Australia in the West Indies 2011-12 April 20, 2012

Am I wrong in not caring about the IPL?

The reason English viewers aren't all that interested is not because the IPL is Indian
139

Kevin Pietersen clobbered his first Twenty20 hundred yesterday, clinching the match for the Delhi Daredevils, and passing three figures with a characteristic six. It was a startling innings by a startling player, although startling things happen so often in the IPL that their startle capacity is less startling than you might expect of cricket so startlingly startling.

Last week Pietersen, who is admirably open, passionate and forthright in his media utterances, bemoaned the lack of English interest in the IPL, and the sometimes negative publicity it receives in the press here, attributing some of these problems to "jealousy". From the selected quotes reported, it is hard to know who is supposed to be being jealous of the IPL - ex-players in the media who missed out on its glamour and financial bounty, or supporters who feel it takes the sun-kissed multi-million-dollar glitz and glory away from the April skirmishes in the County Championship, or the prime minister, who secretly wishes he was an IPL dancing girl.

However, the reason for any lack of English interest in the IPL is simple. It is not because the "I" stands for Indian. The same would be true if it was the Icelandic Premier League or the Idaho Premier League. More so, probably. Idaho has no business muscling in on cricket. They have snowmobiles and processed cheese. They should leave cricket well alone.

Nor does this relative lack of interest have anything to do with the format of the cricket and England's general national preference for the longer game. Nor does it reflect on the quality of play, which although variable (as in any league in any sport), is often spectacular and dramatic. Nor even is it because the rampant hype and commercial insistence of the IPL might grate with a sport-watching public unaccustomed to having branded excitement blasted into their faces with the relentless determination of a child who has just discovered the joys of banging an upside-down cereal bowl with a spoon.

It is simply that, in an already saturated sports-watching market, the IPL does not, and I would argue cannot, offer enough for the English fan to actively support.

As a sports fan, you cannot force an instant emotional attachment to and investment in a team with which you have no geographical or familial link, and which has little history or identity with which to entice you. A Mongolian football fan might support Barcelona, or a Tanzanian baseball nut could develop a passion for the New York Yankees, for what those clubs are, what they have achieved, and what they stand for, and be drawn into their historic rivalries that have evolved over 100 years or more; but an English cricket fan is, as yet, unlikely to find the same bond of attraction to the five-year-old Chennai Super Kings. Supporting sport requires more than guaranteed entertainment and being able to watch great players competing.

Perhaps, in time, this will develop. The process was probably not helped by the franchise teams being largely disbanded and reconstituted before the 2011 season, so that any identity that had been built in the first three IPL seasons was fractured or destroyed.

It is also not helped by the fact that the star players might represent three or four different T20 franchises, and a country if time allows, over the course of a year. What if I love the Barisal Burners but am non-committal about the Sydney Thunder, scared of the Matabeleland Tuskers, unable to forgive Somerset for a three-hour traffic jam I sat in on the M5 ten years ago, and absolutely viscerally hate the Royal Challengers Bangalore (how dare they challenge our Royals, in Jubilee year especially) (despite any lingering historical quibbles)? What am I supposed to think about Chris Gayle? Is he hero or villain?

English cricket fans, even if sceptical or ambivalent about Twenty20, can admire the range of skills on display, appreciate how the format is expanding human comprehension of what mankind can and will do to small round things with flat bits of wood, and relish the high-pitched drama and tension of the endgames. They can simply enjoy seeing dancers jiggle their jiggly bits for no obvious reason, and be moved and uplifted by the sensation that unbridled commercialism is slowly destroying everything pure about sport and the world.

But, without teams and identities for which English supporters can root, and thus the emotional commitment that makes supporting sport such an infinitely rewarding experience, the IPL will continue to struggle to find active support in England. Not that the IPL, or Pietersen, or any of its other players and protagonists, should give two shakes or Billy Bowden's finger about that.

I'd be interested to know your views on this, from English, Indian and other perspectives. I love cricket. I think I have probably made that abundantly clear in the three and a half years I have been writing this blog, and in the 30 years I have been boring my friends and, latterly, wife about it. I have tried watching the IPL, I have enjoyed some of it, but it just does not excite me. Am I normal, or should I see a shrink?

● At the opposite end of the scoring-rate see-saw, a curious but increasingly intriguing Test match in Trinidad found itself donning its Wellington boots and staring forlornly at a dark and soggy ending. Not for the first time in its annoying history, The Weather intervened to spoil a potentially thrilling Test match denouement.

Much of the cricket had been on the stodgy side of gloopy, and the seemingly endless behavioural idiosyncrasies of the DRS continued to irritate more than resolve, but another trademark jaunty Michael Clarke declaration had set the West Indies 215 to win in 61 overs. The stage was perfectly set for Chris Gayle. Or Dwayne Bravo. Or, at a stretch, Marlon Samuels.

They were, regrettably for Test Match fans, otherwise engaged. A full-strength West Indies would not be world-conquering, but they might at least conquer the occasional Test match. Selectors, schedules and squabbles look set to conspire to ensure that the world waits an extremely long time to see a full-strength West Indies Test XI again.

In the absence of proven hitters, Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, after a largely ineffective match in which he had raised further questions about his suitability as prong four of a four-pronged bowling attack, promoted himself from 8 to 3 in an effort to kickstart the chase. Many things have been written about Sammy as a cricketer, but the words "reliable batsman" are not amongst them. At least, not unless preceded by the words "no one's idea of a". He is, however, a potent thwacker of a cricket ball, and knew that, on a pitch that had been a connoisseur of slow-scoring's dream, a swift blast from him could potentially enable the eternally crafty and virtually impregnable Chanderpaul to shepherd the rest of his fragile team to victory.

Sammy promptly clonked a rapid 30 before the gloom intervened. Victory was still distant, but had become possible, and it was refreshing to see both captains striving to concoct a positive result from a somnolent surface.

● If Clarke's declaration was enterprising, his team's batting had lacked the positivity that had become its trademark in the early part of the millennium. The Baggy Greens plinked their runs at 2.39 per over - their slowest batting match since the Galle Test of 1999. In their 147 Tests since then, Australia had averaged 3.59 per over. Their first innings of 311 in 135 overs was their slowest score of 300 or more since 1989. During it, four different West Indies bowlers bowled more than 15 overs for less than two runs per over - the first time any team had done this against Australia since 1961. Watson's 56 off 172 and Hussey's 73 off 207 were respectively the second-slowest 50-plus and 70-plus scores by Australians in Tests this millennium.

The pitch was awkward and the bowling admirably disciplined, but Australia plodding along at under 2.5 runs per over is further proof that the apocalypse is nigh ‒ alongside economic collapse in Europe, political upheavals around the world, the unstoppable rise of reality television, the branding of time-outs in the IPL, anything to do with Silvio Berlusconi, Vernon Philander's Test bowling average, and the current state of the world cricket calendar.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Badridps on April 25, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    There is nothing to worry more on this Andy, it is not at all wrong for not following IPL, I am sure 90% of Indians doesn't know that New Zealand were the winners of Rugby Championship or they do not know what EPL stands for or they are not aware that which country hosts NBA. So this doesn't mean that these games have fewer support or importance in their particular countries, infact these games are followed with more interest and intense rather than IPL in India. Each country have their own sports to entertain the sports lovers and similarly BCCI have IPL to entertain us. We Indians are not expecting more of International viewership and support, but yes we will welcome if any foreigner is interested in watching it.

  • VN on April 24, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    I think this IPL has been amazing so far. The atmosphere in the stadiums for all the matches have been great.

    I am so tired of all the cricket "purists" denouncing IPL/T20. If you don't care about it then don't write about it. We don't go on and on about how Ashes/county cricket is boring and is responsible for making all the batsmen dull!

  • saurabh on April 24, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    I love IPL because I firmly believe that too much of a good thing is still a good thing.

    It is great to see classy international players taking the bowlers to the cleaners in both the innings. It is great when Rahul Dravid does not leave his class and still scores at a strike rate of 130. It is great when two matches are instead of 1. Not so great when AB De Villers twists more than a Kansas twister and hits a switch hit.

  • Shalabh on April 24, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    I don't understand why everyone seems to be lauding Clarke's declaration. Make no mistake, I loved the declaration for what it brought to the game, for the excitement of a possible result etc etc...BUT what is Clarke's purpose as Australia's test captain? Entertainment for the fans? Was he just getting bored during the test match and wanted some excitement? Is it not or Should it not be his sole purpose to ensure his team wins the test series against the West Indies? Maybe I am missing something but I think the West Indies would be the team more happy with the declaration than the Australians. At the end of the day would you risk losing a test series for a potentially more attractive 2-0 win than a solid 1-0 win? And what if WI had pulled it off? If I was an Australian, I would be cursing Clarke for his stupidity - WE WANT TO WIN! Not look like "the nice guys who tries to bring excitement to a dead match and ultimately ended up drawing the series but who cares" - WE DO!

  • safety on April 24, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    I watched a bit of IPL and it's not bad. But I'm not the best person to comment as I will watch anyone bowling a ball at anyone holding a bat. I understand some people need to pedge allegiance to a team before they can enjoy watching sport. I kind of understand that as a Sussex fan for whom almost my entire life we'd never won anything. But a few reasons for the casual observer to become absorbed in the IPL - it's not pay per view (ITV4), match is rarely rained off, some of the teams take on fantasy cricket/harlem globetrotter lineups and you'll see international team mates go head to head (e.g. Jayawardene v Sanagakkara v Dilshan), driven sixes, one handed backward point catches and leg stump inswinging yorkers ARE thrilling, there is always a result, and the whole thing is over in a couple of hours if you really do think you have something better to do. Dig in I say...

  • Siddharth88 on April 24, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    You know the problem about the relationship betweenT20 and cricket fans,not just the IPL, is that its T20.Its not cricket,... and is hardly sport to be honest.I dont think any cricket fan can be truly passionate about a T20 team..especially if its only a T20 franchisee and all the players keep changing every 2-3 years.

  • Mohammad Khan Avik on April 23, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    If you support the Barishal Burners, I would too!

    Good Stuff as usual!

  • david on April 23, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Btw, well done on your first century (of comments) for nine innings (articles). And you got there with a six, KP-style (VK's epic being the literary equivalent thereof). Your average over the last ten articles is 35.00 with the only other score of over 23 being the whopping 125, for the Tendulkar piece. Seems that to get that average up the answer is simple: Indian cricket-based articles.

  • Big Boy on April 23, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    You cannot expect anyone to like a certain brand of a sport, just because you do, if the IPL is truly to be a succesful event, it should first of all know no bias (yes that means allowing the participation of Pakistani Players) and second become more about the actual game and not cheer leaders, celebrities and the questionable marketing methods of various companies. Keep the tournament simple and revolve it around the quality of cricket played and not the money spent on buying them.

  • jp on April 23, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Seems like over the yrs some IPL fans have lost the old enthusiasm. Moving into a job/office on infantry road Blr in 2010 on an IPL match day(RCB), I was shocked to see the floor full of gals n guys with painted faces, wearing red, carrying the red and yellow streamers, and some more when they walked out in large groups to the stadium - a good walk away. The same scene did not recur in '11 - the worldcup was too much with us! It has not, so far in 2012. The TVR/TRP may be falling but the live crowds, deafeningly present tell a different story. May be a new fan-generation keeps falling year-on-year for its 'total entertainment' value. WICB does not miss super talents like CG! while other imports - especially Brit & SL jump in and out at will - happily making test/odi/T20 ends meet. K.Pie makes careless comments & gets rich (only) in India! His "national" janta gets a new axe to grind! AZ (a la PM) can consider joining the talented xtra-innings team@SETMAX - you'll rewrite this one:-).

  • Badridps on April 25, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    There is nothing to worry more on this Andy, it is not at all wrong for not following IPL, I am sure 90% of Indians doesn't know that New Zealand were the winners of Rugby Championship or they do not know what EPL stands for or they are not aware that which country hosts NBA. So this doesn't mean that these games have fewer support or importance in their particular countries, infact these games are followed with more interest and intense rather than IPL in India. Each country have their own sports to entertain the sports lovers and similarly BCCI have IPL to entertain us. We Indians are not expecting more of International viewership and support, but yes we will welcome if any foreigner is interested in watching it.

  • VN on April 24, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    I think this IPL has been amazing so far. The atmosphere in the stadiums for all the matches have been great.

    I am so tired of all the cricket "purists" denouncing IPL/T20. If you don't care about it then don't write about it. We don't go on and on about how Ashes/county cricket is boring and is responsible for making all the batsmen dull!

  • saurabh on April 24, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    I love IPL because I firmly believe that too much of a good thing is still a good thing.

    It is great to see classy international players taking the bowlers to the cleaners in both the innings. It is great when Rahul Dravid does not leave his class and still scores at a strike rate of 130. It is great when two matches are instead of 1. Not so great when AB De Villers twists more than a Kansas twister and hits a switch hit.

  • Shalabh on April 24, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    I don't understand why everyone seems to be lauding Clarke's declaration. Make no mistake, I loved the declaration for what it brought to the game, for the excitement of a possible result etc etc...BUT what is Clarke's purpose as Australia's test captain? Entertainment for the fans? Was he just getting bored during the test match and wanted some excitement? Is it not or Should it not be his sole purpose to ensure his team wins the test series against the West Indies? Maybe I am missing something but I think the West Indies would be the team more happy with the declaration than the Australians. At the end of the day would you risk losing a test series for a potentially more attractive 2-0 win than a solid 1-0 win? And what if WI had pulled it off? If I was an Australian, I would be cursing Clarke for his stupidity - WE WANT TO WIN! Not look like "the nice guys who tries to bring excitement to a dead match and ultimately ended up drawing the series but who cares" - WE DO!

  • safety on April 24, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    I watched a bit of IPL and it's not bad. But I'm not the best person to comment as I will watch anyone bowling a ball at anyone holding a bat. I understand some people need to pedge allegiance to a team before they can enjoy watching sport. I kind of understand that as a Sussex fan for whom almost my entire life we'd never won anything. But a few reasons for the casual observer to become absorbed in the IPL - it's not pay per view (ITV4), match is rarely rained off, some of the teams take on fantasy cricket/harlem globetrotter lineups and you'll see international team mates go head to head (e.g. Jayawardene v Sanagakkara v Dilshan), driven sixes, one handed backward point catches and leg stump inswinging yorkers ARE thrilling, there is always a result, and the whole thing is over in a couple of hours if you really do think you have something better to do. Dig in I say...

  • Siddharth88 on April 24, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    You know the problem about the relationship betweenT20 and cricket fans,not just the IPL, is that its T20.Its not cricket,... and is hardly sport to be honest.I dont think any cricket fan can be truly passionate about a T20 team..especially if its only a T20 franchisee and all the players keep changing every 2-3 years.

  • Mohammad Khan Avik on April 23, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    If you support the Barishal Burners, I would too!

    Good Stuff as usual!

  • david on April 23, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Btw, well done on your first century (of comments) for nine innings (articles). And you got there with a six, KP-style (VK's epic being the literary equivalent thereof). Your average over the last ten articles is 35.00 with the only other score of over 23 being the whopping 125, for the Tendulkar piece. Seems that to get that average up the answer is simple: Indian cricket-based articles.

  • Big Boy on April 23, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    You cannot expect anyone to like a certain brand of a sport, just because you do, if the IPL is truly to be a succesful event, it should first of all know no bias (yes that means allowing the participation of Pakistani Players) and second become more about the actual game and not cheer leaders, celebrities and the questionable marketing methods of various companies. Keep the tournament simple and revolve it around the quality of cricket played and not the money spent on buying them.

  • jp on April 23, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Seems like over the yrs some IPL fans have lost the old enthusiasm. Moving into a job/office on infantry road Blr in 2010 on an IPL match day(RCB), I was shocked to see the floor full of gals n guys with painted faces, wearing red, carrying the red and yellow streamers, and some more when they walked out in large groups to the stadium - a good walk away. The same scene did not recur in '11 - the worldcup was too much with us! It has not, so far in 2012. The TVR/TRP may be falling but the live crowds, deafeningly present tell a different story. May be a new fan-generation keeps falling year-on-year for its 'total entertainment' value. WICB does not miss super talents like CG! while other imports - especially Brit & SL jump in and out at will - happily making test/odi/T20 ends meet. K.Pie makes careless comments & gets rich (only) in India! His "national" janta gets a new axe to grind! AZ (a la PM) can consider joining the talented xtra-innings team@SETMAX - you'll rewrite this one:-).

  • Nick Curd on April 23, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    Hit the nail on the head there Andy, I'm a Somerset fan through and through and personally couldn't care less about matches played in India unless they or England are involved. I'm also less than convinced that the IPL offers better quality T20 play than say FLT20 here. After all didn't Somerset make the semi-finals of the CLT20 missing some key players in foreign conditions in a very badly weighted tournament to the home sides?

    It's not like say the difference between the various American sports (and Ice Hockey) compared to all other league where only the best players play there. The majority of good T20 players also play in England added with the fact England are world champions and barely any play in the IPL and none of previous world champions do but do play in the FLT20. I may start watching IPL when I know the Cricket is significantly better but there's no argument for....yet.

  • Sharath K on April 23, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    One of the things that I pray to God everyday is cricket shouldn't go the way of football and get reduced to mundane domestic T20 leagues. I'll STOP watching cricket the day Test cricket dies. I have had a deep emotional connect with cricket and it saddens me to see cricket reduced to such crass.

  • Karan Bhandari on April 22, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    The correct question to ask, I believe, is can any right-thinking person care about IPL?

  • Anoop on April 22, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    Pietersen is talking about the negative publicity IPL gets in the English media and not about English fans not following the IPL. Even many Indian fans are not interested in IPL then how can one expect England fans to ? Pietersen says he doesn't know why there is such negative publicity and attributes it to jealousy. Thank God he said it, if it was an Indian's comment then we could imagine the uproar it would have created.

  • david on April 22, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Personally I like the raz, and indeed the mataz of the IPL, and I particuarly like the exotic and beautiful dancing girls- I live in a very sedate part of West Sussex and see less enticing sights in six months than I do after a single IPL boundary.

    Unlike you, however, I do see an intrinsic problem with this shortest form of the game: Game theorists will point out that one of the bases of a enjoyable, engrossing game is having the right mix of predictability and surprise. This concept is put forward as one reason for the incredible popularity of football, and the relatively lower popularity of rugby, where the proporton of very predictable results is much higher. T20, though, goes to the other extreme from rugby in this regard. It is almost entirely unpredictable, as the impact of talent and form is too low in relation to more random factors, and when a game's result is not much more predictable than the result of the toss of a coin I, for one, am less likely to be drawn in.

  • Narayan on April 22, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    You speak for a lot of us Zaltsman.

    I am of the opinion that the IPL (as a whole, and pardon me for generalizing) is more interested in "money" than the "fan". I do watch it every now and then, but I don't think I will support any team as long as this status quo continues.

    That being said, CSK has done well to win loyalty by retaining most of its members, but it aches me to see the bench strength not being tested or given a chance which I find rather oppressive. Of course, that would be my problem.

  • Landl47 on April 22, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    The IPL is the type of cricket I was interested in before I was interested in cricket.

  • SRT_GENIUS on April 22, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    Sammy should bat higher and ball more overs. Only thing going for him is the fear that WI will fall into a familiar abyss if they go back to Gayle or a new person.

    But is the fear irrational ? At the moment WI has the best youngsters in business. They don't have a Chanderpaul replacement in the ranks but hopefully he can chug along for a couple of years atleast - his batting fortunes are still intact. (Unline Sachin who is part his sell by date). By that time WI youngsters would've matured enough.

    So next 2 years will be crucial time for WI; they can't have any sudden changes and that's the only reason why Sammy has to continue. Perhaps Gayle can be back as a batsman - there is no doubt he is WI's Sehwag. But he is not exactly a captain material. And if his coming back would cause any turmoil... I hate to say it but then he is better off outside the team.

    After 2 years Sammy has to quit - he either would've done his job or failed at it. Either way he would need to go out.

    To WI!!

  • Chandu on April 22, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    Yes, the loyalty is a big problem with IPL.Also the bigger teams just change the rules as they want as my local team was DC I always wanted to support it. But there is no sense of connectivity with them. I just cannot feel anything that would make me to buy a ticket, go to a ground and watch the match. I'm just watching it for the excitement of close finishes and some of the promising youngsters.

  • George on April 22, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    IPL killing cricket's beloved stereotype of a game that is absorbing and 'chess-like' and played by cool calm and collective people. I think your point on the OTT branding is very important deterrent, we are lucky to have the fantastic sky coverage here in England which isn't harassed by adverts and has Legends doin commentary and analysis. We're not jealous of the cricket and ofc being a massive cricket fan I still watch a heck of a lot of IPL, we are just annoyed that there's 6 weeks less time for international cricket. also timing in England is obviously not perfect, and so many games goin on can't keep track, Itv coverage is very average with some wierd Indian housewife hosting. Cricket also is well for me anyway a cultured game where cheesiness doesnt really play a part.The Stinking-Bishop of cheesiness is the IPL. I also think that I watch football for constant drama, fast-pace and epic scenes and people who like both sports enjoy the contrasting attractions of Tests and football

  • VK on April 22, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    (cont.)

    Whilst I can't get the same excitement as I do out of Test Cricket, I do appreciate seeing players I thoroughly enjoy competing. Whilst the loyalty to Franchises doesn't exist at all for me, I find I can develop a loyalty to players. I find myself rooting for The Delhi Daredevils this year because I want to see KP, Sehwag and Morkel produce some magic. I enjoy watching the Rajasthan Royals, because I feel Dravid deserves some luck and Warne's legacy should continue etc. There are players I root *against* too, but best not to mention them.

    Sure there are dull bits when players you don't really care about are facing each other, but that happens in Test Cricket too, as do tedious draws or inevitable slow dragged out defeats.

    At the end of the day I'm just thankful to the IPL for bringing cricket back to Terrestrial TV. I guess for someone like yourself, Andy, who gets to see a lot of cricket through the year anyway, it's probably not nearly so exciting.

  • VK on April 21, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    As an Indian born and raised in the English heartland (Essex no less) I don't know if you'd categorize my opinion under English, Indian or "Other".

    To me Test Cricket has always been the pinnacle of the sport and like many others I was uneasy about the dawn of the IPL and the money being sunk into it (I stopped watching football when it became more about the cash than the sport).

    My favourite players have always been the classical gentleman players such as Dravid and Kumble and my favourite moments those which combine skill, endurance, cunning and temperament. Laxman's abilities against a world class attack on a spicy pitch, Sehwag's ahistorical approach to batting, Cook grinding out a daddy score. Warne's deception, Murali's guile.

    I would prefer to sit and watch India and England duke it out in a Test match, perhaps even to watch Essex. However since Richard Murdoch has denied me that basic human right, I appreciate the IPL for bringing cricket to my TV screen.

  • Sir Francis on April 21, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    I only like a handful of sports and, as a luddite, I can't take limited overs cricket seriously (maybe I shouldn't take FC cricket seriously as it's only a game). Been over a decade since I've seen an ODI. I haven't even bothered with 20/20 as constant slogging isn't a game for adults. Happy for others to enjoy it. If a cricket game does not commence with the intention of having 4 innings then I won't invest my quickly diminishing hours on it. To be honest, If I want to watch something like 20/20 I'd rather watch baseball as it's a proper contest between bat & ball (though can be tedious at times). Basically, I am prejudiced and don't actually consider 20/20 (or 50/50) to be "real" cricket. That is my considered opinion Andrew.

  • shubham on April 21, 2012, 23:19 GMT

    your thought of going by only quality of the sports and not the marketing is totally hypocritical regarding that only 3 champion league has been won by English team in last 30 years , less than Barcelona or Madrid or ac Milan alone in same period .

  • Staal on April 21, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    There are some really idiotic people on posting on this site. After Cricinfo highlights KP saying England is jealous of the IPL it is entirely reasonable for a writer to respond.

    As a South Africa, what I find hugely arrogant and smug is Indians thinking that anyone could not like the IPL and if they don't it must be because of jealousy? You lot get a life.

    I for one hate T20. I don't even watch my own country play the stupid format. Why would I watch your domestic league?

    As an action sport T20 cannot compare to football (which I hate) or rugby. There isn't much of a market for it. I can see how it grew so fast in India - you guys do not have the tradition of other fast paced sports there. There was a gap in the market. The rest of us already have a choice of football, rugby league/union, Aussie rules, sevens or what have you. Compared to Test cricket it doesn't bring much to the table.

  • Paul on April 21, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    Not sure how English spectators can be jealous. Of what? It's purely an Indian domestic competition, we understand that. Also - the idea that English spectators do not understand T20 is daft. Count the number of T20 games played in the UK in the summer..yeah that's right - about 40% more than the whole IPL, and we are now about to start the 10th year of it. We even have many of the stars. Pollard, Symonds, Pietersen...they're all here playing. (or were) . For the first 5 years the stadiums WERE packed, but season after season interest wains. Sorry if that sounds like we don't understand or are jealous..the fact is we have had FAR more exposure to a high standard of T20 than you have had in India...and we're getting bored of it. Simple as that.

  • iv on April 21, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    no need to write too much..SOUR GRAPES!!!!

  • Brittop on April 21, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    When the IPL started, it sounded a good idea, getting lots of top players in one competition. I thought I would pick a team, and with no Englishmen in the first season, I chose Deccan with it's theoretical top 4 of Gilchrist, Gibbs, Afridi & Symonds. However, it was on a televised on a channel (was it ESPN?) that I did not have a subscription for and I wasn't going to pay for one just or the IPL. Now it's free over here, I do watch some games and enjoy some. I can ignore the excesses of some of the commentators and the "over-commercialisation". I'm not greatly attached to Deccan (although it now has one of my favourite cricketers in Kumar Sangakkara). Also, it'sT20 which I will never find as interesting as test cricket. Fans will constantly tell me is great entertainment just because a lot of 6s are hit, but I need more than that - something you only get with test cricket.

  • Anoop on April 21, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Andy, did you purposely avoid any comment on the 'negative publicity' of IPL by the English media ? Pietersen's words (from cricinfo) - "It's down to a lot of jealousy I think, which is sad. It saddens me, all the negative publicity the IPL gets in the [UK] media, I don't know why."

    It is clear who Pietersen is targeting - the English media. They why do you feign ignorance on that Andy ? Why does the English media give negative publicity to the IPL ? Does Australian media give negative publicity to English county cricket ? So I feel it is reasonable to believe Pietersen's version - English media is jealous. Expecting your comment on this.

    Of course no one cares or takes much interest on the domestic cricket of some other nation especially in this era where there are lot of international cricket is played and you are spot on that.

  • ElBeeDubya on April 21, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    Some commenters appear to think that AZ is trying to condemn Indian cricket. He is actually offering potential reasons about why IPL does not have a fan following similar to, for example, football leagues that transcend the national boundaries of those leagues. That reminds me. One of the great things that separate Cricket fans from the fans of most other sports is the fact that even if we ardently support a team, we do admire and applaud the players from the opposition. Opposing team players regularly get STANDING OVATION after getting a century or five wickets, for example. I have heard how EVEN PAKISTANI players got an ovation after they beat India in a tight Test match IN CHENNAI not too long ago. Cricket players are also known for having a drink with the opposition after the game. A lot of the KNEE-JERK-y, chest thumping 'patriotic' comments on websites that I see from Cricket fans make me wonder if cricket will soon be like every other sport. THAT WILL BE A VERY SAD DEVELOPMENT.

  • Aditya Pidaparthy on April 21, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you spoke about the teams being disbanded before the 2011 season. It actually reminded me of one of Seinfeld's stand-up acts, how sports fans (in the US) are actually rooting for the t-shirts and how a player they were actually cheering till a month back would get booed just because he was in a different shirt.

    Funny like that.

    The teams are named after regions/cities and based there, but have very few local players. Cricket always has been a largely regional sport all over the world. It makes for very faithless viewing.

  • Vilander on April 21, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    Witty article with a lot of substance. I seriously think ODI should end. There should be country vs country test cricket with 1 or 2 T20 games. The rest should be club games, IPL should have more games and teams but it should have two leagues spread across two seperate seasons, playoffs should be from the premier league played in indian winter with relegation league in summer. Bigbash, BD league,and English 2t20 leagues should also follow season long schedules pplayer drafts should be more permanent. This is the way forward.

  • Lee Partis on April 21, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    Excellent article Andy; I agree. One cannot survive for long on dessert alone. T20 - dessert; ODIs - starters and test cricket a fine main course.

  • Trisha on April 21, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    You're super-normal. By the way, who will the IPL-hating shrink go to see?

  • vinodkumar on April 21, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Hey Andy,

    I think u have grew up watching Test and County and there by ur preferences, I grew up watching ODI and ODIs only in india, therefore i find T20 more exciting, Games change according to the audience

  • Sam on April 21, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    The fact that the IPL advertises season season as "IPL 2," "IPL 3" and currently the "IPL 5" I think creates a sort of detachment for the audience.

    Whether it is baseball, football or basketball a season is often just referred to by the year giving the audience the opportunity to associate with a memorable moment from a specific season for years to come.

    The fact that the IPL advertises themselves as "1-5" gives the feeling that it is sort of like a soap opera where there will be no continuity between the seasons. The IPL has to build the brand for each team over a few more years, with longer contracts with their players so fans will immediately begin associating a trademark player with their club team.

    Much like the English Premier League, when you see Wayne Rooney play for England---the fans immediate associate him with Manchester United. The IPL is great, but if the fans and the organization are looking for global acceptance, they need to get their basics down and build a legacy

  • Ron on April 21, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Barcelona is world most supported sports team. But why is it so? Becoz not only history, tht what it has achieved, but also a fan support the players. May not be all of the players are supported but still the team is supported. IPL is very new league, and all the kids are currently going to school/ college are getting into any team preference (in India). In england, otherway, the kids don't see crickets anyway. And it's true for both Indian or English cricket fan that after an age it's very difficult to be a fan of a team, unless something spectacular happens. For most of the Indians, they support Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain, England in world cup football. Why? It's difficult to explain. IPL needs it's own time to grow. When this kids will grow older we might see more rivalry. For for english sports lover, u r right it may not happen soon.

  • NALINWIJ on April 21, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    1.no allegiance no interest principle. 2.winning or losing a test match for a team you care about means a lot. 3.ODIs means less unless it is your team and it is world cup. 4.t20 means the least unless it is world cup and your country 5.As I have no allegiance to any IPL team I simply check the results and the ladder on cricinfo. T20 may be good for instant gratification but it means very little and I agree with ANDY.

  • Thomas Alcock on April 21, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    What's this IPL thing? I've heard its all dancing and adverts with a bit of cricket interspersed .

    Would much rather be at Aigburth.

  • Sreekanth on April 21, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Really, what gets to us is not that the English don't watch the IPL or don't care about it (afterall we don't follow the county championship either).

    But, we don't bring in a bunch of ex-players and journos out to criticise it every second day!! If you really didn't care you would stop talking about it. That you feel the need to constantly criticize some aspect or the other (like the commercialization aspects, without understanding the fact that cricket is free-to-air in india by law), indicates a level of jealousy and fear.

  • Lord Emsworth on April 21, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    You are both wrong and right Mr.Zaltzman. Wrong because IPL is all about money,money, and money. (Still cant get over Jadeja & Mahela J going for one million when a lot of people in India struggle to make ends meet) Right because 20/20 is the future of international cricket (Sorry Test fans) and the only form to carry the sport into the next century if we are not all destroyed by war, a giant meteor or 'V' type aliens who want to eat us, that is......

  • tonyp on April 21, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    I'm an Australian cricket fan. I don't follow the IPL. The cricket is ok I guess but like most T20 lacks any real significance for me. The most annoying aspect however is the instantaneous escalation of any debate on its merits into offensive jingoism. If you like it, good luck to you, I don't, I wish you both every happiness. I don't like it, and I don't have to.

  • mike on April 21, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    I watched a five second burst of IPL the other day before,tired of the noise and near hysteria of the commentary, I retired to the sleepier but more familiar beloved waters of the WI/A game to indulge my love of Tests for the next millenium or so. More popular with me than rugby,but less so than soccer-the upper limits of my tolerance of these are 2secs and 10 secs respectively-the IPL is really something I would rather not care about except its rapid demise if only so that Gayle can play for WI again. IPL and 20/20 in generaql should just be sold off to the Americans and forgotten about. They understand that sort of thing far better than us. It might serve as an alternative to baseball or even just get swallowed up by it. In any case one's ears should never have to be subjected to the sort of penance the IPL offers even if the commentators want to make complete idiots of themselves. I hate it when normally okay people choose to lose all dignity in public.

  • Suraj Thomas on April 21, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Hey that is a perfect natural feeling. I am not a particularly big fan of the IPL but am a huge fan of Indian cricket and because India is not playing any matches it was a case of "if you can't beat em join em". Test matches and Odis between countries are way more enthralling and I'd take it anyday over the IPL.

  • Ashish Goyal on April 21, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    No Andy, you're just jealous. :-)

  • uma nair on April 21, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    Andy what a view point.Here in India I teach boys-boys who breathe cricket and I started watching IPL so that I could get my boys to read and write and pick up expression and build on vocabulary. I love the global signature of the IPL ,when an Englishman says I love playing here-I love India-it feels good,it feels great and what's more if money is the key so be it-the world now is about who has the monetary power and who calls the shots. IPL 2012 has had some great wins and losses in the 19th over-and that's where the rub is-that's where the nail clinching fists come in and the excitement grows.And the commentators-what a joy-great analysis and brilliant insights--forget prejudice-just enjoy cricket for what it can do-it gets your juices flowing and everyone loves a new star-we need new names-brash players with a swagger and swing and a new song to sing-forget comparisons-just see it for what it serves up-

  • Talha Irfan on April 21, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Oh You are awesome....Simply awesome...British PM secretly wished to be a dancing girl....hahahhaha

  • John on April 21, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    "The process was probably not helped by the franchise teams being largely disbanded and reconstituted before the 2011 season, so that any identity that had been built in the first three IPL seasons was fractured or destroyed."

    Exactly. I've been moderately interested in the IPL since it started, because it was good cricket, with players I know about. But putting all the teams in a blender has just confused me: "Decan Chargers, that's Gilchrist's team ... oh, not any more, err ..."

    I'm English. Indian cities don't mean all that much to me. I can get interested in combinations of players, but when those are torn up, and most of my memories of IPL matches are suddenly misleading, it really doesn't attract me. My insight into the teams and how they are likely to play has all gone wrong. And this was obviously going to happen. I feel somewhat rejected.

  • IPL War Lord on April 21, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    I AM THE IPL! The IPL is the greatest entity around today. They have sponsored catches, sponsored sixes and sponsored time-outs! They have Dale Steyn, Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar! They have Aleem Dar, Asad Rauf and Simon Taufel! They have a shouting Ravi Shastri, a shouting Danny Morrison, a screeching Laxman Sivaramakrishnan! They have a purple team, a yellow team and a black team! They have Warriors, Challengers and Super Kings! They have dancing girls, music and fireworks! They have everything you'd ever want in sports! If you don't love the IPL you must be either Jealous or a person who hates fun and excitement! Or you just might prefer not being treated like a 6 year and prefer Test/First Class cricket? LOL!

  • AB on April 21, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    There's nothing like watching serious high quality T20 cricket.

    Which is a coincidence, because the IPL is nothing like serious high quality T20 cricket.

  • Proud to be a Londoner on April 21, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    I can't be bothered to read all the existing comments so someone else may have made this point already, but here goes. I watch the IPL with a great deal of interest for one good reason: it is free to view on ITV4. I would rather be watching the WI-Aus test series but I would have to pay for that, and I cannot afford to. Journalists who can presumably claim their Sky (etc.) subscriptions on expenses and quite possibly also match admissions (not to mention travel) should not forget this banal but important fact: some cricket fans are not very well off.

  • Harvey on April 21, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    Like most cricket fans in England I prefer the longer forms of the game. I watch mainly Test matches involving my country, and County Championship and one day matches involving my county. I have watched the odd T20 match, but find the format lacking in substance. I almost never watch English domestic T20, so why would I be remotely interested in Indian domestic T20? Yet the IPL continues with the desperation of a child on a climbing frame to try and attract my attention. "Look at me! Look at me!" Eventually (like a parent who's engaged in trying to have a conversation) I express my annoyance. I am then accused of being "jealous of its success," or even of being "anti-Indian."

  • Simon Waters on April 21, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    I settled down to watch some cricket the other day, and looked at the teams on show. Boo Hiss! Mr (Lord Snooty) Ganguly was captaining one team. Def not rooting for you with him in the side. Tehn I noticed his side were by far the underdogs, so there was obviously no way I could cheer for the favourites ( I am English). So I had a brilliant idea - lets cheers for the side with the token Englishman in. Damn! No English - back to the drawing board. OK, prettiest kits then - both were awful. The final, last hope of the scoundrel. 'I will cheer for cricket for its own sake, and hope the best team wins'. Two almost indistinguishable innings later I was on my fourth glass of wine and iddly looking through my record collection for something to listen to. I dont know who won, nor do I care. And the magician and evergreen Richardson got more wickets for my beloved Worcestershire. I wish it had been televised.

  • Praxis on April 21, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    Missed out the first two seasons of IPL, so there's no chance left for me to get attached to this format. Personally I don't have anything against T20 format or the idea of a tournament(like ICL). I think quality of cricket won't be any issue either. But there's this huge imbalance between bat & ball, the film stars, dancing cheerleaders, interviews taken by people who seem to have almost no knowledge in cricket, shortened boundaries, annoying commentators, mediocre players getting more than the actually good ones..., these are the turnoffs. But let's give this tournament five more years, everything may settle down then & the organizers will realize which is the best way to run this tournament. Few more recognized international players in each team & no more shuffling should help too.

  • Aditya on April 21, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Though I am an Indian, this captures my sentiments perfectly. :) Serious article for a change, Andy? Hope it is only for this time. The only time I went and watched an IPL match at the Ferozshah Kotla, it left me cold, And I promised myself, I was not wasting my time on this again. As for the guys especially from my country coming and defending the IPL by attacking your views, all I want to say is, no one is criticizing you, you go and watch it. Other guys also may have a different opinion. Learn to respect that.

  • xyz_abc on April 21, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    I'm an Indian, regular follower of cricket, and my reaction to the IPL can be summarised in one word: "meh". I check the scores the next day and keep an eye on the points table, but I'm not going to watch the bloated 72-match league phase. Might catch the playoffs and the final.

    It certainly hasn't helped that the teams have been shuffled so completely that I have no clue if Gilchrist play for the Kings XI Chargers or the Deccan Daredevils or the Kolkota Night Kings (note for the not-so-sharp: I know what the actual team names are). Ganguly w/ Pune?? At least Dhoni w/ Chennai, while initially jarring, has been consistent, allowing some identity to be forged (also, the lungi fits him perfectly).

    It's not just me - in my office, I'm more likely to find a discussion going on re. the Champion's League or the tennis clay court season. This is a change from IPL 1, when we used to put the matches up on the conference room projector.

    In summary, no, you don't need to see a shrink.

  • Muhtasim on April 21, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    Starting from last summer, I have watched over 15 cricket series featuring almost all the Test playing nation. I think I deserve a break from watching the IPL

  • Tamrakshar on April 21, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    The dwindling TV Rating shows that the craze for IPL is fading rapidly. Here, I am not going into the reasons for that. Let me tell that I, too, do not find the IPL exciting. I, too tried to see several matches, but could stand the farcical cricket that is played in the IPL. It is not cricket. It is entertainment, entertainment and entertainment.

  • HKumar on April 21, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    I somewhat agree with your comments. I, being an Indian, and living in Gujarat, still couldn't say that this particular club is my team. It keeps changing between Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi, whoever plays well. My colleague keeps 4 different team t-shirts. If this is the case in India, I'm sure people outside India may watch an occasional game just for the heck of it, if time permits, but will not be able to develop an allegiance to a particular team. On the other side, I still see a lot of negative publicity from journos(and cricinfo writers as well) out of India, for the IPL. Reader, sort of, get a feeling that the average IPL watcher as a part, and Indians as a whole, are money-minded zealots, who don't care about cricket. I really love to watch dravid, ganguly, rahane grind their way in this format, playing proper cricketing shots. My say on this is, if you don't like this format or don't identify yourself with this, leave it alone. Let others enjoy it while they can.

  • Naveen on April 21, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    Peterson and anyone else involved in the IPL (fans, administrators, players) are wrong in expecting cricket fans outside India to follow the tournament. But why does Andy Zaltzman and other writers have to explain themselves so much on behalf of all of England?! I think Peterson was just talking about the ECB and not about the English fans. But no one can take this away from the IPL - IT IS SUCCESSFUL IN ENTERTAINING the main audience (Indian cricket fans). The same cannot be said about the English county championships or any attempts to promote domestic cricket.

  • pilkunnussija on April 21, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    I think the IPL's success or failure was hinged on the balance between cricket and entertainment, and I'm not really sure the organizers have got it right. Yes, it is fun, but it has become more of a Page 3 event than a sporting one.

    The teams' own lack of identity might have a lot to do with it. I am from Bangalore and have now witnessed my local team get rid of the finest player to come out of the city in its century-old cricketing history. Atul's comment is an interesting one and sums up all that is wrong with the IPL- the Deccan Chargers have little or nothing to do with Hyderabad, the RCB lineup's local player count stands at a grand total of one.

    Entertainment? Yes. Cricket? Erm, not really.

  • Saad Parekh on April 21, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    @Anthony read the article and you should find out what is missing in between. If no time to go back to primary school.

  • Ravish Kalra on April 21, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    Dont take this personally, but i really question you're interest for the game and it goes to all of you. 1 sidedness of a match before it begins? single strategy i.e. slog slog slog? you really sound like some 11 year old whose got absolutely zilch know-how of how the sport cricket works, leave alone t20 and seriously just with a few flashy words of english, you can't and CANNOT be a cricket expert so needn't necessarily get into the details of analysis such as low scorers are 1 sided (clearly u see 1 match of IPL a season). Am quite amazed to see how repeatedly the mention of the word "million-dollar-glitz" falls in such articles and yet you guys come up mocking the word jealousy haha! as for the continuously falling TRPs, i'd advice u to compare it with the County cricket(PLEASE DO IT!) and not to forget this happens 7 days a week if u wish to make a fair comparison take the weekends for both(hoping u know how TRPs work) trust me u'd see day n night's difference in the two.

  • Atul Bhogle on April 21, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    Again, as is most often the case, a simple discussion turns into a nationalistic 'Iam an Indian thus MUST support the IPL'.

    Andy, I am with you. I don't find IPL engaging at all, or only as engaging as the Transformers movie. If you watched it for a 10 minute interval, you have watched all of it. Its just the same crap over and over again.

    You also hit the nail on the head with regards to feeling an association with any of the teams. Am I supposed to cheer for a motley group of 11 cricketers just because they are stamped with the name 'Deccan chargers'? I don't think so.

    An interesting tidbit: An year after the Deccan chargers won the IPL, the Hyderabad Ranji team was relegated to the plate league of the Ranji trophy and this year we made it to the semis and are back to the elite league, when the Deccan chargers are at the bottom of the table with NO local Ranji players in the squad. It is an easy guess which scenario makes me happier!

  • Paedrus on April 21, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    The secret wishes of the british PM is the funniest imagery of the day. Rock on Andy. The reason why the IPL does not excite you or why you have managed to enjoy only some of it has been disclosed by yourself in the second sentence of the paragraph where you raise the question whether you should see the shrink. Yes, Andy, the reason is simple and it is that you love cricket!

  • Jerry on April 21, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    I absolutely love the IPL.The skills these guys possess is absolutely amazing!You wouldn't find that level anywhere else in the world. As far as county cricket goes..who gives a damn?Frankly there're no big names to get me interested. Football is the opium of the masses.But unfortunately you cannot take your kids to watch a game in England.The level of abuse directed at opposition players and the referee will make you flinch! I only watch it on TV and that too when the top four clubs is playing.

  • Ajay Vijayan on April 21, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    Andy, I was startled to know that you don't startle by the excitement of IPL unlike other fellow bloggers on cricinfo. I am Indian, but I had loved to see the Test Match at Trinidad to continue yesterday rather than watching Chris Gayle power hitting. And I'm more thrilled by hearing the stats and facts that IPL viewership is on a downward scale. Having watched Rahul Dravid, Sachin, Azhar, VVS etc in their primes in white suits on green tops, I feel awkward by the sheer noise and artificiality of IPL matches. I feel bit more at home, while seeing the Ranji Trophy matches between states rather than these IPL bashes. Even when half of the Indians couldn't associate with the IPL teams for any emotional reason, I wonder how an Englishmen or Australian would feel. This is just like asking me whether to support South Australian Redbacks or Victoria Bushrangers !

  • Neil Dyer on April 21, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    Perfectly captures my feelings of the IPL. If I'm home, I'll watch it, but I don't mind who wins. I make no special effort to get home to watch it, and spend most of the viewing time rolling around on the floor laughing at the magical commentary of Danny Morrison. In fact, for the words of Danny Morrison alone, the IPL is worth all the hype...

  • Shiva on April 21, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    Frankly I didn't even care to read your article as I'm busy watching a recorded IPL match.

    Don't be jealous... get over it!

  • Jake on April 21, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    The IPL is for the Indian fan; not for you; an English man; I do not care about county cricket find it snooty;boring; a 19th century relic!! am I normal?? the rule is simple if you don't like it stay off it; don't watch it!! do not blame people like me who do enjoy it !! and criticizing the IPL gives english journalists a chance to make some dough by writing anti IPL pieces like this one; be thankful for it !! and chill!!

  • simon on April 21, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    I'm not very interested in the IPL for much the same reasons that I'm not very interested in the BPL, or the Big Bash, or the domestic Twenty20 leagues in South Africa or Zimbabwe. I'm not quite sure why anyone would expect me to be interested in a foreign domestic competition. If there was a dearth of cricket around, then yeah, sure, but there's already so much cricket going on that I don't have time to follow properly. I do think it's a terrible shame that the West Indies team are missing some of their best players, though. WI are making a decent attempt at a real recovery, but the absence of the likes of Gayle and Dwayne Bravo mean it's likely to fail, and that could mean the end of the West Indies as a force for a generation. That would be a disaster.

  • Longmemory on April 21, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    I am Indian and I couldn't care less about the IPL. Haven't watched a minute of it, don't keep up with the scores, don't know who is playing for what team, and who's hitting how many sixers. As a cricket fan, however, the proceedings in the Windies were riveting - and I was deeply disappointed that rain prevented what was building up to a nice climax. Hats off to Clarke for that bold declaration.

  • Satadru Sen on April 21, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    Actually, the idea that people outside India (except perhaps in America) recoil from in-your-face brand-fests like the IPL may not be so far-fetched. When I hear the word "brand," I reach for my shoes, like that Iraqi journalist. But in India, even that gesture would generate speculation about the brand of the shoe, whether it was a clever marketing strategy, and whether Bollywood stars were involved in some way. The sooner the IPL and the whole "branding" of cricket dies, the better.

  • Gina on April 21, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    Well my two cents....I don't think any Indian cricket fan thinks that everyone around the globe should find IPL fascinating, its an Indian tournament and we frankly don't need a global audience....we are just astounded at the amount of denouncement aimed at this tournaments by the commentators and analyst, who are mostly ex-players (mostly from England). We don't see that kind of censure towards similar tournaments run in other countries like the Big Bash, BPL etc...so we assume the denouncement doesn't have to do with the format, recruitment process (similar process for all the above mentioned leagues) or its impact on cricketing skills but has more to do with envy at the money BCCI makes. Am I wrong or are do these nay-sayers love India so much more that they desperately want to protect its cricketing culture?

  • Vikram Dravid on April 21, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    yes.

  • dawn on April 21, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    No you are not wrong.I am Indian and I do not care about the ipl :) rather watch the test matches b/w WI and Aus.

  • Karthik on April 21, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    when & why did Andy get this serious? the title says why he is not wrong but he talks on behalf of England fans. KP got on his nerves, may b?

  • Channi singh on April 20, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Well, I hate international football as long as one of team is not brazil or Germany , similarly I hope one day the premier leagues of cricket are same as football rather than moaning English dinosaurs

  • Arthur on April 20, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    Absolutely agreed! The IPL is too young and these Franchises are babies! Football is so succesful because in early 90s and late 80s people were making Clubs/Franchises all round europe ! It later on Evolved and became known as the worlds sport. Cricket began in late 80s (if i recall correctly) and no clubs or leuges were getting organized in Early 90s or late 90s so that could have being one of the losses .

    English people wont care for CSK,MumbaiIndians or DD because theyre babies and have no history , i live in Russia (father is indian) but i support FC Bayern Munich because of its history,popularity and success over a LONG period of time. Cricket has to develop abit more , IPL ,BPL,SLP are good for crickets popularity i sai

  • Sohel ahmed on April 20, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    Amazingly written,thanks for mentioning barisal burners,

  • Shantanu on April 20, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    Completely missing the point here. Pieterson was talking about the lack of English players in the IPL. Not the lack of interest of the English population in the IPL. Ugh!!

  • Devanathan on April 20, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    The writer's feeling is absolutely correct and perfectly normal....It is very hard for people outside India to have an interest in the IPL

  • Devanathan on April 20, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    good piece of writing....surely, to be interested in a team you must have geographical connection to it....or that team must have a profound and long history. and by reshuffling the team before the 2011 season, many teams lost their identity which they started to create for the first 3 years

  • Kunal on April 20, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    Andy wats funny is that you don't care for IPL but you have time to write a article on it!!!that speaks for itself!..u know what i mean

  • Akash Rathore on April 20, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    I think you guys are plain jealous of IPL's succes. You guys just cant tolerate an INDIAN sport venture getting so much success and hype. Get a life!

  • Jitesh on April 20, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    Not having an interest is okay.. And everyone is fine with it. Not everyone in India is interested in the IPL too. I am a cricket fanatic and my wife too fails to understand this obsession with the game. However I watch an England Australia match or a Australia West Indies match with equal gusto without being dismissive about the games. I think Kevin speaks about jealousy not for the lack of interest but the criticisms which are bitter and condescending without logic. I read and it does feel like jealousy and forgive me if you differ. Lack of interest is just fine.. just fine!!!

  • Ian Pithers on April 20, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    I love cricket and followed and played it (not now) but could not care less about the IPL..dont even watch or look at results - no interest and no attachment - WI v Aussie fantastic....or County championship scores and reports for me.......sorry kevin

  • Ram on April 20, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    I have two points to make 1.Many Indian soccer fans who didn't know what Man U is until 20 years back (when cable TV came to India) are crazy about EPL now. So you don't need to know the 100 year history of a club to be a fan. Its simply EPL gives their fans the most exciting football 2. A T20 fan cannot ignore IPL because thats where the money is and thats where the best players and games are. So using your same analogy the Tanzanian baseball nut is more likely to follow the MLB than the Japanese league, even though japanese clubs are as old, because thats where the money is and where the best players are. So I can only see the English apathy towards IPL as misplaced arrogance bordering on jealousy.

  • Vijai on April 20, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Chill mate, you're in good company. I live in Bangalore but chose to watch Australia playing WI while The RCB game was on. Do I need to see a pshrink? No. How many Indian cricket viewers followed the Bangladesh PL or the Australian Big Bash League? Hardly anyone. PS: We love KP more than anybody other English player but that's not because of his IPL ties. Let's just say that we love the likes of KP and Warnie for being guys who bring a cheer to an otherwise serious sport.

  • Lawrence Grasty on April 20, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    Andy - reckon you're normal. Or at least we're fools who seldom differ. I'm glad the IPL's there, but can't get too excited about it. Plus it's always somehow mildly irritating when K "Kevin Pietersen" P lives up to his potential. Also when he doesn't.

  • ZachAd on April 20, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    Hi Andy, You are normal not to care about the IPL. Contrary to popular opinion, you can be an Indian AND an avid cricket follower (example: yours truly) but still detest the hype surrounding the league. Some of the reasons for this are - - Its basically a shallow carnival of foolery. - Don't understand whether the BCCI is blind or plain stupid. After successive 8 overseas test defeats, don't they realize that something is fundamentally wrong with Indian cricket? BCCI should get its priorities right. Period.

    If the BCCI is rolling in that much of surplus cash, I sincerely wish it would .....

    - Invest in nurturing the fast bowling talent in India - Invest in converting the dead pan pitches into result oriented ones to revive test cricket in India. - Do something to address the loopholes of DRS considering that they are that aggrieved by the technology (which I will for the life of me never understand!)

  • Gurpreet Singh on April 20, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    One doesn't necessarily have to have elaborate reasons to root for a team, it could well be the composition of the team. IPL is an entertainment-first spectacle, something Indians aren't apologetic about. If the English don't want to watch it, it's OK by us. But please spare us any self-righteous indignation, you watch enough of other crap. For all their pining for Test cricket, have the English forgotten what utterly boring cricket they played for decades? If the alternative is watching Derek Pringle, Angus Fraser etc. run in faster than the ball they're going to bowl, give me IPL anyday.

  • Split Infinitive on April 20, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    Andy:

    I believe your analysis of a lack of English support for the IPL is more or less correct. I personally (an Indian) do not watch the IPL, as I believe the test match woes that the Indian team is undergoing are a direct result of the BCCI's love for anything sparkly and fast-paced and complete apathy to test cricket. Unless they figure out a way to balance this equation, serious fans will no longer watch. Which is sad. Plain sad.

  • Abdul R. Siddiqui on April 20, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    I see your point about the fact that teams switch notable players so frequently that a fan has no time to connect, but I think the IPL CAN be a positive (I personally don't watch it) in that you can just turn on the TV and watch a match without there being any real need for emotional connection. When I was watching Pakistan's recent second test against England, it was literally the middle of the night and I was doing everything from angrily shaking my fist (Andrew Strauss surviving a close catch that even on-field and Cricinfo commentators called clean) and jumping up and down (Abdur Rehman knocking out English batsmen and outshining Saeed Ajmal). I don't think my health can take that kind of sleeplessness or emotional tension too frequently but I like cricket being a frequent part of my life. Therefore, I see a positive in a game where there is absolutely, positively, undeniably no connection with the team. Whether or not that is an insult to the IPL is up to the individual.

  • Adrian on April 20, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Andy, you are not at all wrong to lack interest in the IPL and I think you make some very good points as to why you and many other english fans (myself included) don't care either way for it. Personally I feel no attachment to any team competing and I'd rather watch the county championship (if it wasn't raining right now) as I feel a strong allegence to my county.

  • Peter on April 20, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    No, Andy, you're not wrong!

    I like to watch the IPL occasionally - not because I'm an RCB devotee or a CSK follower (and who'd follow a team named after a dodgy brand of cigarettes?) but to see individuals perform.

    KP's ton was great. But the ball to him by Steyn, that jagged off the seam and left KP in a knot, was absolutely sublime.

    For me, it's seeing great cricketers play great cricket. The teams they represent are largely incosequential.

    And I'd far rather see Gayle, Samuels et al play for their country. Unfortunately, filthy lucre seems to win out over national pride.

  • Chris Howard on April 20, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Andy, your opening paragraph was surprisingly comprehensible.

    Regards the IPL, if they didn't keep swapping players between teams, then I might develop a loyalty and passion for one team. But instead I am losing interest too.

    It's a frustration of Twenty20 cricket. They don't take it seriously. It's just hit and giggle. And in Australia it's even worse, with miked up players sharing jokes with commentators.

    They're trying to make cricket entertaining... no, entertainment.

    T20 goes for about three hours but totally lacks passion as everyone is there for a laugh and jolly good time.

    Could you imagine any other sport in the world played over three hours being so light hearted and *friendly*?!

    If T20 matches don't become as passionate as football between Manchester and Liverpool... then the rest of the world will start laughing at it.

    IPL, and T20 will loose fans because they're not cricket, they're just entertainment. And like any long running sitcom, interest will wane in time.

  • Dev on April 20, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    Andy I do agree with you. I am an Indian and originally from Delhi. However, I find it hard to root for just Delhi DareDevils or even actively follow them. Its only in season 5 that I have started to check the scores for IPL.

  • Jack Blackie on April 20, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    Great article as always. Couldn't agree more re lack of emotional attachment to the IPL. My broad love of sport encompasses most things, even including American stuff - but again different people can relate to the history of baseball, basketball or 'gridiron' teams as they can to Man Utd, Barca and Juventus. For me the IPL is purely a quick thwack and the occasional dance routine, perhaps in part ruined by my pathetic ignorance in not being able to place Chennai on a map. Would I feel differently if it were a worldwide league? Maybe. I loved Rollerball.

  • Sammy on April 20, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    Andy,

    You are not wrong in not caring about the IPL just as the rest of the world (except aussies and poms) do not care about the Ashes!

  • Andrew on April 20, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    What about formerly respected blogger doing Nestle ads?

    Needed a new kitchen?

  • ricaugjnr on April 20, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    As ever Andy, the comments are interesting and funny. My only point is this, I suppose, that beyond the rampant commercialism, the wilfully stupid commentary and the general idiot ragings of the crowd, there is usually some brilliant cricket to be witnessed. I am a Test Match man myself, but I am easily swayed by a handful of bludgeoned sixes and the writhings of tightly-lycra-wrapped dancing girls. I always think that anyone who is fully grown and has developed certain sporting attachments is unlikely to sway suddenly to a brand new league, with brand new teams. Its like music; once you have decided that Bob Dylan esque singer/songwriters are your preferred variety of music, Hiphop is always going to be a difficult genre to enjoy. But, as someone who set out in the first IPL season- at random- to support Mumbai, I can become quite cross when they play like idiots. And it DOES attract non-Cricket watchers; several of my friends enjoy the IPL but no other cricket. Shame on them!

  • Venuto on April 20, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    I think all 3 formats of the game have a future and despite the advent of the IPL - International cricket remains in good stead.

    Compare this to football - besides the FIFA World Cup and the European competition all Football is at the club level....I don't watch football at all except at the World Cup and Euro - despite a lot of my friends being die hard fans of various clubs.

    Even Football stars shine for their clubs but seem flat and listless at the International level - Lionel Messi was a DUD in Argentine colors.

    The IPL is good fun for to watch for it's 2 month run - then we get back to International cricket.

    Unlike Football - I like the fact that cricket is 95% about International competition with 5% going the way of the IPL club style of things.

    As for the English apathy to the IPL - no Indian fan or team owner cares - we are happy with the IPL the way it is.

  • Anuj on April 20, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    I don't think you need to see a shrink, its 'OK' that the IPL does not excite you..BUT...some of the comparisons in your article don't make sense, you cannot compare cricket to football, you just can't its a much smaller sport, with much fewer stars, and it has predominantly been enjoyed at the international level, rather than in a league form. Now that the IPL has established itself in its 5th straight year as the dominant T20 league in the world, a lot of other countries have 'bought in' to the whole idea. Sure, you're not seeing fans donning Mumbai Indians shirts on the streets of SA, but they are into it, following their respective countrymen, Steyn, Kallis, Botha, Levi, Dumminy, etc etc.. The English have chosen to snob it..perhaps if the likes of Strauss, Bell and Anderson were taking part, more people would be interested, who knows? If you're a fan of cricket surely you'd be excited at the prospect of watching KP tee of alongside Viru or Mahela? NO?

  • HA Gebhardt on April 20, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Your 25% South African identity should help you to form instant attachments to some of the franchisees, ne? If not, are you sufficiently in touch with your inner Graham Smith?

  • kris on April 20, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    First BORING post andy..who cares

  • Martin on April 20, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    As a South African I also see little point in the IPL, except maybe enriching some already wealthy Indian businessmen and the occasional player. Thank you for this article!

  • Ben Pratten on April 20, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    As an English cricket fan, I completely agree with your views towards the IPL. This year I only find myself tuning in to watch when KP is batting, and switching off when he gets out, simply because he is the only part of the tournament I feel any support towards as an England fan. Luckily this tactic paid off and I found his first T20 hundred yesterday great. The game also provided Steyn v Pietersen, a battle that will make this summers cricket intriguing. Yet I find I cannot get excited by the whole IPL tournament simply as a cricket fan because of the lack of history and identity that belongs to each franchise (highlighted be the fact that they are often called 'franchises' and not 'teams'). Also, unlike Test or ODI cricket (or even County cricket), I cannot imagine the IPL producing one of the greatest games or moments of cricketing history that is remembered by fans for decades and immortalised in one of the many "greatest cricketing moments" books which currently fill my shelves.

  • Daniel Rhodes (@MrDanielRhodes) on April 20, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    1. You're normal. 2. I watched the first season of the IPL with excited anticipation. I picked a team based on one or two of my favourite players, and then watched the whole thing. I enjoyed it. But, crucially, I wasn't bowled over by it. I didn't look forward to the next game, and I gradually drifted away during the second half of the second season. 3. I felt like the IPL was the team, and all the franchises just tentacle's of one overpowering, commercial, drip feed of 'look-at-me-not-the-cricket' brash, loudness. No nuance, constantly being told what was a 'brandname-great-moment' or other bland cliché, turning cricketing theatre into scripted soap opera. 4. I hope it changes, starts to let the cricketers and the game itself do the talking, treat the audience with a semblance of respect, and play the long game; focusing on franchise development and team identity. 5. Don't organise test matches at the same time, requiring players to make a financial/idealistic unenviable choice.

  • Sriram on April 20, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Moreover, Andy, as an Indian, it frustrates me to the core seeing what the IPL showcases India as. India is not, as many IPL watching non-Indians (or IPL watching, indifferent Indians) even remotely close to what the IPL represents- Wealthy, extravagant, LOUD. Also, out-of-work, retired professionals do not, normally, get work again. I think it also justifies why, as an Indian, I have lost my emotional bond with the Indian cricket team. They no longer represent me. They are all over-paid, famous and favorites wherever they go. I so much prefer to watch the Ranji Trophy (The Services Team, check them out Andy). India is a poor country financially. The message the IPL sends to the world suggests anything but that. I cringe Andy. India is innocent. India is beautiful. India is lovable. Come, I'll show you around. Do not watch the IPL. As a billboard by veteran social activist Nana Chudasama in Matunga, Mumbai, put it - IPL stands for Indian People's Loot. Period.

  • Marcus Hutchinson on April 20, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Personally I love the IPL. It's excitement and glitz brings a new edge to the game of cricket. It gives us the chance to see fantastic batsmen like pieterson at their swashbuckling best. I see what you're saying about following a team but personally I am now a big fan of Kolkatta and I follow all their games with interest. I also enjoy watching all the other games. I think the main problem for English fans is that most of them are used to watching the chess match of a county championship or test match. This is a very different type of entertainment to the IPL and one I also enjoy. I think cricket fans have found it hard to ajust to this form of the game and this has led to a lack of interest. As exciting as the IPL is it doesn't attract new, non-cricket fans in my experience and this is where its support lacks. Personally I hope that others enjoy it as much as I do and the competition keeps going for many years. PS. I also think the west indies missed a spinner named Sunil Narine.

  • Deepak Gopalakrishnan on April 20, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    It's not just the English. Even we Indians struggle to find loyalty for teams that are from our city. Too many players have shifted back and forth way too many times. Kokata fans will now cheer for Pune because Ganguly's there.

  • Dan on April 20, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    I am an England fan largely brought up in Southern Africa.

    When the IPL started, I paid little attention to it for similar reasons to you, Andy. For me, Test cricket was, and remains by a distance the pinnacle of the sport.

    However, I then started to watch a bit of the IPL and really began to appreciate watching Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals team, and particularly his captaincy and abilities as a bowler. This from someone who previously did not have much love for many Australian cricketers responsible for pummelling English test sides throughout my childhood (not to mention South African sides).

    However, having formed that allegiance, I now have a reason to follow the IPL and find that even though Shane Warne has retired, my interest in it is enduring. So, if you want to start enjoying the IPL, I think all it takes is to find an allegiance - but I agree it is difficult with so little history to go on.

    By the way, love your blog, I think I've read every one so far!

  • James Perkins on April 20, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    I agree about the IPL, I was resistant, then got exited about it, and then they broke the teams up just as I was about to settle on barracking for Deccan Chargers. And to top it off One HD in Australia decided to stop showing it, even though they still had the rights (and what do they have that's going to be bettter at 2am!)

    I've got my own cricket page going, check it out: https://www.facebook.com/TestCricketCrown

  • Sagar on April 20, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    Well..how can an English supporter care about IPL if a cricket crazy Indian does not give a damn about it?

  • Shrinivas on April 20, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Hi Andy, I am an obvious fan of IPL and almost an equally great fan of yours and your writing style. But even then after reading this blog it doesnt affect my affection of either you or the IPL. I cant see a reason why someone like Chris Gayle playing for Somerset should affect my support for him, if i am an RCB fan. I agree with your viewpoint that IPL is yet to achieve the brand equity that EPL or NBA has but then even they must have started like this a few decades back. I think the prime reason why English or people elsewhere dont quite enjoy the IPL is because it has a lot of Indian players in it unlike an EPL for example where players from all over the world play without much restriction on number of places available. That makes those tournaments truly international. May be IPL will take that route in coming years but for now its important to keep in mind the interest of developing cricket in India. I am sure you and people elsewhere will get over this mental block soon enough.

  • TheM5393 on April 20, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    Do u really love the Barisal Burners Andy?????? :O

  • anil joshi on April 20, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Enjoyed reading ur blog about IPL, state of Int'l cricket and it's commercialization, equally if not more than an IPL match. Really sad to see the decline that has set in. However, I feel it is rather a global phenomenon with leagues coming up in almost all cricket playing nations.

  • Yash on April 20, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Actually, We Indian Cricket FAns are Also least interested in IPL Circus,, We follow it for legends like Dravid, GAnguly, Gilchrist Batting..which r retired from International Arena....MAtches r Predictable, TRP is down, IPL is loosing Charm,

  • Ashish on April 20, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    Even Indians are not that interested in IPL this time, as witnessed by the many empty stands in the stadiums.

    The reasons could be the recent failures of the national team, too much cricket, boring matches, too many transfers happening too often for one to become a fan of a team, too many retirees playing or even the exhorbitantly expensive tickets!!!!

    BCCI should take notice & try to fix this...

  • benjaminsa on April 20, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    I am a South African, and I don't care either. I agree with everything you write about identifying with a team, but I think the format is also flawed.

    2020 is boringly predictable, their is only one strategy: slog. Which is risky, so often you get one team being bowled out for a stupid low total, leaving the other team to sedately get the runs, or bowlers batting practice.

    The only good I see is that it got the SA selectors to recognise the value of having some slow bowlers, and lots of death bowling and batting practice.

  • Rishab Gandhi on April 20, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Yah Andy, I fully agree by your article. IPL aint old enough to have a worldwide follow...And anyways, I dont think the sponsors or management cares about it, even if whole England was supporting it, the number of cricket watchers or lovers is almost equal to 1/3rd population of Delhi..And yah even in India people hardly folow English County or domestic T20 (even though the quality of cricketers there is significantly lower than that of IPL)..so English spectators are justified as they aren't even intersted in their own domestic leagues..but ya JEALOUSY factor is there..as T-20 even though English brainchild cant match India's glamour, pomp and worldwide appeal as the best in the world are playing it than watching it !!!!

  • Paul on April 20, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Andy - I don't think you should see a shrink. I watch a bit of the IPL every night, but only because I'm congenitally inclined to watch anything cricket like whenever and wherever I can. But I'm fairly indifferent.

    As a format, T20 is one dimension... faster but simultaneously more boring. You also have too many accidentally one sided games - a rush of blood to the head and the game is lost in over 3 or whatever.

    The IPL lacks interest for all the reasons you describe, plus the feeling that the players are pretty indifferent - they're there for the payday, not for any love or loyalty to the 'franchise'.

    The hamfisted attemped to franchise The Royals globally, a response to the problem as you describe, was in the end unworkable and actively objectionable. A supporter's love for Hampshire just can't be traded like that.

    The rampant commercialism is pretty annoying, not least in the commentary. DLF maximum? You mean a six?

  • Anthony on April 20, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    With all due respect to your love for cricket, i cannot come to comprehension your love for cricket. At one hand you say you love cricket. And on another you are dont quite enjoy the IPL - the latest revelation of cricket. Or am I missing something in between?

  • Craig Heffer on April 20, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Great Article. I see the IPL as sort of a 'Spring Break' holiday from the rest of the cricketing world. It is unfortunate that it is not 'franchised' worldwide as one (a la world cup) and India have the sole rights to it ahead of the ICC, but they saw a gap, took it and added the 'Bling'. The dancers, timeouts, screaming commentators, spider-cams, prizes for who spat the furthest, trophies for who sweated the most, coloured caps for run scorers and wicket takers, monotonous, rhetoric interviews on the sidelines, waves from Bollywood stars resulting in loud orgasmic reactions from the crowd and last, but not least, the financial lure. KP said he thinks the IPL is bla-bla-bla (insert benefits here), but give KP $3 million and he will tell you how much playing in the Icelandic T20 will benefit him on a chilly day at Lords. Its all part of parcel of something that is working at the moment. Sanity will prevail over time, but there is one thing you can keep and that is the reverse-sweep.

  • Chris on April 20, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    Completely agree about the IPL. I've watched some of it and found it entertaining but I've never felt the need to watch the next game or supported a team. This would probably be helped if more of the English team were playing (or indeed any of the actually English ones) or if the ICC schedule allowed my main thoughts on the competition to be other than 'I wonder how team X (Usually the WIndies) would be doing in this test if they had their IPL players'

  • peter on April 20, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Not wrong at all. No Australian broadcaster cares enough to show. Sky clearly don't care in the UK. ITV bought it but prefered to show a touring car championship this weekend. It's a handy curiosity for a wet day in England, this show is an Indian show for an Indian audience. Lalit defined the appeal very clearly...prime time television featuring the rich and the famous. Money, cricket and Bollywood in an uneasy arranged marriage for mutual commercial gain. No issue with the individuals chasing the money, just a shame it takes the stars and some of the money from test cricket.

  • Jaufer on April 20, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Well said about IPL. It is not about India or T20. It is all about our mind which ready to accept a team. I was with KingsII when Kumar/Mahela with them. Now, Just watch whenever my shedule allows it. usually, to watch a cricket match, I used to re-schedule my activity. Now it is gone (for IPL). If I am free, and No Test match or football on TV, yes, then I will tune into see some hitting. Will it chaneg over the time. I do not think; I can see several of my colleagues, lost interest and rarely watch matches on weekday evening here (remember, In Dubai, it starts at perfect time - 6:30 Pm)

  • Will Davies on April 20, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    The IPL couldn't give a hoot about what English cricket fans think, and rightly so. The stadiums in India are more packed for the IPL than for any other cricket format, including much of the World Cup, and the players clearly enjoy being part of it. That's the way it is Zaltoid the Merciless. It doesn't matter if you care or not.

    As for "not being able to force an instant emotional attachment to and investment in a team with which you have no geographical or familial link, and which has little history or identity with which to entice you," what about all those Man City fans in Asia? They just want to see top players in action. They don't care how many clubs a player has represented in the past and who he might represent in the future. They just want to enjoy the sport.

  • James Picardo on April 20, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Hey Andy

    I don't think you need to see a shrink. I once watched the IPL. I just saw Chris Gayle biffing about twenty consecutive sixes. It had a certain surrealism value but it wasn't a contest between bat and ball - which is what I'm after.

    But then again, we're not the target market, and the target market is much vaster than us. If you are from Rajasthan, or Bombay or Delhi - these teams do speak to you - and the changing international line ups probably worry you about as much as they would a Chelsea fan who wants to beat Barcelona. And these fans have probably voted with their feet and requested a biff-fest.

    So Pietersen's comment is pretty much as wide of the mark as most. We're not jealous of the IPL, we're just irrelevant to it - and vice versa. And the part that rattles us is this: cricket is a global sport but test cricket is now a minority sub-set of that sport.

    Anyway, great article as ever - keep it up

    j

  • Ramski on April 20, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    Englands apathy towards the IPL is built around a number of factors.

    1. English cricket fans generally prefer the longer format. 2. There are very few English players playing in the IPL. 3. We have no club allegiance. 4. The IPL have americanised cricket - they are trying to attract a new audiance to the game with the glitz + glamour of music/bollywood stars etc. Thats all fine, but English cricket fans are interested in cricket (not glitz + glamour) 5. We have football, if we want a short sharp high octaine hit of sport.

    I dont think jealousy is the issue, I think English cricket fans (who as mentioned are test cricket fans) are concerned that India who effectively hold the financial power base in cricket have lost interest in Test cricket and if this were the case in 10 years the International calender could look very different. You can already see the effects of the IPL with England only playing a 2 test series in SL, and West Indies playing a test series without 4-5 players.

  • Tim on April 20, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    I totally agree - I live in Berkshire and trying to find a county team to support is hard enough (Somerset, if you're wondering, because I once went to Super Weston Mare, in Somerset) - trying to get any attachment to IPL teams is near impossible. I've ended up supporting Delhi to follow KP but it does leave me hollow inside. I would also add that while its great the IPL is on ITV4 (for free) the content could do with being supplemented by a 30+ min round up on ITV1 to hook people in.

  • katrina kaif on April 20, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    urs is just an opinion like others. Everyone has one opinion. I have my own opinion. I half like epl cuz only top 3 clubs keep winning championship. Only few games are intersting.

  • Anonymous on April 20, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    @Andy - No one is saying dont watch Test cricket or ignore County..Just like the way you English adore and admire county or test cricket, we Indians love our T20 and IPL. No one is crying here coz Cook or Jimmy is not playing. If SA, CA choose IPL means they are smart, unlike English who is living in the past. I love Test cricket, but who will watch if played all throught the year..India is living in fast paced world, so we like it fast and furious..You love your Test cricket and so be it. Why all this negative writing about IPL. I certainly dont care if you watch it or not though i like to read your blogs. Mind you Boardy would be playing in IPL had he not injured himself and Swanny would also be praising it had he managed to sell himself to any team.

  • raja on April 20, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    i dont think the reason u mentioned is r8. coz we indians were very much intrstd in BBash and BPL even though no indian players in it. cricket needs no country. its just jealous, pure jealous.

  • Aamod Desai on April 20, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Absolutely nothing wrong in not liking the IPL or keeping a close track! I guess IPL is the T20 version of county cricket isn't it?

  • Sriram on April 20, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    'But, without teams and identities for which English supporters can root'--how true that statement is. KP is not English and hence English fans and media shamelessly follows and admires him only in England colors otherwise they simply dont care what he does. For there is no English man in that No.1 side who can do what Trott or KP has done to them to get to that No.1 status

  • Rachit on April 20, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    You are not wrong. At the heart of it, IPL is an Indian tournament. Its actually naive to expect the public in other countries to religiously follow or care about it (including sub con - i did not follow BPL despite my love for cricket). So fans and journos can stop seeking acceptance of the IPL from other countries.

  • Shaku on April 20, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    Sammy promoting himself upto no.3 from 8 in order to have a go at victory is probably the most positive move I've seen from a captain of a "minnow" in a while, Misbah would do well to take a leaf out of Sammy's book, who's not amongst my favorite cricketers but has definitely gone up a notch or 2 in terms of respect in my book after his move. Kudos to Clarke as well for declaring by the way....

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  • Shaku on April 20, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    Sammy promoting himself upto no.3 from 8 in order to have a go at victory is probably the most positive move I've seen from a captain of a "minnow" in a while, Misbah would do well to take a leaf out of Sammy's book, who's not amongst my favorite cricketers but has definitely gone up a notch or 2 in terms of respect in my book after his move. Kudos to Clarke as well for declaring by the way....

  • Rachit on April 20, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    You are not wrong. At the heart of it, IPL is an Indian tournament. Its actually naive to expect the public in other countries to religiously follow or care about it (including sub con - i did not follow BPL despite my love for cricket). So fans and journos can stop seeking acceptance of the IPL from other countries.

  • Sriram on April 20, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    'But, without teams and identities for which English supporters can root'--how true that statement is. KP is not English and hence English fans and media shamelessly follows and admires him only in England colors otherwise they simply dont care what he does. For there is no English man in that No.1 side who can do what Trott or KP has done to them to get to that No.1 status

  • Aamod Desai on April 20, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Absolutely nothing wrong in not liking the IPL or keeping a close track! I guess IPL is the T20 version of county cricket isn't it?

  • raja on April 20, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    i dont think the reason u mentioned is r8. coz we indians were very much intrstd in BBash and BPL even though no indian players in it. cricket needs no country. its just jealous, pure jealous.

  • Anonymous on April 20, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    @Andy - No one is saying dont watch Test cricket or ignore County..Just like the way you English adore and admire county or test cricket, we Indians love our T20 and IPL. No one is crying here coz Cook or Jimmy is not playing. If SA, CA choose IPL means they are smart, unlike English who is living in the past. I love Test cricket, but who will watch if played all throught the year..India is living in fast paced world, so we like it fast and furious..You love your Test cricket and so be it. Why all this negative writing about IPL. I certainly dont care if you watch it or not though i like to read your blogs. Mind you Boardy would be playing in IPL had he not injured himself and Swanny would also be praising it had he managed to sell himself to any team.

  • katrina kaif on April 20, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    urs is just an opinion like others. Everyone has one opinion. I have my own opinion. I half like epl cuz only top 3 clubs keep winning championship. Only few games are intersting.

  • Tim on April 20, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    I totally agree - I live in Berkshire and trying to find a county team to support is hard enough (Somerset, if you're wondering, because I once went to Super Weston Mare, in Somerset) - trying to get any attachment to IPL teams is near impossible. I've ended up supporting Delhi to follow KP but it does leave me hollow inside. I would also add that while its great the IPL is on ITV4 (for free) the content could do with being supplemented by a 30+ min round up on ITV1 to hook people in.

  • Ramski on April 20, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    Englands apathy towards the IPL is built around a number of factors.

    1. English cricket fans generally prefer the longer format. 2. There are very few English players playing in the IPL. 3. We have no club allegiance. 4. The IPL have americanised cricket - they are trying to attract a new audiance to the game with the glitz + glamour of music/bollywood stars etc. Thats all fine, but English cricket fans are interested in cricket (not glitz + glamour) 5. We have football, if we want a short sharp high octaine hit of sport.

    I dont think jealousy is the issue, I think English cricket fans (who as mentioned are test cricket fans) are concerned that India who effectively hold the financial power base in cricket have lost interest in Test cricket and if this were the case in 10 years the International calender could look very different. You can already see the effects of the IPL with England only playing a 2 test series in SL, and West Indies playing a test series without 4-5 players.

  • James Picardo on April 20, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Hey Andy

    I don't think you need to see a shrink. I once watched the IPL. I just saw Chris Gayle biffing about twenty consecutive sixes. It had a certain surrealism value but it wasn't a contest between bat and ball - which is what I'm after.

    But then again, we're not the target market, and the target market is much vaster than us. If you are from Rajasthan, or Bombay or Delhi - these teams do speak to you - and the changing international line ups probably worry you about as much as they would a Chelsea fan who wants to beat Barcelona. And these fans have probably voted with their feet and requested a biff-fest.

    So Pietersen's comment is pretty much as wide of the mark as most. We're not jealous of the IPL, we're just irrelevant to it - and vice versa. And the part that rattles us is this: cricket is a global sport but test cricket is now a minority sub-set of that sport.

    Anyway, great article as ever - keep it up

    j