IPL 2012 season review May 28, 2012

The IPL earns its cricket cred

The league came of age on the field, but was well short of its crease as a TV spectacle
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On a steamy Chennai night, IPL 5 had a finish that it could not have dreamed of or prayed for, with all the good bits of an entire season coming together in symbolic representation.

Major finals tend to be flat and forgettable because the occasion ends up too big, the teams too tense. The 2010 World Cup football final will be remembered for a boot in the ribs, the 2011 World Cup rugby final was a dour, defensive struggle that the All Blacks endured. The World Cup cricket final a year ago ended splendidly for India but left its audience so emotionally exhausted that IPL 4 was played to vast tracts of empty stands and dipping TV ratings.

After 2012, however, the IPL lives again, breathes again and makes some good news again. On Sunday, there was a full stadium at Chepauk for the first time since the World Cup, a new champion, a successful chase of 191, nine needed off the last over, players sweating buckets, spectators sweating anxiety.

If anything has rescued the IPL from its turkey of a 2011, and lifted it, regardless of a frequency of allied scandals, it is its cricket and its crowds.

Over seven weeks, the IPL's presence spread through its audience like the heat of a genuine Indian summer. An annual league that takes far longer than the football, cricket and rugby world cups actually produced memories that may just survive the season. Dale Steyn bowling pure poison in four-over bursts, the pure bafflement caused by Sunil Narine, Ajinkya Rajane's clean strokeplay and Chris Gayle's fiercest statements of independence - this even before Bisla and Kallis snatched the trophy eastwards.

There was enough of the Twenty20 format's madness in there too. Even before the final week, as many as 22 - or 30% - of the total 72 matches ended in the last over. Not including the final, there were 18 last-over victories to batting teams, seven chases ending on the last ball - all, it must be said, in the batting side's favour.

The IPL's popularity in the global cricket village, due to its enormous financial rewards for two months' work, is well known. Its cricketing advantages are much advertised. Yet what underscored the league's sustainability after a dry run in 2011 was the crowds who turned up at every venue. Every franchise can now have ticket sales as a genuine source of income beyond the BCCI's media rights handouts - which will begin to shrink in size as the league gets older - and shirt sponsorships.

The idea of an evening's entertainment through cricket - eight matches over two months in a city near you - was bought into by a very wide Indian demographic. A media industry executive finds the IPL "more inclusive than going to a Test match". The league, she says, is Indian cricket's "baby pool" and its "shallow end" where "you can paddle around and be happy". The sight of casually dressed stars, with Nita Ambani "sitting in the stadium with the guy who has bought the cheapest ticket … that has something that connects with India".

The IPL has been given the healthiest signs of relevance and, with it, profitability by the cricketer and his fan. Now there is an opportunity for payback, for Indian cricket to give to its spectators what has been owed to them for decades: gratitude and appreciation at their presence, and the chance to make a trip to a high-profile match in India worth the trouble.

What remains to be calculated, though, is the earnings from television. The IPL's TV coverage matters, not because it is central to the IPL's cricket but because it is central to the IPL's financial success. In two of three parameters - ad rates and TV ratings - there have been dips, which the experts are calling "course correction". The ratings fell from 4.81 in 2008 to 3.27, when a count was done at 68 matches, in 2012. The surge in crowd figures at venues did not translate on to the TV screen, the 3.27 being down even from the 3.39 of 2011.

According to the Hindu Business Line, the ad rate that began at Rs 5 lakh (US$9000 approx) for a 10-second advert dropped by 25%, though Rohit Gupta of Set Max told the paper it had only dropped "5-10%". The parameter being most widely circulated is that of the cumulative reach of viewership - from around 102 million in 2008 to just under 160 million in 2012. It means more people are watching the IPL, but for shorter periods of time.

It could have something to do with the coverage. Unlike the standard of cricket, which may have risen over five seasons thanks to better-prepared players and smarter backroom moves, the quality of the pre-game show Extraaa Innings and the live match coverage has continued to nosedive.

Extraaa Innings is handled by the TV producers Set Max, a Sony network channel in India that normally airs Hindi movies. The match coverage is directly under the control of the organisers IMG, who in turn are watched by the BCCI, which controls the panel of presenters and commentators for the IPL. So if there are fingers to be pointed, they must point at both the parties involved. Sadly, the commentary and studio chatter undermined the high-quality camerawork - with Ultra Motion, Spider Cam and HD-TV, the game can come much closer to its audience.

In the IPL's fifth year, the wriggling between an old-fashioned, opaque, patriarchal organisation and its new 21st century revenue-generating 'property' remains evident and constant

Every game had commentary in English but the pre-game show lapsed frequently into Hindi - a new push that is believed to be the result of a massive survey conducted by Set Max, but most of it, it appears, in the part of India called "the Hindi heartland", which speaks the language of the soaps televised on Sony. Yet of the nine franchises, six come from outside that Hindi-speaking belt. Go figure.

The studio experts approved by the BCCI included Ajay Jadeja, whom it had banned for five years (overturned by the Delhi High Court in 2003) following the Madhavan Committee report on match-fixing, and perhaps the two loudest people on cricket television: Navjot Sidhu and Danny Morrison. It was as if Twenty20 in itself was declared not "entertaining'' enough unless the commentariat started shouting.

In the league's fifth season, this strategy ends up preaching to the converted: India loves Twenty20, breakaway leagues have flourished at state level blessed or cursed by regional cricket associations, the audience loves the party, can generate its own noise and will wave any flag given free. Ramping it up with stand-up comedy, film and TV promos, and cake-consuming crassness is overdoing it. The IPL's audience in India was given a great gift in some very tawdry packaging.

The IPL's defence has always been its money talk. So, if it is ready to buy into one set of figures, it is only fair that those figures hold over time. Brand Finance India, whose UK arm had valued the IPL at$4.13 billion in 2010, has now said the league is now worth $2.92b. Whatever the numbers may be, the consulting firm's conclusions tell another story: when judged on cricketing excellence, corporate governance, and marketing and commercial strategies, it was the second element that was considered the league's weakest link.

The very idea of the BCCI and "corporate governance" in the same sentence is ambitious. In the IPL's fifth year, the wriggling between an old-fashioned, opaque, patriarchal organisation and its new 21st century revenue-generating 'property' with nine high-profile investors/participants remains evident and constant. The scandals are the least of it.

An industry insider says the public response has been rather blasé because the general positioning of the IPL was of a "tamasha". So the sting operation, Shah Rukh Khan's bust-up, the Pomersbach saga, "all of this kind of stuff just adds to the tamasha. People see it, they accept it. The scandal is going on in society, not in the IPL. I don't think people are shocked, for them it's another tamasha." Tamasha translates as 'a grand show, performance, representation, entertainment'.

On Sunday, Anil Kumble was heard saying on television that the credibility of the IPL would rest on "more discussion about off-field issues". In his mind, young domestic cricketers needed tending in how to cope with two months in the blinding spotlight. Given that the IPL's sporting quotient is expected to be authentic, the tamasha could become par for the course. Of the entire set of scandals that erupted in the space of a week, the sting operation that was centred around spot-fixing and black-money transactions required the most attention; the rest - SRK v MCA, Pomersbach and the rave party raid - were reflective of a culture of high-earning, high-spending celebrity entitlement now commonly found in Indian public life.

In its fifth season, the IPL is a creature of multiple personalities: to start with, the Indian board's own definition of it as a "BCCI sub-committee". Which to the public eye is actually a cricket event. Which to its lucrative media vehicles means a summer entertainment show on TV. In 2012, the cricket event showed itself off in the glittering lights. The other two need some personal reinvention - much like the Kolkata Knight Riders required before they eventually won the IPL.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TheOnlyEmperor on May 31, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Water finds its own level. ICC must prioritize Tests, ODIs and T20s in that order given the fact that every country is likely to have their own T20 leagues in the future. In fact ICC NEEDS to have a WC for T20s and ODIs every 2 years, that way there's always be a WC every year to keep the cricket fan's adrenalin flowing. IPL is good for cricket, 'cos it keep the audience base from drifting to other sports. Sport itself competes for attention and time with the movies and the internet (social media). IPL has managed to make inroads and blend people occupied in these other zones into cricket and we must all be grateful for it. If Tests survive a 100yrs from now it would be 'cos IPL protected cricket! People fail to understand, that IPL's core audience base are the cricket fans and it is THEIR excitement that draws the others to the game. It doesn't matter if the OTHERS don't fully understand the nuances of the game, as long as they bring in the money! Eventually, they'll all learn.

  • jay57870 on May 30, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    Yes, it's become fashionable to bash BCCI. In his famous Bradman Oration, Rahul Dravid stressed that the "cliched image" of money & power in Indian cricket is a misconception. He said BCCI has "spread revenues" to all corners of the nation. It's primarily due to IPL-generated revenues. Rahul also expressed concern about empty stands. That was clearly not the case in IPL 5. Most noteworthy is BCCI's noble gesture (which Sharda ignores) in awarding monetary benefits of Rs 70 crores to former Indian Test/ODI players! These funds came from IPL 5 profits! In fact, the multiplier effect in the economy is felt not only in franchisee locations (hotels, transport, food, etc) but also in distant Hindi-speaking places like Meerut & Jalandhar - sources of many indigenous sports goods manufacturers. Franchisee locations aside, it's also about the target audience of remote viewers on TV, Internet & mobiles. As Rahul said: "The Indian cricket team is in fact, India itself, in microcosm"! IPL too!!

  • jay57870 on May 30, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Sharda - Accept the new reality: The TV show is an amazing spectacle. Cricket is no longer stodgy or mired in the inner sanctums of elitist clubs. The enhanced coverage - with close-up, multi-angled & instant-replay shots - is superb. The broadcasts are livelier, the cross-cultural banter spirited, in sync with all the exciting on-field action. You may not like their style, but the international cricket experts - Morrison, Moody & Co alongside Gavaskar, Shastri & Co - lend a nuanced meaning to the "running commentary". Even the "Extraaa" show has bright spots: How come Sharda ignores the sublime balancing roles played by Isa Guha (expert) & Shibani Dandekar (co-host alongside Vijaya) with their unique "pardesi-desi" approach? Go figure. Most important, the main show on the field is outstanding. Overall IPL 5, by most measures, has achieved high customer satisfaction & product acceptance. The organizers (BCCI, IMG & Co) must be doing a whole lot of things right. Right, Sharda? (TBC)

  • SuperSharky on May 30, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Sadly IPL success will be measured by profits in money rather than quality of cricket. But IPL is a 7 week spectacular cricket festival, with games of 3 and a half hours of action, girls, music and festive moods, specially designed for tv. Out of the 52 weeks a year, I feel that the 7 weeks cricket festival, once a year, is the perfect balance for me. Just as much as I like Test cricket and ODI's, this 7 week festival of cheerleading girls, slogging and wickets, and cricket madness are just as important to my balance. Well done IPL. See you next year.

  • Tigg on May 30, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    The trouble is, while the standard of cricket may be on the up, it is still relatively poor. With a few exceptions (De Villiers, Kallis, Ghambir) the batting is still wild slogging (look at Gayle, he has a tremendous eye and massive strength but rarely plays a pleasing to the eye crciket stroke). Likewise the bowlers continually gift full tosses and half trackers at the death. Worst of all is the fielding. sur ethere are some stellar catches but there are also some incredible drops and basic misfields.

  • SuperSharky on May 30, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    This was the highest class competitive balanced IPL season so far. And my favorite. I love all the IPL's and felt the adrenaline when Shane Warne and the Rajasthan Royals won their first IPL in 2008. The second IPL in South Africa was also special with memorabile performances. And it felt great when the third IPL went back home. The fourth one was interesting and a bit dull. This IPL had up a degree of tricky difficulty, and as a fan of bowling, I love the fact that there were more low and slow scoring matches. For me it is more interesting when the bowler also have a bit of a chance to shine in 20/20 matches. And as an experienced old fan of cricket (long before the 20/20 games), I am sure most of the old real cricket fans will agree on this one, it is that the ultimate test in cricket is Test cricket. Therefore I had to watch the Test Series between Eng vs WI which was also brilliant to watch. But don't get me wrong, I've followed most of the IPL live and on the highlites channel.

  • on May 30, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @ElBeeDubya Quality of your post along with your cricketing knowledge are VERY POOR. Sorry, but 70% of the matches were played on sporting pitches favouring bowlers and were LOW SCORING BELOW 150 OR EVEN 140 . which trundlers did you see in that cricinfo xi? kALLIS IS THE SLOWEST THERE. you are calling likes of Gayle,duplesis, gambhir one dimensional sloggers?

  • Nizam1949 on May 30, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    "Tamasha" commentary on Extraa Innings only go to take the soul out of Cricket in IPL, - one possible reason for the TV ratings nose diving. TV viewers want to watch the play on the field of cricket and the multiple camera-angle coverage of the shades and nuances of the game that technology has made it possible today. They also want to see the principal actors on the field and the interplay of their emotions and reactions on what is happening OUT THERE, and NOT side-actors sitting it out in TV studios.

    One little gesture from Billy Bowden out there in the field speaks volumes much greater than 100,000 words from Sidhu or Jadeja or 10,000 stage-managed gesticulations from Sidhu. One camera panning the crowd and showing crowd reactions and moods adds more spice to the game and makes it a movable feast than hours of "Pundits" of the game delivering drab and boring diatribes. THE CAMERA KAMIKAZE shall possibly fetch IPL more TV viewers than all the "Experts" commentary in the studio.

  • on May 29, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Mark Fuller - i care .. ipl fans care ..!!!

  • Ashu_CricketFan on May 29, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: "Nohit" Sharma... ROTFL :)

  • TheOnlyEmperor on May 31, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Water finds its own level. ICC must prioritize Tests, ODIs and T20s in that order given the fact that every country is likely to have their own T20 leagues in the future. In fact ICC NEEDS to have a WC for T20s and ODIs every 2 years, that way there's always be a WC every year to keep the cricket fan's adrenalin flowing. IPL is good for cricket, 'cos it keep the audience base from drifting to other sports. Sport itself competes for attention and time with the movies and the internet (social media). IPL has managed to make inroads and blend people occupied in these other zones into cricket and we must all be grateful for it. If Tests survive a 100yrs from now it would be 'cos IPL protected cricket! People fail to understand, that IPL's core audience base are the cricket fans and it is THEIR excitement that draws the others to the game. It doesn't matter if the OTHERS don't fully understand the nuances of the game, as long as they bring in the money! Eventually, they'll all learn.

  • jay57870 on May 30, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    Yes, it's become fashionable to bash BCCI. In his famous Bradman Oration, Rahul Dravid stressed that the "cliched image" of money & power in Indian cricket is a misconception. He said BCCI has "spread revenues" to all corners of the nation. It's primarily due to IPL-generated revenues. Rahul also expressed concern about empty stands. That was clearly not the case in IPL 5. Most noteworthy is BCCI's noble gesture (which Sharda ignores) in awarding monetary benefits of Rs 70 crores to former Indian Test/ODI players! These funds came from IPL 5 profits! In fact, the multiplier effect in the economy is felt not only in franchisee locations (hotels, transport, food, etc) but also in distant Hindi-speaking places like Meerut & Jalandhar - sources of many indigenous sports goods manufacturers. Franchisee locations aside, it's also about the target audience of remote viewers on TV, Internet & mobiles. As Rahul said: "The Indian cricket team is in fact, India itself, in microcosm"! IPL too!!

  • jay57870 on May 30, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Sharda - Accept the new reality: The TV show is an amazing spectacle. Cricket is no longer stodgy or mired in the inner sanctums of elitist clubs. The enhanced coverage - with close-up, multi-angled & instant-replay shots - is superb. The broadcasts are livelier, the cross-cultural banter spirited, in sync with all the exciting on-field action. You may not like their style, but the international cricket experts - Morrison, Moody & Co alongside Gavaskar, Shastri & Co - lend a nuanced meaning to the "running commentary". Even the "Extraaa" show has bright spots: How come Sharda ignores the sublime balancing roles played by Isa Guha (expert) & Shibani Dandekar (co-host alongside Vijaya) with their unique "pardesi-desi" approach? Go figure. Most important, the main show on the field is outstanding. Overall IPL 5, by most measures, has achieved high customer satisfaction & product acceptance. The organizers (BCCI, IMG & Co) must be doing a whole lot of things right. Right, Sharda? (TBC)

  • SuperSharky on May 30, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Sadly IPL success will be measured by profits in money rather than quality of cricket. But IPL is a 7 week spectacular cricket festival, with games of 3 and a half hours of action, girls, music and festive moods, specially designed for tv. Out of the 52 weeks a year, I feel that the 7 weeks cricket festival, once a year, is the perfect balance for me. Just as much as I like Test cricket and ODI's, this 7 week festival of cheerleading girls, slogging and wickets, and cricket madness are just as important to my balance. Well done IPL. See you next year.

  • Tigg on May 30, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    The trouble is, while the standard of cricket may be on the up, it is still relatively poor. With a few exceptions (De Villiers, Kallis, Ghambir) the batting is still wild slogging (look at Gayle, he has a tremendous eye and massive strength but rarely plays a pleasing to the eye crciket stroke). Likewise the bowlers continually gift full tosses and half trackers at the death. Worst of all is the fielding. sur ethere are some stellar catches but there are also some incredible drops and basic misfields.

  • SuperSharky on May 30, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    This was the highest class competitive balanced IPL season so far. And my favorite. I love all the IPL's and felt the adrenaline when Shane Warne and the Rajasthan Royals won their first IPL in 2008. The second IPL in South Africa was also special with memorabile performances. And it felt great when the third IPL went back home. The fourth one was interesting and a bit dull. This IPL had up a degree of tricky difficulty, and as a fan of bowling, I love the fact that there were more low and slow scoring matches. For me it is more interesting when the bowler also have a bit of a chance to shine in 20/20 matches. And as an experienced old fan of cricket (long before the 20/20 games), I am sure most of the old real cricket fans will agree on this one, it is that the ultimate test in cricket is Test cricket. Therefore I had to watch the Test Series between Eng vs WI which was also brilliant to watch. But don't get me wrong, I've followed most of the IPL live and on the highlites channel.

  • on May 30, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @ElBeeDubya Quality of your post along with your cricketing knowledge are VERY POOR. Sorry, but 70% of the matches were played on sporting pitches favouring bowlers and were LOW SCORING BELOW 150 OR EVEN 140 . which trundlers did you see in that cricinfo xi? kALLIS IS THE SLOWEST THERE. you are calling likes of Gayle,duplesis, gambhir one dimensional sloggers?

  • Nizam1949 on May 30, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    "Tamasha" commentary on Extraa Innings only go to take the soul out of Cricket in IPL, - one possible reason for the TV ratings nose diving. TV viewers want to watch the play on the field of cricket and the multiple camera-angle coverage of the shades and nuances of the game that technology has made it possible today. They also want to see the principal actors on the field and the interplay of their emotions and reactions on what is happening OUT THERE, and NOT side-actors sitting it out in TV studios.

    One little gesture from Billy Bowden out there in the field speaks volumes much greater than 100,000 words from Sidhu or Jadeja or 10,000 stage-managed gesticulations from Sidhu. One camera panning the crowd and showing crowd reactions and moods adds more spice to the game and makes it a movable feast than hours of "Pundits" of the game delivering drab and boring diatribes. THE CAMERA KAMIKAZE shall possibly fetch IPL more TV viewers than all the "Experts" commentary in the studio.

  • on May 29, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Mark Fuller - i care .. ipl fans care ..!!!

  • Ashu_CricketFan on May 29, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: "Nohit" Sharma... ROTFL :)

  • on May 29, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    This IPL season was the best ever and i have watched previous four seasons and almost ever match and i find its getting better each year...i know its not only cricket but thats how india is as a country ..its all about entertainment ...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 29, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Raina and Nohit Sharma (aka Rohit Sharma) should be dropped in favour of Rahane and Dhawan. Jadeja should be sent to domestics sooner than later. Gambhir should be the Captain and Bisla our wicket keeper. Now that's a classy and proper team.

  • vij69 on May 29, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    I Couldn't agree with you more, the broadcast andcommentary at the IPL really sucks. The game should be te winner not the party. The nincompoops that are the host odf the event on Max are pitiable. If they focus on cricket the nex time around IPl wil be better off.

  • ElBeeDubya on May 29, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Ugra writes about Nita Ambani "sitting in the stadium with the guy who has bought the cheapest ticket". I hope that the Indian audience are sophisticated enough to realize that Nita Ambani (or Shah Rukh Khan) is not literally sitting next to the guy who bought the cheapest ticket and, more importantly, why. Sports can bring about catharsis but let's hope it s not a harbinger of TV manufactured faux economic equality.

  • ElBeeDubya on May 29, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    Close games do NOT mean quality cricket. With the exception of a few individuals, the overall quality has been poor. Look at the Cricinfo XI picked as the best of the tournament or just look at the parade of TRUNDLERS and spinners who couldn't TURN the ball who were getting hammered by mostly ONE DIMENSIONAL SLOGGERS, if you want some proof. In spite of the wishful thinking of some fans, internet viewership could only make a small dent in the TV ratings. IPL needs quality players (INCREASE the foreign player quota, invite PAKISTANI players), sporting PITCHES, decent SIZED grounds (so that not every edge flies for six) and a SHORTER tournament. Clueless cheerleaders with fake enthusiasm are TACKY and the same can be said about the insufferable cheerleading of Ravi Shastri and Danny Morrison.

  • on May 29, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    maybe if some networks who paid for the rights televised it the rating may be more. In Australia we were not able to see a single game including the finals. Dont sell the rights to channel 10 in Australia sell it to foxtel they will at least put it on and get some revenue back from their investment. Channel 10 should be sued by Australian audience for doing this shameful act

  • on May 29, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    I thoroughly enjoyed IPL#5. Our Caribbean cricketers all performed admirably, and it was great assessing the potential of the local lads. From across the oceans we were not concerned about the peripheral performances off the field, we just appreciated the cricket, lovely cricket!! Can you just imagine Trinidad's Champion League chances if Bravo, Cooper, Narine and Pollard are included?

  • on May 29, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    IPL... Who won it... who cares.

  • Nutcutlet on May 29, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    The test of whether IPL has 'earned its cricket cred' with the conclusion of #5 cannot be assessed at this stage. IPL is an Indian domestic beanfeast with sprinkling of international stars - some at their brightest, some distinctly on the wane, if not entirely extinguished. But the vast majority of the players were Indian - so after this marathon honing of T20 skills, we can therefore expect India to win the World T20 in SriLanka in a few months' time, can we? That, more than any assertion by Sharda Ugra, would be the proof of the pudding. I am also concerned by the nefarious & unlimited opportunities such tournamants allow the illegal betting industry. Just because no one wants, or can be bothered, to look under the carpet doesn't mean that there isn't a colony of cockroaches running about there. Pardon me for thinking that there is not the slightest whiff of insecticide in the whole IPL set up. Squeaky clean was it? Who wants to know? Who cares? The money's being counted now!

  • Beazle on May 29, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    No one will remember a single thing about this silly competition in 3 months time. And thatts the problem- it cannot build legends.

  • ooper_cut on May 29, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Please get some fresh faces in the comm box. Very very tiring to listen to Shastri, Gavaskar, Bhogle etc.

  • Adeel9 on May 29, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    This year's IPL was superb and arguably the best. The only low point was "extra innings" which is hitting new lows each year.

  • shantiratnamaj on May 29, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    saw Chief Selector Srikanth in CSK matches - i hope he found the time to see all teams play atleast once "LIVE" otherwise it will just be CSK INDIA Team. If he did watch the matched then he won't give a free ride for Raina, Jadeja, Ashwin, Badrinath in the Indian Team.

  • krazzyking on May 29, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    @reuster

    "How was a world t20 world cup winner in Eoin Morgan not given a game"

    noticed that KKR won? :D although in another context i agree with you. Tamim Iqbal should have been given a game, he would have been a much better batsman than Ganguly in T20. Not saying that ganguly is useless... but he simply isnt made for T20 a la VVS

  • satish619chandar on May 29, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    It was a good IPL for players, organisers as well as fans.. It did evoke interest in people which was absent last year.. Due to increase in internet viewership, there was a reduction in TV ratings but still, it is well above the other forms of games as well as other programs in tv.. People these days dont watch tv that much.. As a matter of fact, some youngsters like Rahane, Mandy, Awana, Dhawan got into frame this IPL and got noticed very well.. but t shouldn't be a platform for their selection - which we all were saying till now.. Let them come into domestic tournaments with good frame of mind and with more skills and prove there to merit their selection into the team.. IPL should always be factor but and not a key factor in selection..

  • on May 29, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    Can anyone write about the IPL without the mention of money in the first paragraph? To me, 70 odd games is just to much. It becomes predictable after about 30 or so. It has the same appeal as the English FA Cup these days in regards to who can remember who won last years competition and who really cares!!!

  • natmastak_so-called on May 29, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    IPL5 was great ,wish only broadcasters looked at it as a cricketing event. @RK204 ; thanks for the entertainment .

  • venkatesh018 on May 29, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Close contests-Yes. High quality cricket-definitely not. Most of the stars of this IPL will struggle mightily in international cricket(that is if they find a place in it).

  • anver777 on May 29, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    We witnessed so many thrilling & close finishes in this year's IPL league..... & fittingly a memorable finale as well !!!! So overall as a cricket fan i believe this year's IPL was great & wish they will continue this good work in future editions too...... GOOD LUCK !!!!

  • Romenevans on May 29, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    Quality of cricket have become better? LOL did you guys see how Deccan Charger fielded the whole season?

  • harsha_chu on May 29, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Sharda, How many times do you miss the point? This time, a large number of people watched IPL online.. I stay in Bangalore and never watched any match on TV except the final. I know many folks who did the same. Enough of the IPL bashing. Let us just realize that every league has its following.

  • ruester on May 29, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    Would people please stop saying that the quality of cricket was great! There where some highlights no doubt but the games I saw in general the bowling and fielding was sloppy. I remember some great innings from gayle, KP and Warner but in general is was pretty poor stuff. Quality would increase if the Pakistani and England players could play more. How was a world t20 world cup winner in Eoin Morgan not given a game? Ridiculous. Why do we have to watch mediocre aussies and past in ex internationals play. Ganguly and Gilchrist to name but two. the competition really needs to get rid of these has been players.

  • on May 29, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    ya gud tourney gave some nail biting moments bt wil it get any better for indian team ? wil a pace bowler ahana aaron get a chance in team ? wil rahane saini make it to team ? guess its a no if u think tht part of cricket ipl is just money n entertainment no gud for indian team !! its really sad

  • Simoc on May 29, 2012, 0:45 GMT

    Poor old Andy doesn't know cricket to well. A six in T20 is worth the same as a six in a test match. It has more value in T20 because the scores are generally lower and with less balls bowled the more runs per ball the better. However I wouldn't expect an Englishman to understand that. The IPL hopefully will continue to be the cricket world equivalent of the English Premiership League of football. The best quality players playing the most entertaining form of the game for the majority of people. The other countries have missed the boat but will be paddling hard in future to make some inroads.

  • Jarr30 on May 28, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    By far the best IPL season so far. I must say that IPL 1 & IPL 3 were also memorable. I am NOT a KKR or Shahruk fan but am happy for G.Gambhir as he led his team well.

  • ChikaCasey on May 28, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    IPL 5 was good because international and domestic Indian players brought their A-games, played hard and with great spirit. As long as that keeps happening, there's no reason why the IPL or for that matter T20 cricket keeps growing in popularity. The crass entertainment carried over from previous editions will gradually wean off as the cricket gets more serious. All this augurs well for unlocking the immense potential of T20 Cricket. T20 cricket is a much more balanced game than Test or One day cricket with a level playing field, where pitch and home advantage do not play as big a role. And it seems that players are knowingly or unknowingly embracing it. Getting better at it, and playing it with more heart!

  • on May 28, 2012, 22:57 GMT

    I was very much impressed with the way IPL season 5 was executed. We got a Good Bunch of Youngsters like Parwinder Awana,Manvinder Bisla,Ajinkya Rahane, and yeah Mandeep Singh , Shikhar Dhawan had great seasons although their respective IPL teams were not qualified for Playoffs. Rohit Sharma, Raina, Badrinath were impressive. Good to see Sachin Batting in T20s and yeah MSD's form is back along with his LUCK and Helicopter SHOT. It will be great to witness the present Indian T20 Team in September 2012 in Srilanka for the ICC World Cup. Talking about Commentators and Extra Innings T20, Its More than expected. No need to Fire anybody. Just they need some Improvisation, which they will hopefully do in the 6th edition of IPL. Danny morrison, Ravi Shastri, Pommie Mbangwa, Ramiz Raja, Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar, and everyone were AWESOME. All Credit goes to KKR and Gauti. the way they Played , they truly deserved the CHAMPIONSHIP. Inshallah IPL6 will be more fun. ALLtheBesttoallTEAMS

  • on May 28, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    IPL is a Great Entertainer for Indians worldwide who love Cricket and it provides a chance to two to three hundred youngsters to make some money and shine in IPL Cricket arena. People who are critics should realize that earlier before IPL only few 13-14 players were given a chance to play Test Cricket and One days. For a country like India where 1.2 Billion people live that number is too low and its a fair deal with IPL to many youngsters who passion for cricket and in India for vieweres also we watch only one game and that is cricket and not 3 games like in the US where NBA, NFA AND BASEBALL ARE given equal importance. Earlier in the last 15 years People are fed up with the same old names in Test Cricket and One days in the form of Tendulkar, Ganguly, Rahu Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag.

  • 512fm on May 28, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    Who said the quality of cricket has gotten any better? As a non-indian its the poor quality of the cricket that turns me off from watching it

  • SanjivAwesome on May 28, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    I enjoyed the IPL. Its Cricket quality was great. A nice all-round experience for me and my kids.

  • J._Doe on May 28, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    Ten years from this IPL, you may see an emerging player of the class of Stein, Murali or Tendulkar. I am sure that there is a 5 to 10 year old out there who has been so inspired by exposure to the best talents of today!

  • Rising_Edge1234 on May 28, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    The league stage is too long. One game against each other is enough, not two. On another note, all these leagues that are springing up spell detriment to international cricket.

  • on May 28, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    @Leggie. Splendid comments there, ones I endorse wholeheartedly. Dimi Mascarenhas spoke today about England needing its own IPL. I'm not surprised he's behind the concept. Getting large sums of cash for four games this IPL campaign must be great, especially when you're not really international class.

    I freely admit that the IPL bores the tail off of me. Sixes hit there are as meaningless as tries in a rugby sevens tournament.

  • on May 28, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    "seven chases ending on the last ball - all, it must be said, in the batting side's favour". Did you forget the Delhi vs Rajasthan game, where Rahane missed the last ball needing 1 to tie and 2 to win?

  • the_wallster on May 28, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    While the matches have undoubtedly been at the very high-end of drama; pretty much 75% of the matches going into the last two overs, I don't think anyone can seriously say that the quality is in the same league. You cannot have a top -end product without top-end quality. When the reigning t20 world champions have two players from their team in the competition, and not one single Pakistani in the competition, you can only question the quality. Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Eoin Morgan, Graeme Swann and Jos Buttler not appearing in the competition among others is a joke. Yet embarassments like Dan Christian and Clint McKay get paid bucket loads. I fine product; the IPL, but a long way to go before its potential quality can be realised.

  • sankris on May 28, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    The matches and the quality of cricket was mostly of a higher class than the previous seasons. But the TV packaging was pathetic.

    A few steps in the right direction will save the TV audience from the junk that was dished out in terms of commentary and entertainment around the matches...

    1. Fire Ravi Shastri, Danny Morrison and other bozos who are good for nothing! 2. Ask Sidhu to reduce his volume 3. Bring in some thinkers who can present their thoughts in an entertaining fashion... (Past cricketers mostly suck at this... Most of them can't think, as is evident from India's past record before the likes of Ganguly came in) 4. Don't mix movies in the commentary box. 5. Even a reasonably entertaining host like Gaurav Kapur can only do so much if you try to mix movie adverts with cricket commentary. Keep the focus on cricket. 6. Bring in quizzes or other things that can involve the audience a lot more.

  • Leggie on May 28, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    I get a feeling that with IPL-5 being finally over, the 8-0 defeat in England/Australia is conveniently forgotten. I suspect that there would be no further introspection and India will continue to march ahead with the thoughts that we have the best cricketing setup. If the success of this tournament is to be truly measured from an Indian perspective, it can *only* be measured by the number of successful cricketers that IPL brings in when players represent India, and how successful they are representing India. A tournament that does not unearth talent should be deemed to be a failure. By the same yardstick, I would conclude that IPL-4 was an utter failure in that none of the talent that came to the fore-front became successful in the last one year playing for India. I will request Sharda to come back on this point before the next edition of IPL.

  • MAKMCA on May 28, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    This year IPL is Better than the previous edition bcos of the quality of the cricket , But i really do wonder what those pupils r doing in Extra innnings they hardly speak about cricket except for the toss, Hope some sense will prevail next season and they dont bring the so called Bollywod Stars, Con artists , Cheer leaders and music madness and atleast focus on Cricket .......... Extra innings is nothing But a B grade movie with only glamour???????????

  • on May 28, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    next ipl telecast on sony six

  • Trevor_G on May 28, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    As a South African living in the San Francisco Bay area, I am also a resident of the global cricket village. In the past, I was not a big fan of the IPL. However, I really enjoyed this IPL, and was thankfully immune to any off-the-field dramas.

  • on May 28, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @ muski on (May 28 2012, 15:05 PM GMT) You are right! Unless facilities really reflect value for money the spectators at the stadiums will feel short changed.

  • suchilotus on May 28, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    Throw Ashwin out of the Indian Team and bring back Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha immediately. That is the only mantra forIndia to win abroad too. Ashwin is just a small kid before the latter two and should start playing gully cricket first than talking rubbish with the press when he was in Australia.

  • on May 28, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    Well Sharda, I had no doubts that you wouldn't be up in arms with regards to length of such a tournament. The IPL as a concept is great for cricket but everything has to be in moderation. I have no time for a tournament that devalue international cricket - the pinnacle of the sport. However, this is not just the IPL's fault. The ICC's inaction vis a vis a window in the sports schedule is nothing short of scandalous. It strikes me of bad management and vested interests. I thoroughly enjoyed the IPL this year - magnificent crowds, excellent finishes and world class players mingling with each other and getting paid well, deservedly so. My concern for test cricket and international cricket as a whole however, means that I am not wholeheartedly in favour of the IPL. Moreover, Sharda, as a journalist with a wide audience, it is your responsibility to push for the safeguarding of the game in the long term. Note though, that I am not blaming you.

  • suchilotus on May 28, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    The Beast CSK is out and the beautiful KKR are the real kings. CSK just has forcibly a King added to its name, whereas they are nothing buy pussy cats, the Knights on the other hand where the real hereos who shone their way to glory.

  • Smithie on May 28, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    The real cricket cred for Srinivasan is how he handles the post IPL reality dealing with England and Australia at home before IPL 6. Will he take the easy way and instruct the production of rank turning dustbowls or will he pressurise Fletcher to produce some serious improvement in Indian skill sets (which include pitch preparation that provide long term development potential). A good statement of intent would be to agree full DRS for both series - a help to Ashwin (the future) and not to SRT (the past). Which way will the big boss go ?

  • jaysalpatel on May 28, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    Glad to see someone flagging Danny Morrison's commentary. It's as if he's never watched a game of cricket before and is excited by the big hits and colourful kits. He consistently fails to add anything, and his adherence to the sponsors' guidelines by saying 'DLF maximums' every 5 minutes never fails to make me want to punch the TV very hard indeed.

  • JimDavis on May 28, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    The best thing about IPL5 is that now KKR have finally managed to pick a quality side and have gone on to win, we don't need to hold another all in auction.

  • on May 28, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    Its Ms. Ugra by the way! And Sure it was the best IPL. could have been better without the bollywood antics... SRK in particular....

  • DC75 on May 28, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    The extraa innings was not too bad, for the first time I found that the commentators enjoying themselves and in turn providing some great moments. I really enjoyed IPL5 broadcast (of course I watched on Sony MAX HD - which did not have ads :-)).

  • Rahulbose on May 28, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Its amazing how little of your season review talks about cricket. Just shows IPL is not about sport but TV ratings and moolah.

  • on May 28, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    What a fabulous climax indeed, Sharda! As someone who doesn't know his Knight Riders from his Chargers, it flung almost all my reservations out of the window. All we need now is for Danny Morrison to remind himself, every now and again, that commentating on the game's shortest form should be like being the MC at a Springsteen gig, not a Justin Bieber video shoot.

  • harshthakor on May 28, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Arguably the best I.P.L.ever.We have had 10 matches finishing on the last ball and over half the games in the final over.Teams have won several games particularly from the brink of defeat,particularly in run chases.What was remarkable is that mammoth scores were chased but small totals were also defended.The ebb and flow continuously swayed in opposite directions in most matches.

  • on May 28, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Good article with no cricketers mentioned instead of Pomersb.....

  • on May 28, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Oh no ; don't be too haste Mr Ugra ... IPL is still not something that can be watched in the living room . Please remove Bollywood and all the gaudiness ; and bring the gentleman nature in it ... cricket will still be nice .

  • on May 28, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Whatever good or bad happen off the field, but on the field, IPL V was rocking from ball one to the last one bowled by CSK. The brand IPL fulfilled the excitement of cricket and as a viewer, we loved watching the cricket more than any off field stunt and the is the beauty of Sports. Next few days is going to be tough as we are used to 8 PM to 11 PM entertainment.

  • rofl on May 28, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    this year's IPL cricket was exciting. but the extra innings was almost intolerable..and when they brought in some folks to sell their movies i turned the tv off untill the game started!

  • RK204 on May 28, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..

  • Muhtasim13 on May 28, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    Firstly, I agree that Extra Innings was really quite overdone and tedious. A T20 cricket game is just as exciting as a football/basketball game. However, over the years I've never seen any football/basketball pre-game show which was as crass as Extra Innings. I really don't think a band & cheerleaders are needed in a pre-game show. Secondly, IPL has to continue for its quality of cricket, not for the stardom of its supporters or the off-field drama. 10 years from now, people won't be cheering as loudly for SRK, but if the quality of cricket is still good, they would surely be cheering for KKR. In the NBA, its quite common to see 1 or 2 celebs in each game, but they are there just as spectators, not as the highlight of the show. The IPL has to take the same turn at some point. Best of Luck for IPL 5 and onwards

  • muski on May 28, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Yeah Sharda-I was reflecting on your point of the franchices licking their lips on the increased collection. I live in Bangalore and had been to the RCB Mumbai Indians match with a buch of kids paying 1100 per ticket. With Kumble and Srinath at the helm of affairs at KSCA, the facilities were really poor. The seats are not numbered and its a free for all trying to get to the seats. It required an herculean effort to take the kids to the toilet and back to the seats. We time and again prove that we indeed are a third world country when providing amenities. Hope these 2 gentlemen will get it right the next year

  • landsite on May 28, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    I feel that 2013 will even be bigger when some of the top Pakistani cricketers are included,they are probably the most exciting cricketers to watch.They seem to pluck players out of an everlasting stream of free flowing talent.I cant wait for 2013 IPL but before the 2013 IPL there is the ICL and my little Trinidad will be there with a team that may well win the ICL this time.No one can forget how close we came in 2010 and had it not been for bad captaincy we orobably would have won 2011.Our players are now well aquainted with India,Pollard,Bravo1,Bravo2,Narine,Badree,Ramdhin,Barath,Simmons,Perkins, Ganga2,Emrith,Stewart,I am sure there will be a new face or 2.

  • shathir218 on May 28, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    In its fifth season, the IPL is a creature of multiple personalities: to start with, the Indian board's own definition of it as a "BCCI sub-committee". Which to the public eye is actually a cricket event. Which to its lucrative media vehicles means a summer entertainment show on TV. In 2012, the cricket event showed itself off in the glittering lights. The other two need some personal reinvention - much like the Kolkata Knight Riders required before they eventually won the IPL.

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  • shathir218 on May 28, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    In its fifth season, the IPL is a creature of multiple personalities: to start with, the Indian board's own definition of it as a "BCCI sub-committee". Which to the public eye is actually a cricket event. Which to its lucrative media vehicles means a summer entertainment show on TV. In 2012, the cricket event showed itself off in the glittering lights. The other two need some personal reinvention - much like the Kolkata Knight Riders required before they eventually won the IPL.

  • landsite on May 28, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    I feel that 2013 will even be bigger when some of the top Pakistani cricketers are included,they are probably the most exciting cricketers to watch.They seem to pluck players out of an everlasting stream of free flowing talent.I cant wait for 2013 IPL but before the 2013 IPL there is the ICL and my little Trinidad will be there with a team that may well win the ICL this time.No one can forget how close we came in 2010 and had it not been for bad captaincy we orobably would have won 2011.Our players are now well aquainted with India,Pollard,Bravo1,Bravo2,Narine,Badree,Ramdhin,Barath,Simmons,Perkins, Ganga2,Emrith,Stewart,I am sure there will be a new face or 2.

  • muski on May 28, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Yeah Sharda-I was reflecting on your point of the franchices licking their lips on the increased collection. I live in Bangalore and had been to the RCB Mumbai Indians match with a buch of kids paying 1100 per ticket. With Kumble and Srinath at the helm of affairs at KSCA, the facilities were really poor. The seats are not numbered and its a free for all trying to get to the seats. It required an herculean effort to take the kids to the toilet and back to the seats. We time and again prove that we indeed are a third world country when providing amenities. Hope these 2 gentlemen will get it right the next year

  • Muhtasim13 on May 28, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    Firstly, I agree that Extra Innings was really quite overdone and tedious. A T20 cricket game is just as exciting as a football/basketball game. However, over the years I've never seen any football/basketball pre-game show which was as crass as Extra Innings. I really don't think a band & cheerleaders are needed in a pre-game show. Secondly, IPL has to continue for its quality of cricket, not for the stardom of its supporters or the off-field drama. 10 years from now, people won't be cheering as loudly for SRK, but if the quality of cricket is still good, they would surely be cheering for KKR. In the NBA, its quite common to see 1 or 2 celebs in each game, but they are there just as spectators, not as the highlight of the show. The IPL has to take the same turn at some point. Best of Luck for IPL 5 and onwards

  • RK204 on May 28, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..SAKIB al HASAN..

  • rofl on May 28, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    this year's IPL cricket was exciting. but the extra innings was almost intolerable..and when they brought in some folks to sell their movies i turned the tv off untill the game started!

  • on May 28, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Whatever good or bad happen off the field, but on the field, IPL V was rocking from ball one to the last one bowled by CSK. The brand IPL fulfilled the excitement of cricket and as a viewer, we loved watching the cricket more than any off field stunt and the is the beauty of Sports. Next few days is going to be tough as we are used to 8 PM to 11 PM entertainment.

  • on May 28, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Oh no ; don't be too haste Mr Ugra ... IPL is still not something that can be watched in the living room . Please remove Bollywood and all the gaudiness ; and bring the gentleman nature in it ... cricket will still be nice .

  • on May 28, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Good article with no cricketers mentioned instead of Pomersb.....

  • harshthakor on May 28, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Arguably the best I.P.L.ever.We have had 10 matches finishing on the last ball and over half the games in the final over.Teams have won several games particularly from the brink of defeat,particularly in run chases.What was remarkable is that mammoth scores were chased but small totals were also defended.The ebb and flow continuously swayed in opposite directions in most matches.