will have teams with (3) Promotions and relegations based on performances (4) Do away with finals and semi finals, let the points table decide the champions (5) All this will lead to emphasis on training, scouting and not on buying trophies

    Is there someone at BCCI to think along these lines

  • Ranjit Kumar on April 5, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    After India's dismal performances, who in the world wants to see them play ? They play like bullies in India & run like cowards in an overseas tour. With this perception, nobody wants to see them strut around at the IPL. The IPL is an ideal paltform to reward mediocre players. Case in point : Ravindra Jadeja valued at US$ 2 million !!!!

  • Vidyesh on April 5, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Only Lalit Modi had the vision and the way he promoted the brand was awesome. The after parties helped the brand to sustain intrest of people and involvement of Bollywood. Now its only cricket which is near hundred year old game in shorter version. Good for cricket but not for the brand as it will eventually fall short of making noise and appeal for public interest.

  • Vivek on April 5, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Things that are killing the IPL. In Chennai we were not allowed to carry water bags that my nephew carried in his back. No cameras allowed. Reason given was water was sold inside and we have to get water only from them and cameras are against copyright of pictures. This is not how we want to watch cricket. I wish i was born in australia where crickets play for the crowd and we are allowed to carry our own food, drinks and camera and enjoy the day out. This IPL money digging is just sick and this is the last time i will ever watch a match live in a stadium. My 8 year old nephew said he doesnt want to watch cricket because he felt he was being ordered to watch with restrictions on water and what not.