April 4, 2012

IPL 2012

Will the IPL revive itself or continue to wear out?

Nikita Bastian
MS Dhoni sends one over long-on, Chennai v Bangalore, IPL 2011, Final, Chennai, May 28, 2011
For a meal to be judged well, the main course has to be up to the mark: the success of the tourney, or the lack of it, will ultimately boil down to the competitiveness of the participating teams  © Associated Press
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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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Rakesh on (May 12, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

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

Posted by 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!!!!

Posted by 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!!!

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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'

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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

Posted by 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

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