May 30, 2011

Moving season for the IPL

This year's event has highlighted flaws in the system, and raises the question: has a tipping point been reached?
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Since its inception, the IPL has never been sold or bought in half-measures. Its approach has always been full-throttle, top-volume. Appropriately, then, an assessment of season four must avoid waffling around the half-empty or half-full. Is 2011 to be remembered for the fireworks on the final night at the Yellow Sea of Chepauk? Or the acreage of empty stands at the Wankhede three nights in a row, representative of the general spectator turnout of six weeks? The dazzle of Chris Gayle? Or the Shane Warne-Sanjay Dixit skirmish? Or even more, the dramatic drop in TV ratings from last season? Or should it be the clues sent out to the world by the BCCI and Indian players over next month's tour of the West Indies?

Regardless of what its own "stakeholders" choose as the flavour of their season - sagacity or smugness - 2011 will be regarded as the IPL's "Moving Season". If "moving day" in cricket and golf are about momentum swings and the emergence of contenders, IPL's Moving Season will dictate the future course of the event.

They can, of course, opt for the old "if it ain't broke...", and there's much about the IPL that ain't broke. It still remains cricket's golden goose, with generous salary packets for over 200 overseas and Indian players. The IPL's largest financial deals, starting with franchise ownerships and TV revenues, are tied in for another six years. It features the involvement of some of India's largest corporate houses, men and women with deep pockets and both a love of the limelight and a nose for profit. The IPL can still produce several moments of eye-catching cricket - individual blinders, crafty bowling plans, impossible catches, delicious UltraMotion replays of on-field action.

The IPL also spawned several copycat Twenty20 leagues in Indian state cricket (Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Orissa, to name a few). Its effect is also being felt overseas: Sri Lanka Cricket will launch its own Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) to take place this July-August, controlled entirely by its board. Australia's remodelled Big Bash League will feature an expansion of its field, from six to eight, adding two privately owned teams, one each in Sydney and Melbourne.

Yet 2011 will still be Moving Season because it also put under direct light the IPL's own flaws: that the existence of 10 teams has sucked out the talent pool to a level close to shallow. Even the trimmed number of games - 74, down from a gluttonous dream of 94 - are far too many. It has all led to too few close games, a certain distancing even by India's TV audience from its beloved "cricketainment", and most damningly, empty stands during the playoffs. Even Ravi Shastri found himself all hyped-out when, before the Mumbai-Bangalore qualifier game, he asked one of the captains at the toss, "Your last game was a good, tight one against ... whom did you beat?"

It's not his fault. So much had happened during the 2011 IPL: helicopters landed in Osama Bin Laden's backyard, Indian parliamentarians and corporate honchos went to prison, and most European nations decided it was time their football seasons actually ended.

What happened inside the IPL, though, as Sanjay Manjrekar wrote on Sunday, was the arrival of Indian cricket's saturation point. We now know that, after a season of 11 Tests and 25 ODIs, including a euphoric World Cup, even the Indian cricket fan's seemingly inexhaustible appetite cannot swallow 74 Twenty20 matches. Reducing the number of matches or altering the format will infuriate franchises, who were promised 14 games each every season. To not do so, though, is to risk inviting a tipping point. The IPL's governors may well believe that the World Cup victory is the excuse for the 2011 IPL's flat line, but the businessmen are bound to start getting tetchy anyway. This fourth season of the IPL was to be the year the original eight teams had always believed they would at last begin making profits.

Whatever the post-season numbers indicate for the IPL's investors, the full impact of this season on Indian cricket itself will also begin to reveal itself within a month's time, at the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong. The BCCI will formally show its hand in the post-IPL era at this meeting, because it is where the next round of the Future Tours Programme (FTP) will be decided.

Whatever the post-season numbers indicate for the IPL's investors, the full impact of this season on Indian cricket itself will also begin to reveal itself within a month's time, at the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong

In an ideal world, the BCCI could draw up the IPL calendar according to the Indian team's itinerary. It could formulate a carefully balanced schedule, keeping in mind important international events and physical demands on the players. In the real world, though, already the BCCI has demonstrated that it is the IPL's calendar around which the Indian team will play. So the first tour of the new world champions and the world's No. 1 Test team sees the side go in without the majority of their ODI first XI, most of whom are either injured or fatigued. Not so much by the World Cup but surely by what followed it. The Test team will compete without Sachin Tendulkar.

Moving Season will also mark the direction the rest of world cricket must take with regard to the IPL. Already there is unrest between the West Indian board and its IPL-magnet players, which has enraged the team's fans. Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan have indicated that England's players actually have the power to keep all their options open. If English county circuit was once considered the world's best first-class cricket school, the IPL has now become the game's most lucrative freelance assignment. To players from the smaller cricketing nations, like the West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, the IPL has made club v country nothing but a debating society argument. Lasith Malinga has answered many questions. Yet the ten-team 2011 IPL has proved that the tournament needs its overseas players as much as those players believe they need IPL contracts.

The IPL, though, is not all that concerned about that whole "future of cricket" argument. It was built around bling and bottomline. Part of that bling comes from Bollywood stars, the other from its packed stands and manic fans. By season three, escalating ticket sales had turned grounds into heaving party venues, adding to returns off television, the oxygen tent of the event. All that bellowing on TV is actually the medium sending out a message: See! Movie stars! Cricket stars! Thousands! All packed in! Fours! Sixes! Dancing! This is where it's at! Keep watching! It's like being there!

Shah Rukh Khan waving at Eden Gardens' empty stands doesn't send out that message. Nor does a live band or cheerleaders in a studio do that. Doubling the price of tickets, as was done for the better part at the Wankhede Stadium during playoffs, most certainly won't.

Another kind of message was sent to fans at that ground on playoffs nights: that a Rs 4000 ticket in the North Stand comes with a free constant drizzle of mud, dirt and cement pebbles from the tier. One spectator was clunked on the head with large, heavy chunks of cement not once but twice. In the US, he could have sued the stadium, the event, the franchise. In India, he will vote with his feet and not show up again.

The IPL will have to reinvent its vibrancy in season five and start with aiming to fill the stands up again. Franchise loyalty is still in its infancy. Two new teams have just got going, not very successfully. Spectator loyalty is what the fifth season of the IPL will have to generate afresh, with no half-measures. If the Indian spectator finally gets his due through the IPL, then enduring Navjot Sidhu on TV for 51 days would be worth it.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • LoftedShot on June 2, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    IPL-4 failed because of the Ramananda Sagar's Ramayan type duration for one. Secondly, in IPL-3 there was lot of razz and glitz with camera's zooming under the skirts of skimpiness clothed girls. Attracted millions like me, (no hypocrisy). This time, initially, the brief to Cameramen was not to show the babes on TV. In first week I wondered whether there are any cheer girls at all! And then when they started showing them, most teams, perhaps on advise of dinosaurs like Gavaskar-Pawar, had ugly leotards under their skirts. Chennai took their fantasies to altogether different heights with ugly male cheer leaders jumping up and down. Pune team went one up with Lavani saree clad funny looking girls. At the end of tournament Funny Gavaskar said he liked Pune girls best. I see a bleak future for IPL-5. Krishi Darshan on Doordarshan could be just as interesting as IPL-5. Who cares for cricket in IPL? I certainly don't!

  • on June 2, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    quite rightly said ipl this year was absolutely flopped three years ago in 2008 i was addicted to it even i was preparing for my +2 board exams but this year even i struggled to pass the time

  • vvs_911 on June 2, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    People with little or no knowledge about the lbw rule have become self proclaimed pundits. I am sure Ugra likes Obama for this (the) change he has brought in.

    "The rest to some slight meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense." - Dryden: MacFlecknoe, 19, 20.

    SRIVATSAN VIJAYARAGHAVAN

  • Jim1207 on June 1, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    Pelham_Barton, Thanks for clarifying. Anyway, our discussion is that England's T20 format would also be played for around 53 days like IPL, if not for 3 months and there is no point in too much criticism of IPL. @Born Badd, They play IPL because they are captains of each team & they feel obliged to play for their city just as Mahela and Sanga felt to play little more to be responsible captains. Also, every international cricketer need not play every international match, a good ratoation policy is in place in Indian cricket for at least 2 years now because of Gary Kirsten and even if not for IPL, some of the senior Indian cricketers would not be playing in every series. This time they have taken risk to skip WI series thinking that India would win. Let us see what happens and if they get vindicated but let us not put all the blame on IPL and BCCI and look like a 4-year old child blaming the neighbor child, however bully he was.

  • YoYoyoma on June 1, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    Reading this article teleported me back to my tamil literature classes at school. I was certain then I read the borest ever until I read this. I think it will be to the betterment of the author if she does any of 1 the following. a. Give insights instead of quoting facts. Write at least one line that people would not have known before and would be interested to know. b. Usage of personal pronouns to convey what she feels instead of using reported speech and passive sentences. The audience can at least then relate to the author. c. People follow the site for entertainment not to know the socio economic activity involved in cricket. Wit and humor are non existent in almost all of her articles. d. Follow Ian Chappell instead of following L Siva or Danny Morrison (in their commentating careers)

  • Pelham_Barton on June 1, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    @Jim1207: There are a number of important differences between the IPL and the English T20. The English tournament group matches go from 1 June to 15 July, sometimes with 8 matches on one day. There is then a gap until 6-8 August, when the quarter-finals will be played, and another gap to 27 August, when the two semifinals and the final are scheduled to be played on a single day, so it is not three months of solid T20 cricket. Even during the main block of group matches, each county plays at least one four day championship match, so again it is far from solid T20. Most importantly, the Test players will be playing Test matches while the counties are playing the T20 group matches.

  • InnocentGuy on June 1, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    I love Shastri and Sunil's stupid commentary. The other day Shastri actually said this on air, on the IPL final. "He is stroking the balls well". I burst out laughing! :D. Therefore, IPL is awesome! Another comment that he made "Right on the coconut". What does that even mean? The cricket may be sub-par but the laugh-out-loud factor is enormous! This article is largely the author's opinion. Again. I wonder why her articles appear on the top of the website while someone's like Aakash Chopra's appear on the bottom on the side as a blog entry. Chopra writes good articles with good analysis and different perspectives. Maybe I have something against Sharda, I don't know but I find her articles very 'bleh'. It's just copy-paste quotes or put down her opinion in words. I understand it's difficult to write articles without a bit of opinion but if there's reasonable analysis behind it, then it at least makes for a good debate. We get it Sharda, you think IPL is stupid. Thanks for the opinion.

  • on June 1, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    to my surprise people like sachin tendulkar , Dhoni, Yuvi, Zaheer etc have shown such gesture which was not expected from them......if they were tired from cricket as they were saying after world cup then why did they play IPL. thsy should have taken rest for those 6 weeks and then should have got ready for West Indies Tour.......All i wonder Money has dominated over Playing for country....

  • InnocentGuy on June 1, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    I love Shastri and Sunil's commentary. Therefore, IPL is awesome! Another comment that Shastri made "Right on the coconut". What does that even mean? The cricket may be sub-par but the laugh-out-loud factor is enormous!

  • drsamprasad on June 1, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle is acutely biased towards MIs...

  • LoftedShot on June 2, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    IPL-4 failed because of the Ramananda Sagar's Ramayan type duration for one. Secondly, in IPL-3 there was lot of razz and glitz with camera's zooming under the skirts of skimpiness clothed girls. Attracted millions like me, (no hypocrisy). This time, initially, the brief to Cameramen was not to show the babes on TV. In first week I wondered whether there are any cheer girls at all! And then when they started showing them, most teams, perhaps on advise of dinosaurs like Gavaskar-Pawar, had ugly leotards under their skirts. Chennai took their fantasies to altogether different heights with ugly male cheer leaders jumping up and down. Pune team went one up with Lavani saree clad funny looking girls. At the end of tournament Funny Gavaskar said he liked Pune girls best. I see a bleak future for IPL-5. Krishi Darshan on Doordarshan could be just as interesting as IPL-5. Who cares for cricket in IPL? I certainly don't!

  • on June 2, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    quite rightly said ipl this year was absolutely flopped three years ago in 2008 i was addicted to it even i was preparing for my +2 board exams but this year even i struggled to pass the time

  • vvs_911 on June 2, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    People with little or no knowledge about the lbw rule have become self proclaimed pundits. I am sure Ugra likes Obama for this (the) change he has brought in.

    "The rest to some slight meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense." - Dryden: MacFlecknoe, 19, 20.

    SRIVATSAN VIJAYARAGHAVAN

  • Jim1207 on June 1, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    Pelham_Barton, Thanks for clarifying. Anyway, our discussion is that England's T20 format would also be played for around 53 days like IPL, if not for 3 months and there is no point in too much criticism of IPL. @Born Badd, They play IPL because they are captains of each team & they feel obliged to play for their city just as Mahela and Sanga felt to play little more to be responsible captains. Also, every international cricketer need not play every international match, a good ratoation policy is in place in Indian cricket for at least 2 years now because of Gary Kirsten and even if not for IPL, some of the senior Indian cricketers would not be playing in every series. This time they have taken risk to skip WI series thinking that India would win. Let us see what happens and if they get vindicated but let us not put all the blame on IPL and BCCI and look like a 4-year old child blaming the neighbor child, however bully he was.

  • YoYoyoma on June 1, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    Reading this article teleported me back to my tamil literature classes at school. I was certain then I read the borest ever until I read this. I think it will be to the betterment of the author if she does any of 1 the following. a. Give insights instead of quoting facts. Write at least one line that people would not have known before and would be interested to know. b. Usage of personal pronouns to convey what she feels instead of using reported speech and passive sentences. The audience can at least then relate to the author. c. People follow the site for entertainment not to know the socio economic activity involved in cricket. Wit and humor are non existent in almost all of her articles. d. Follow Ian Chappell instead of following L Siva or Danny Morrison (in their commentating careers)

  • Pelham_Barton on June 1, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    @Jim1207: There are a number of important differences between the IPL and the English T20. The English tournament group matches go from 1 June to 15 July, sometimes with 8 matches on one day. There is then a gap until 6-8 August, when the quarter-finals will be played, and another gap to 27 August, when the two semifinals and the final are scheduled to be played on a single day, so it is not three months of solid T20 cricket. Even during the main block of group matches, each county plays at least one four day championship match, so again it is far from solid T20. Most importantly, the Test players will be playing Test matches while the counties are playing the T20 group matches.

  • InnocentGuy on June 1, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    I love Shastri and Sunil's stupid commentary. The other day Shastri actually said this on air, on the IPL final. "He is stroking the balls well". I burst out laughing! :D. Therefore, IPL is awesome! Another comment that he made "Right on the coconut". What does that even mean? The cricket may be sub-par but the laugh-out-loud factor is enormous! This article is largely the author's opinion. Again. I wonder why her articles appear on the top of the website while someone's like Aakash Chopra's appear on the bottom on the side as a blog entry. Chopra writes good articles with good analysis and different perspectives. Maybe I have something against Sharda, I don't know but I find her articles very 'bleh'. It's just copy-paste quotes or put down her opinion in words. I understand it's difficult to write articles without a bit of opinion but if there's reasonable analysis behind it, then it at least makes for a good debate. We get it Sharda, you think IPL is stupid. Thanks for the opinion.

  • on June 1, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    to my surprise people like sachin tendulkar , Dhoni, Yuvi, Zaheer etc have shown such gesture which was not expected from them......if they were tired from cricket as they were saying after world cup then why did they play IPL. thsy should have taken rest for those 6 weeks and then should have got ready for West Indies Tour.......All i wonder Money has dominated over Playing for country....

  • InnocentGuy on June 1, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    I love Shastri and Sunil's commentary. Therefore, IPL is awesome! Another comment that Shastri made "Right on the coconut". What does that even mean? The cricket may be sub-par but the laugh-out-loud factor is enormous!

  • drsamprasad on June 1, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle is acutely biased towards MIs...

  • MasterClass on June 1, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Didn't think it possible, but Ms. Ugra has earned the dubious distinction of a writer whose articles sound worse than hearing nails scrached on a chalk board. Yes, there's the irritating whiney voice to go with that as well. LOL. Congratulations!

  • Jim1207 on June 1, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    Lot many people probably do not know that England's T20 tournament - Friend's provident T20 - goes on for 3 months (from this June till August end) and for 151 matches while IPL was just for 74 matches (half of that) and 50 days (about half again). But we see media criticizing only IPL saying that it is killing cricket.

  • jay57870 on June 1, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    Regarding "Moving season for the IPL" (wrong title) & "IPL's own flaws" (right issues), the alarmist Sharda is crying wolf by calling it a "risk inviting a tipping point" (wrong inference). Let's understand the basics: Sure, any nascent enterprise will face challenges. IPL had its share of crises & chaos in its initial 4 years. But each time it's risen to the task to resolve them remarkably well. Examples: Player discipline (Bhajji, Jadeja, Warne); Venue change (SA); CEO firing (Modi)! So, what's so risky about IPL 4? The flaws - attendance, revenue generation (TV), scheduling/# of matches - are normal growing pains for any infant league. Market forces, not a Moving Season, will dictate its future. Fans will vote with their wallets. Yes, a special IPL window, preferably in the cooler Feb-March months, will have to be created. Also, Tests/ODIs/20-20 will have to find proper space & cadence in the FTP. Tipping point? No. Saturation point? Yes. Let's sit back & savour India's success!

  • Jim1207 on May 31, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    Laheon, If IPL and ODI world cup and Ashes all are tiring, why recommend IPL to be banned only and not other two formats?

  • Jim1207 on May 31, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    Lot many people probably do not know that England's T20 tournament - Friend's provident T20 - goes on for 3 months (from this June till August end) and for 151 matches while IPL was just for 74 matches (half of that) and 50 days (about half again). But we see media criticizing only IPL saying that it is killing cricket. I Beg your pardon? Media looks like Mafia to me nowadays.

  • Jim1207 on May 31, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    TD_160, Youe comments are honest and good. But if these people see that, they would say you have committed blasphemy, be careful.

  • InnocentGuy on May 31, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    And yet again, an article that's largely the author's opinion. I wonder why her articles appear on the top of the website while someone like Aakash Chopra's appear on the bottom on the side as maybe a blog entry. Chopra writes good articles with good analysis and different perspectives. Maybe I have something against Sharda, I don't know but I find her articles very 'bleh'. It's just copy-paste quotes or put down her opinion in words. I understand that it's difficult to write an article without a bit of opinion but if there's reasonable analysis behind it, then it at least makes for a good debate. We get it Sharda, you think IPL is stupid. Thanks for the opinion. Oh, and to all those that don't like IPL, don't watch it! Watch test matches. Don't crib about it. There are pros and cons for every form of cricket. People can argue endlessly and needlessly on whether IPL should continue or stop. It's no use.

  • nikhilpuri on May 31, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    I think Sharda is mixing up too many arguments here. Simply put, I think the crowds weren't present and the IPL wasn't as big a spectacle because of the World Cup hangover. Further editions of the World Cup will not be held in India, and so the problem won't exist. Indian fans would not be able to throng to stadiums to watch the world's best cricketers in action (next time for example, they'll watch it on TV in Aus / NZ.) For the once in 12 years that the World Cup is held in the subcontinent, it might make sense to alter the timing of the IPL. As regards the quality of cricket goes, I have always maintained that the IPL can never become interesting to pure cricket lovers because the quality of cricket is poor. I would venture to say some of the batting and spin bowling in Ranji Trophy is of much better quality and more interesting to watch. Perhaps we increase the foreign player cap to 5, thereby increasing the foreign talent on show.

  • bloodnsweat on May 31, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    if you think sidhu is boring, what you say about this guy harsha bhogle. Full of irritating personal remarks, facetious, smart guy comments and what not. And the guy loves his voice so much that he speaks all the time, rolling his tongue over words, so that half of it is illegible. I usually turn the volume to off when this guy is on air, can better enjoy cricket that way!!!

  • SrikumarS on May 31, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    Reading this article was more tiring than the IPL.

  • on May 31, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    T20 games are worst than any form of cricket. Mad man hitting cricket balls with power. This year, I hardly watched IPL. Too much cricket is too bad for health. BCCI and franchises are just making money. I am sure within 2 years, this will come to an end. unfortunately this is the only STUPIDEST game exist in INDIA. I would love to watch Football or any other sports.

  • kman610 on May 31, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    I do not agree with the views of this columnist. I do not understand what the problem with Indian Sports Journalists is....we are a sports startved country with one sport as the king...cricket. What is your problem if this is usmade use of by the private sector to make a grand spectacle. No one watches the IPL for the cheer leaders. If you do not like them, do not watch the pre-post game or switch channels whenever they are on.As far as I am concerned, we saw a incredible display of batting,bowling and fielding in the IPL. I think you guys to berate the IPL just to appear in line with Aussie/English journalists (most of whose comments on the IPL are due to jealousy or racist mentality). As a fan I think the IPL is awesome, you can actually hope to get a ticket (unlike the test/ODI's, where the corwd is full of invited journalists and lackeys) and watch a world class match. I wish the teams start building their own stadiums to improve their brand value and get more fans involved.

  • on May 31, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    How anti Indian, some one canvass for Lakshar E Toiba members in IPL, no interest in england, Australia, who cares, do we watch county and shields here, and because of which do they contemplate cancelling their events, ESPN was out smarted by Sony and its shows its blatant anti-bcci sermons And enough of test cricket is great non-sense, test cricket will become irrelevant pretty soon, but for T20 cricket even as a game is a goner, so what is all the fuss All the hype about empty stands is not worth, let the stands be empty pls remember for other sports even this much attendance wont be there These are the days when even Bollywood superstar movies dont last for more than a week in any theatre and so IPL immediately after WC did well Ranji trophy is happening for 60 years without any attendance, why blame IPL which is only on its fourth year

  • InnocentGuy on May 31, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Again, people saying "Test cricket is the real deal, T20 is BS", please don't just say things like that for the heck of it. Test cricket has its charm. ODI has its thrills. And T20 is new-age cricket. They are different forms of cricket with different sections of population following them. If you don't like T20, then don't follow it. Simple. I agree that the IPL is just driving the game to the point of ridiculousness but then again there are many good things that can be gained from the IPL, like unknown players coming into the limelight. That is a big positive. E.g. Ashwin, Y. Pathan etc. They all owe it largely to the IPL. Another positive, players able to financially secure themselves and their families. E.g. Malinga, Gayle. Nothing wrong in that. The only sad thing is that the IPL is given top priority. If that alone can be changed, I think every form of cricket and every kind of fan can co-exist.

  • jay57870 on May 31, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Sharda is obviously misreading IPL 4. Take her contention that it's only in the fourth season "they (Original 8 teams) would at last begin making profits." Then read the "Big Story" in India Today International (April 25) -- IPL has become the "India Paisa League": Each of the Original 8 has made profits in 2009 & 2010 (except for Deccan Chargers in 2010) - that's an impressive combined tally of 15 out of 16 profitable annual results! Further, it states that IPL 4 "looks set to be bigger than ever" (because of WC success). Sharda provides no hard evidence except for her own beliefs about IPL businessmen-investors' "tetchy" bottom-line concerns. That's lazy journalism - nitpicking; trivia; rhetoric overkill: such as "SRK waving at Eden Gardens' empty stands." Really? What about the 80,000 who showed up for the final league match? Like it or not, IPL is here to stay. Yes, it's big business. It's booming: Because the nation and most of its fans and players have embraced it. Accept it.

  • eomer17 on May 31, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    some ppl think that IPL is going to globalise cricket,see the fact is that cricket is one of the most complicated sports,which I think will never spread to more than 10-15 teams.Of course if by cricket you mean T20,then of course it can,but then your talking about a different sport altogether!

    P.S-Ravi shastri is an over excited idiot .Few ppl know that he actually know he played cricket!(can't blame them) Don't understand why idiots like SRK(and KJo),Shilpa shetty(cosmetic surgery can do wonders!!),and others are given the respect as they do?someone just told me 'cause they are "actors" !!hmmmm........

  • jay57870 on May 31, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    Sharda Ugra has clearly missed the boat: The Tipping Point in fact was reached years ago when India lifted the inaugural World Twenty20 Trophy -- One dramatic moment that spurred IPL's launch in 2008, changing the world's cricket landscape forever. Why is Sharda so confused? No wonder she's barking up the wrong tree. Her assessment of IPL 4 opens with the wrong questions: Not a single query about the profound emotional impact the World Cup had on the nation and soon thereafter on IPL 4? Only midway in her ramblings does she wake up to Sanjay Manjrekar's wise observation about Indian cricket's "saturation point." Note Sharda: It's "saturation point" (repeat), not "tipping point." There's a huge difference. As MS Dhoni put it so succinctly about IPL's slow start: "They (fans) were emotionally drained along with the players." Yes, the same wise Dhoni - arguably India's best captain ever - whose leadership Sharda had so foolishly questioned ("madness"?) during the World Cup. (TBC)

  • Jim1207 on May 31, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    harshacc, Yeah, that's the point. But Schuster said there is "no" franchise loyalty at all while I just wanted to say it's not the true case. Also, franchise loyalty would build up in few years from now because of the new auction. So because of new auction, new teams and world cup schedule, this year IPL has hurt many people, true. But why do we have to criticize IPL so much like this? Next year, all teams would be more or less or same, and not much big auction coming up and no world cup at all, so next year IPL would be lot more easier for fans and players and not much tiring. I do not understand why people have to criticize so much for a series of unfortunate events happening this year, give time for 2 or 3 years and see if IPL is tiring and then criticize. Also, a senior editor criticizing a TV commentator by telling his name sarcastically in an article is such a ugly instance which keeps repeating here. I do not like such tone of the article which bullies people to believe in a way

  • KP_84 on May 31, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    Too much has been made of the IPL's poor performance generating revenues this season. It's because: i) 2011 is a World Cup year; and ii) India has beceome very successful, winning the World Cup and being ranked no. 1 in Test cricket (this makes the IPL less relevant - the IPL was partly brought about by India's poor permormance at the 2007 World Cup).

    Firslty, World Cup years are only once every four years. Either the IPL will have to be moved to a different part of the year in WC years, or the WC will have to move to accomodate the IPL (what's wrong with that - they've done that in soccer to accomodate the big European leagues, haven't they?). Secondly, India won't remain world champions forever, but their fans will remain passionate followers.

  • drsamprasad on May 31, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    This is such a biased article.. as mentioned by few people before, IPL 2011 would have been considered the best edition of all had MI or KKR, won it! Just because CSK won it again, she finds it boring.. CSK had won the ipl in the auction itself.. they retained the team, they retained the trophy! its as simple as that! I dont understand why MI are clear favorites before every IPL, when thay have been in the finals only once and crashed out in the play offs this time!!! i bet MI will start IPL5 as front runners! This article is similar to the questions raised after 2007 ODI WC which was accused of being extremely long and boring. the truth is that AUS won the 2007 WC hands down and CSK won this IPL without much competition! Well, i truly believe that this IPL has lived up to the expectations of every cricket fan..if you are looking for entertainment, you are looking in the wrong place.. stick to movies !!!

  • indianzen on May 31, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    Sharad is correct... 74 is a huge number. they should consider shredding off few teams which. My idea would be to drop Kochi (buskers), Pune (warriors), Deccan (HYD) and Rajasthan (royals). make a sweet 6 and the fight becomes crazy, make it as 5 foreign players per match allowed. But players like Badrinath, Dhoni, Ashwin and Sachin will shine in what ever format he plays

  • Shamils on May 31, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    I love 20-20 internationals...ipl is artificially created to exploit the viewers..if the authorities didn't change there attitude then end of ipl is near.... My dream 20-20 international XI is this....

    V.Sehwag C.Gayle S.Afridi M.Jayawardene (C) K.Pieterson S.Watson B.Mccullum D.Vettori D.Steyn Z.Khan L.Malinga

    Whats urs???

    there are some key players missing but since we have to include all the countries, they were eliminated... at the same time senior players are not included.Shahid Afridi has been send up the order as a pinch hitter..:)

  • on May 31, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    IPL has now become Indian pensioners leauge, it is ok for retired cricketers to play in IPL,but for current players it is the lure of money that puts IPL ahead of playing for their country, it is simply ridiculous,i was shocked to see empty stands during play offs, the pavilion tickets are prices at Rs 55,000!!!!, in Bangalore, this is simply not on,i am a great cricket fan, i did not see a single match live in Bangalore this year , simply because they had jacked up the ticket prices of a particular stand(A stand ) from Rs 500 to Rs 1100 for this season,money apart,watching so many games in 5 weeks is a royal pain for any cricket fan,reduce the number of games and make it more interesting or else the goose that lays the golden eggs will slowly but surely die soon.

  • k2m2 on May 31, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    IPL is totally lost. It's certainly not a cricket. IPL 4 is totally flop, i wish if it had lalit modi, maybe he had mixed some enjoyment in this season too.we really missed mr. modi.please do something to stop this madness, which is called IPL

  • reality_check on May 31, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    IPL was/is/will be a long and loud Bollywood commercial with some cricket peppered in. You can only take it for a bit before covering your ears and dashing out of it.

  • Laheon on May 31, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    For everyone who's crying about how no one complains about fatigue in any other form of cricket - you either have no long term memory, or have no lasting interest in cricket. As recently as 2007, a lot of fans were complaining that the 2007 World Cup in WI was too long, at 6 weeks and 51 matches. Not to mention after the Ashes (both 2009 and 2010-11), where most fans didn't see any point in having the ODI's after the Ashes.

    In the end, IPL is bad for cricket in the long term, especially taking into account the BCCI's attitude towards it. I've long held the view that the BCCI, as a governing body, is an organisation which has become drunk on power and money, and constantly wants more. The ICC needs to put the BCCI in its place, to ensure the survival of competitive international cricket.

  • Hoggy_1989 on May 31, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    100% truth spoken here by Ms. Ugra. The IPL has always, in my eyes, been more about the money and less about the cricket...what will selling naming rights for everything off to some company. 74 matches is just way too much. Last game of the IPL I watched was the opener to LAST season...5 overs in, I got sick of ads in the middle of an over and the commentators going right over the top at every ball. So far as I can tell, its gotten a lot worse and I for one hope the IPL falls spectacularly. Unfortunately, it seems a few other countries (Australia and SL) have to go and do their own versions before they get the message: T20 is being overplayed, and will soon get the same bad press as ODIs for being 'stale'.

  • on May 31, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    we all know that these four editions of IPL have been played with Less cricket and More masala. Its time for the organizers to rethink on whether they want to entertain Spectators with 'Good Quality Cricket' ....

  • uglyhunK on May 31, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    how many people were watching WI vs PAK or Eng vs SL ??? Do these crincinfo stats geniuses have any numbers ??

  • Farce-Follower on May 31, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    When was anyone ever switched on in this IPL? It took Gayle's heroics to bring about some colour to what has been a really colourless event. The worst was enduring Navjot Sidhu's rants and other boring blokes like Arun Lal, Jayasuriya and gang.

  • AjayVijayan on May 31, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    I agree in total with Ms.Ugra, and I think there are lot of people who loves cricket in its purest form dislikes the IPL. For the 4 IPL seasons, how many matches do worth remembering as opposed to the Test Matches and ODIs which we have been watching for the past 15 years. Even the vintage cricket matches telecasted on ESPN and Start draws more attention than this cash banging extravagaza. For a country obsessed with Cricket you don't need Bollywood stars, the cheer girls or DLF maximum and the other masalas for attracting crowd. The recent Test between Sri Lanka and England would have been more worth than Chris Gayle hitting all over the park. The IPL is all about making money for the corporate power houses and bollywood stars. For the 4 IPL seasons, how many players have been unearthed baring apart an odd Ashwin or Murali Vijay? We still rely on Sachin, Sehwag, Rahul, Zaheer, Bhajji, Dhoni, VVS etc to win matches in Test and ODIs,

  • landl47 on May 31, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    T20 is a fad and the IPL even more so. Old players who can no longer hack it in the real game, no club or country loyalty, none of the mental toughness required by real cricket... the list goes on. People fell for the glam and glitz of the presentation, but they're beginning to realize that T20 is just a vehicle for making money- that would be their money, going to players who are already well paid and big corporations. Can anyone honestly tell me that the players care who wins and who loses? It's no more than a circus to them, an exhibition knockabout which gives them big bucks for a few weeks of easy work. Watching the England-Sri Lanka test today will stick in my mind forever. The IPL can be summed up by Ravi Shastri's comment: "Whom did you beat?' about a game played last week. No-one knows and no-one cares.

  • Pro_Test_Cricket_Guy on May 31, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    This is the beginning of the end for IPL. We need a more transparent cricket league (preferably not run by the BCCI).

  • vaidyar on May 31, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    There used to be a time till about 2007 when the time around April-May-June was non-season for Indian players. Most people cooled off at home spending time with family. Some went to play county season. It mostly helped players get their minds off cricket or iron out their flaws or just work on their game better. Zak went to England in 2007 after the WC and we know how he came back. Rahul Dravid had his issues during the early days of his career and then went to Kent in 2000 and we know what happened after that. But it used to give time off for the players to step back and think about their game, or go to England and learn more for the younger lot. Also, it also helped us viewers cool off and by the end of June we'd be eagerly waiting for the start of the season. The IPL has sure changed all of that. Would be good if it happened at the end of the domestic season in India. Will be more aligned with the cricket season in India.

  • on May 31, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Hopefully england can bring back the love of test matches! the REAL MAN'S game.. not this ipl t20 rubbish.

  • niraj13 on May 31, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Personally, as a cricket fan, this season drove no interest to me. The biggest reason, needless to say, was the timing of the IPL---five days after India' glorious win in the WC. The organizers would have been better off just skipping the WC this year. At least, in the future, they should learn a lesson from this season and make sure that there is no IPL in the year when the WC is organized. This will avoid the cruelty forced both on players and fans. And eventually great for the health of the game. Another obvious reason was the jumbling of players and scattering them in different teams. I can see Yuvraj playing for Punjab only, Dada for KKR only, Gambhir for Delhi only, Zaheer for Mumbai only, Dravid for RCB only and the list goes on. It was very odd and confusing to see these players drafted by other teams. Anyways, hope the IPL heads make a note of these basic points in future.

  • robheinen on May 31, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    Max Mobile strategic time out; Citibank moment of succes; Karbonn something catch; orange caps; purple caps. What a hoax! Money, money, money. Must be funny. In a rich man's world.

  • sircha on May 31, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    BCCI must understand that LESS IS MORE.

  • harshacc on May 31, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    And Folks criticizing Sharda for having differing viewers, you do realize that her job description is a cricketing journalist, which basically means your personal opinions count for very little.Dhoni will be criticized for sticking with Chawla during the WC and praised for winning the WC.Its what journalists DO.They do not write articles saying so and so was alright as a captain.These articles do not have the pull of articles which either praise or criticize.How many of you will read an article saying Strauss did alright as a WC captain as compared to reading how Afridi fared well against odds,Vettori managed NZ to keep punching above their weight,SA as chokers, Dhoni as an all conquering hero,Aussies as a spent force,SL getting it wrong in the finals with too many changes

  • harshacc on May 31, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    @Jim1207 Come on man,You will always find people more interested in finding out what happened when an accident happens but not as many people trying to help the accident victim.And crowd support for CSK is a bad example to state your case to Schuster as they never changed the core of their team

  • on May 31, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    I think the jury is still out if indeed if this was the "moving season" . For most parts, this was a controversy free event and a quite successful event which however suffered perhaps happening on the backdrop of a world cup victory , am not reading too much into the tv ratings or lack of people on the stand yet.

  • on May 31, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    T/20 is very good format for entertainments/business/ product advertisements and certainly bad for the real game of cricket. It is fit for senior players who do not have enough stamina for playing 5 days test matches. I believe that T/20 cricket will harm talented youngsters who have skill set for the real test cricket.

  • harshacc on May 31, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    I believe that one of the reasons for Dwindling viewer-ship is the fact that there was a lack of international players performing.Yes Gayle had a tremendous season and Malinga was unplayable,McCullum was having a decent season.THe Mahela and Kallises of the world are classy players and thus will always be under appreciated.They might have the purists tuning in but not much of Gen X,Y,Z ers.Gilhrist is in the twilight of his career,Warne has taken his final bow.Steyn did not play all matches.Neither did Murali,Brett Lee will be the first to say he did not have a successful outing.Symmonds remained a shadow of himself.Ross Taylor,Ryder,ABD weren't exactly setting the stadium alight. I might tune in for my local team, CSK, RCB for Gayle,MI for Sachin but if KKR played PWI , I had better avenues of entertainment.Sehwag and ISHANT were the two people who made my change my opinion on 3 occassions

  • on May 31, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    The IPL should be limited to one month in May,and each team to play 5 matches aginst each other,with 5 foreign players with thi approval of their Boards,knockout stages should be reached after the end of 5 ween matches betwee participating teams,two /three matches per day.Entertainment tax should be levied.

  • on May 31, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    The IPL should be limited to one month in May,and each team to play 5 matches aginst each other,with 5 foreign players with thi approval of their Boards,knockout stages should be reached after the end of 5 ween matches betwee participating teams,two /three matches per day.Entertainment tax should be levied.

  • kingofspain on May 31, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    The problem is less with the IPL and more with the incredible shallowness of the 20/20 format. Attendance is down in 20/20 in England too because once you've seen a few 20/20 games and the novelty has worn off it's just instantly forgettable rubbish completely devoid of context and meaning.

    Test/first-class cricket is real cricket and that's what real cricket fans care most about.

  • likeintcricket on May 31, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    The Negative impact of IPL is already been felt now as WI and Srilankan board are having problem with their players and Indian players are getting injured or burned out. No one can imagine a player like Sachin skipping a test and one day international series. Now the sudden batting collapse of Srilankan team on the last day of the test against England is a a direct consequence of IPL effect.

  • duralsumo on May 31, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    Here here Candid Indian you have summed how most people feel. Get the tournament done and dusted in a month and also have a break from meaningful international and domestic cricket for that month. Say Mid March to Mid April? As I have said previously I am not against the IPL it is more the impact it has on international cricket.

  • Mohith on May 31, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    What does this mean? "and most European nations decided it was time their football seasons actually ended."

    what do you mean by actually ended? You mean to say European football leagues are long???? i cant believe these articles are actually published in cricinfo. Expected much better from ESPN.

  • on May 31, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    Too much of cricket is the reason for dipping trps for IPL this year .

  • Jim1207 on May 31, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    I don't have a clue about how people do get bored of IPL but do get interested to read articles about IPL which bores them. Sounds funny to me at least.

  • just_chill_chill on May 31, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    @getsetgopk : Grapes are very sour, eh? How about starting PPL then, whose to promote REAL cricket then? PPL - lol the word itself sounds so funny :-)

  • CandidIndian on May 31, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    Recently at a news channel Dean Jones said that earlier Aussie top players used to play in their domestic circuit and hence it was easy for selectors to pick the talent to represent the country in international cricket.He mentioned this as one of the reasons of Aussies domination.It certainly helps when are new and you bowl to Sachin or Ponting, or face Murali or Steyn in a match.Hence IPL is a good platform for young players.Having said that its true that IPL is too long and hectic not only for players but also for spectators.ICC cannot provide window for IPL and its fair but BCCI can, i think if they do not arrange any tours or home series for a month after IPL, this would give players enough rest and there will be no country vs club debate then.

  • maddy20 on May 30, 2011, 23:13 GMT

    Calm down IPL-Bashers. The viewership has decreased only a tad beause the local flavor was lacking in most of the teams. Chopping and changing the squad every year is not gonna help the cause. Apart from that I thought the matches were competetive. It is also good to see that India is still capable of producing attacking fast medium bowlers such as Abu Nechim and S Aravind. Mrs.Ugra is always looking for a reason to crib about something. Not GOOD!

  • WestIndies1987 on May 30, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    I am socked at the critics of the IPL! We need MORE DOMESTIC cricket for the game to spread.Cricket will NEVER become truly global if the SAME 10 teams play each other EVERY year. Whether it is T20, 50 overs or 4 day cricket,I say YES TO MORE DOMESTIC CRICKET. Lets have Mumbai vs Yorkshire and Victoria vs Natel.

  • Jim1207 on May 30, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    @Schuster, no franchise loyalty in India? Come to Chennai and see.

  • Jim1207 on May 30, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    I don't have a clue about how people do not get bored of reading these articles but do get interested to read articles about IPL which bores them. Sounds funny to me at least. Article says needlessly that people could not digest Sidhu for 51 days. I am wondering how long would I have to digest reading this writer's articles in my beloved site, it looks to me like eternal damnation without any relief.

  • on May 30, 2011, 22:15 GMT

    Nice article by the author the Organizers should take care of this..............Seriously..

  • maninthewoods on May 30, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    These cricinfo people are really jealous at things that are happening in IPL. Since the players are getting so much money, these guys (or girls) want to get that amount of money sitting in an A/C room and typing what the commentators said. Such a baseless article. Again. Most articles in cricinfo are against india and bcci and ipl- dude, they are the controlling force in the world. Let's see if this comment is published.

  • Lallubhai on May 30, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Doom & gloom about everything Indian as per usual from this 'writer'.

  • Deep92 on May 30, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    IPL needs to be banned. Players now days are going for IPL instead of rooting for their National Team. For example, the West Indies players and one of the best Sri Lankan bowlers. If you know whom I am pointing at. It will ruin the future of Test cricket as well as the ODIs. Go Ranji go. Ranji all the way. Stick to the old traditions. T 20 can take place every 2 years. Not a problem. But having it played every freaking year, it's bull.

  • viratkap on May 30, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    ive been to over a dozen matches this year....some wc and the rest IPL.........to be honest it was shamefull to see the increased tickt rates for the playoffs....for tickts i paid 1800rs normally..i had to pay 5000rs per ticket...this is not the way to pay the fans back for the loyalty .....

  • mnemoniny on May 30, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    I think the teams need to be divided into two divisions and the finals structure needs to be revamped. Season 4 has proved to me that this bloated mess is farcical, and to end it with a questionable final matchup is unbelievable.

    The number of matches was not intolerable because of the World Cup, that merely exacerbated the problem. The problem is the number of matches, and this can be solved most simply and effectively by creation divisions 1 and 2 of the IPL. When each team plays fewer games in a season, each match is inherently more important. With relegation/promotion at stake, very few pointless games will be played out.

    The other big problem is the ability for last year's winner to walk into the final, regardless of results. Why did Chennai get to defend their title? The team that won the previous year should get into the finals of the next on merit alone, just like any other team. Otherwise winning is more likely to lead to more winning, an unfair and unbalanced structure.

  • ARad on May 30, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Indian fans are waking up. IPL should stop INSULTING the fans. Reshuffling the players is NOT the way to generate fan loyalty or viewer interest. Adding new teams waters down competition. To increase quality, allow AT LEAST 5 or even more overseas players including Pakistanis in each team.

  • SSon_cric on May 30, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    Audience fatigue was natural, but there was hardly any other option. I thought the quality of cricket was great, and I saw absolutely packed stadiums. Everybody has a job to do, including the team owners. It is still too early to comment, I am sure they will work something out. Mrs. Ugra, I suggest bringing in more insight/understanding (not just emotions) to your writing. I understand you have a job to do as well, why not do it well? Have you heard any player complaining?? Soon you will see a new generation of cricketers who are fit enough to last so many games.

  • getsetgopk on May 30, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    and here goes the ipl bubble starting to burst it was just a matter of time though. even the indian public cant take that kinda cricket anymore or so it seems. when you go bang bang match after match after mach with the same kind of pitches and prety much same kind of results...the name premier league should have been bang bang league because there is nothing premier to it in terms of quality. im glad pakistan didn't become part of this cricket circus and would be glad if they aren't part of any future editions. financially the players would have made money out of it but overall bad for cricket and honestly bad for indian cricket too now every indian cricketer would want to play for ipl and eye on that big buck so what will become of ondi's and test cricket? ipl was designed only to swell bank accounts of some bussiness tycons of india. glad to see indians can finally differentiate between whats money and whats cricket.

  • Vkarthik on May 30, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    Did you see Pakistan/WI series. THere were at best 30 or 40 people watching each match. So the ODI cricket reached the tipping point. How many world cup matches were played infront of empty stadium. IPL is more successful than most of the Test series that are going around. It is just an opinion from Sharad Ugra. Nothing to be taken seriously.

  • on May 30, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Well,the english friends t20 cup has 151 matches, no one's complaining about that. Also, each side has international players in it as well. http://www.espncricinfo.com/friends-life-t20/content/series/491208.html?template=fixtures

  • on May 30, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Felt like Throwing Up during IPL-4 All three Test Matches after that were exciting and crackers of a game!

  • adith_thegod on May 30, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Hi Ugra, I think your article is incomplete. You have not cribbed about N Srinivasan or Srikkanth or anyone in particular. Please upload the complete article.

  • on May 30, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    totally agree... look at wt happened today at the SL vs ENG match.. the ENG players chose country over IPL, whereas the SL players chose IPL over country.... the result is for everyone to see... SL all out for less than 100 runs is terrible and bad for world cricket... Cricket will die a slow death if business men and Bollywood stars take over cricket...look at the Indian players they are skipping d WI tour or injured bcos of IPL... its all about money...in a way happy, this will help other sports to shine...

  • on May 30, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    Indian_Rules. Can you tell me how CSK or anyone chated in the auction? You loosers are cry babies. After the auction, MI said that they were very satisfied and happy about the auction. After few weeks, they file a complain stating that they are not happy with the auction. Big loosers.

  • on May 30, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    i think the bowling in IPL was very weak...Coz a team has 11 plyrs & there r only 4 overseas plyrs ! the Indian Bowling is very weak (especially fast bowling) if they r pakistani plyrs in ipl it will automatically improve bowling ! the limit of overseas shud increase the overseas limit 5 or 6

  • on May 30, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    @Srinivasan_r20 Popularity drop and TRP drop was the discussion right from day 1 because IPL 5 days after the draining world cup ended was surely an overkill.. U are just being an overzealous Chennai supporter who sees that every word of criticism is being directed at ur team.. not good mate.. ur also unfairly bringing up South Vs rest of India divide

  • rahulcricindia on May 30, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    well look what happened to srilanka in england theis top stars arein no form whatsoever and the reason is they didnt get anv time to refresh themselves after the world cup due to that crap ipl and i am afraid that same thing could happen to INDIA.

  • on May 30, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    I thought this years competition started out well, then the pecking order became established (Only RCB really changed their momentum) and there was way too many one sided games with one team winning by 50 plus runs. Also, 2 games a day, every day is alot to take in. Some adjustment to the format is needed to prevent burnout, maybe 2 blocks of 5, top team is in the automatic semi final, second place does the 2 game qualification. They they could have less games with more time in between, less ticket money maybe but it will keep the tournamant going in the long term because if you keep over doing it like this people will get bored sooner rather than later.

  • on May 30, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    I think IPL wastes the precious time & energy of the international players. It should be limited to the players who have played less than 10 international matches an year. Getting the best players out of the international tours takes out the fun and the real competition. But still looking forward to see India play. IPL is nothing but tedious, boring & a series of drama

  • mogan707 on May 30, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    This IPL (IPL IV) would be remembered only for Chris Gayle.His introduction into this season made me watch his every innings.To my surprise he was comfortable against all the Indian bowlers except one or two.Is this not a worrying sign?Yes when batsman attack bowlers have to counter-attack them.Their confidence would have taken a beating.Only one or two talented players have utilised this platform to the fullest extent.Others failed.Hence a dull dabb.

  • Srinivasan_r20 on May 30, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Im not sure why Cricinfo or every author is against CSK win? Had MI won, or even if KKR won, this IPL would have been quoted as THE BEST in terms of format and everything. Now CSK has won, everyone is cribbing about format, pitch, world cup and all nonsense. Sorry mate, you got it all wrong.

  • on May 30, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    Great article, Sharda. Besides not having a close games, it was important to notice the quality of cricket so low. As Sanjay Manjerekar mentioned in his comments that these many high catches to be dropped is not cricket at the highest quality. If they want to rejuvenate the IPL, I think they have to let 6 oversees player participate, because honestly there is only so much talent pool in India and rest can all hold the bat or turn the wrist like anyone of us!

  • KENNETH2007 on May 30, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    It would be interesting to have the whole tournament fixture in the period of the whole year as it is in European football UEFA champion's league .. then every game would be a boom boom ..... The teams should contain mostly of local boys and few stars in it... And the prestige of the cup should be maintained ....if the BCCI follows my tips I think it would click...but if they want to earn fast and easy money then it would be the end of IPL by next two more years...

  • nlambda on May 30, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    Sharda Ugra's repeated complaining articles have also reached a tipping point... why don't you report on some other sport or topic, Sharda?

  • on May 30, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    The number of matches should be brought down to atleast 9 to 10 per team....in the qualifying stage....14 is really too much!

  • Poontz on May 30, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    I went for every Mumbai home game in IPL 3. It was a great experience at the Brabourne. It took 10 min to get into the stadium and the security was not officious. I went for 2 games in IPL 4 and they were a disaster. The security at the Wankhede was terrible. No binoculars at a cricket game??!! Unheard of and not mentioned on the ticket. As usual, the MCA does not get it. The paying spectator is important and if things continue this way, you won't have many of those. I am never going back unless someone tells me that things have changed. I have attended games all over the world for the last 27 years and the Wankhede is the worst stadium in the world in the way spectators are treated.

  • Robster1 on May 30, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    Getting bored now with the lengthy IPL. Not sure I can see it being around in a couple of years. More interested now in the Indian national side.

  • psychicsaint on May 30, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    my god.. this lady is unbelievable... @Test_Cricket_Best_Cricket, i totally agree... i do remember her critiquing dhoni during the world cup and she kept quiet after he won it for india... now she's back to target the ipl... who's next on the hit list sharda? have you ever appreciated anything or anyone for god's sake?

  • on May 30, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    IPL OR ANY T/20 TOURNAMENT IS GOOD FOR PLAYERS ON THE VERGE OF RETIRE- MENT OR FOR THE YOUNG PLAYERS NOT CONSIDERED FOR NATIONAL SELECTION, TO PROVE THEIR METTLE.I AM HAVING A FIRM OPINION T/20 CRICKET WILL HARM TALENTED YOUNGSTERS WHO ARE TECHNICALLY HAS THE QUALITY FOR TEST CRICKET SHOULD NEVER EVEN ATTEMPT TO PLAY THE SHORTER VERSION. T/20 INTRODUCED IN ENGLAND AND AUSTRALIA SINCE POPULARITY FOR ONE DAY AND TEST CRICKET STARTED DIMINISHING.T/20 IS VERY GOOD FOR BUSINESS/ CORPORATE INSTITUTIONS FOR THEIR PRODUCT ADVERTISEMENTS AND CERTAINLY NOT GOOD FOR THE GAME OF CRICKET

  • gdalvi on May 30, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    Some pretty good ideas here from howizatt and Ricahard_Vivian. I still don't understand why the teams must play each other twice - once is more than enough. It is not like that playing conditions are vastly different between Indian grounds. Play each other once for 45 games. Then just move to eliminator/qualifier stages for top 4 to 6 teams (I prefer 5 - half the teams)- may be another 10 matches max. Having QF for 8 out of 10 teams is an overkill - why so many league matches just to eliminate 2 teams? Having groups is not a bad idea, but it may rob the tournament of some excitment match-ups. I was hoping IPL would have expanded to sub-continent and the 2 new teams were from Dhaka and Colombo. I would have like to have Pak teams also, but security concerns are still there.

  • MrCrane on May 30, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    The essence of a Twenty 20 match is its unpredictable nature. And it was quiet evident that IPL4 matches had lost it. One can easily tell which team will win the match before even it has started.And to add to it, almost 4-5 teams falling from contention for making to Playoffs around the halfway of the tournament, the interest level just dropped off.

  • on May 30, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    I agree with Sharda's point. The point is made in the first couple of paras. The rest is just to fill up space. I have been following cricinfo for almost a decade and I am making the same analogy to Cricinfo that Ugra is making of the 74 games and 2 new franchises. The quality of the articles in cricinfo has largely reduced due to the influx of sea of new writers. With increase is matches and coverage all around there are several articles in cricinfo which are not absorbing and informative as they were before. This includes the experienced ex-Times of India editor's. However, the old writers still produce genuine quality articles such as some of the quality old IPL teams.

  • on May 30, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    The IPL has the appeal of Britney Spears, quite cute to start with but fading fast with every new reinvention. Don't reckon we'll get to IPL 7.....

  • Test_Cricket_Best_Cricket on May 30, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Sharad Urga is fast becoming the epitome of Pessimism.. Though i completely agree with all the content she written.. But its getting monotonous from her coming every week with someone or something to cribble or criticize upon.. Advice should be given when asked for.. But the undisputed peak was she advising MSD to curb down his instincts captaining the side during the world cup !! Its ok if this comes from a former captain like Gavaskar or Ganguly.. God save her Husband from constant nagging behaviour.

  • Venki_indian on May 30, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    First of all, this season IPL Spoiled world cup party...Too many teams...too many matches..boring..BCCI should do something to to improve this; I dont mind even if IPL not there..slowly its ruining cricket....Cannot digest pollard & gayle playing in IPL when WI are having such seriuos problems.

  • inswing on May 30, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    The main reason for lower ratings is that it came right after the WC victory, as many have said. A second reason is the reshuffling of teams. It is hard to be passionate when you are rooting for some guys one year and then other guys the next year. I don't believe there are too many games, or that the talent pool is depleted. A problem that will rear its head in the future is also that all franchises are making a loss. It is not clear how long owners will continue to take it. 2-3 weaker franchises will surely fall, when they are unable to take losses of 10-15 crores every year. The changes I would make to the IPL are: (1) make sure there is 2-3 weeks of gap in Indian cricket before the IPL (2) play the games in two 10-over innings (20 overs broken into two parts - keeps the games interesting longer) (3) reduce franchise fees to reduce their losses (4) don't reshuffle the teams, but have a "draft" (5) make sure Gujarat gets a team when one of the smaller market teams falls

  • Kashi0127 on May 30, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    Stop comparing World Cup, Test Cricket etc to IPL Guys! While world cup, test cricket are all real sport, this is just make believe entertainment - only slightly better that reality shows. Most time I feel players are acting rather than playing a true sport.

    Personally I feel IPL should not be covered by Sport Magazines and cricinfo kind of sites , but only in glamor magazines.

    Shame on BCCI for promoting this that is almost killing real sport

  • on May 30, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    Dude this year's IPL was more about cricket and less abt nonsense.....

  • insightfulcricketer on May 30, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    IPL starting off right after the World Cup at home that India won was a huge reason. Last year I paid on PPV for IPLIII but this year after World Cup I did not get IPLIV even after a huge discount. Take my example and multiply by one billion I would think IPLIV relatively did better. From the WC high the IPL was bound to suffer especially in bigger cities. I think this was an outlier season. It will be the next season which should be the correct barometer if whether IPL's and Indian cricket public's love affair is officially over. As somebody suggested adding Pakistanis players would be a very good idea to inject more vibrancy in IPL. Some of the younger players like Umar Akmal and seasoned pros like Afridi and Gul will be a huge draw with audiences of IPL. It might sound like a cliche but nothing like sport bringing down boundaries.

  • YAMIN786 on May 30, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    Good article , a simple fix in my opinion would be to to first cut the games down so that each team only plays each other once . Then they shoud allow 5 rather then 4 foreign players in each team which would result in a dramatic increase in the quality .

  • on May 30, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Sharda Ugra is my fav cricinfo writer and she should add/update her own Wikipedia

  • on May 30, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    Sharda Ugra is known for her biased writings which do not generally reflect the reality. Had IPL 4 been won by a team that she "likes" (read as - team other than CSK), the title for the article would have been "Another successful IPL season". Sorry Ms. Ugra, "your" team might have lost the IPL 4 cup and that does not in any way take the charm out of the game. Your article about N.Srinivasan was good enough to judge your unbalanced approach to facts and you unequivocally carry the "bias" as brand identity on your writings !! What a shame...

  • deuspadre on May 30, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    Please just get rid of the IPL. It's ruining international cricket. No Gayle, Tendulkar, Malinga. Cheers BCCI

  • on May 30, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    ipl should be held once in the period of two years

  • yuva19 on May 30, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    So every ipl ,barring one will be held aftr a icc's major event i.e t20 wc or a 50 ov wc...74 matches is purely a drainer 4 everyone.Though the team owners r promised 14 matches every season.But they can reduce the matches by dividing into groups,then teams will be playin 8 to 10 games odd.Then clt20 follows which increases the match count above 14,which will satisfy the owners.Final word Make ur team a consistant one then u'll have the 14 odd games.A drained fan frm India

  • shamlaatu on May 30, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    Played first class cricket and been a lover of the game for a little over 32 years but did not feel the urge of watching a single delivery of any IPL game. In my opinion it's a typical "lots of hype but no content" type Bollywood stuff. Overly saturated and miserabily lacking in quality.

  • on May 30, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    looks as if people are coming to their senses .. hope this corporate circus will fade away

  • on May 30, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    I dont understand why there are no Pakistani Players? They are the best in business when you talk about agressive cricket and crazy players and that is what T20 is all about.

    . I understand their board has problems but seriously poictics and cricket should be saperate.

    This is very discriminating of Indian cricket and hatered is shown by Indian people for not questioning IPL and BCCI!!!!!!!!

  • DINESHCC on May 30, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    RICHARD_VIVIAN: I fully agree with you, particularly point No.6. I think majority of the franchies did not follow this in this IPL. Eg. Chitnis is a very talented player. But he could not get a chance in the playing XI of MI. You add one more point. Instead of conducting Play offs, the cup may be given to the topper. In 2009 Delhi won almost all the matches but defeated by Deccan in the SF. Because of one bad performance, Delhi could not won the cup. In 2010 MI almost won all the matches but in the final it had lost to CSK.

  • on May 30, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    BCCI bosses should bring Lalit Modi back to pull the money, glamor, and fans towards IPL in next season.

  • Desihungama on May 30, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    That's because IPL is missing it's flair that is the Pakistani players. With their inclusion IPL5 will rather be exciting. My 2 cents.

  • Jim1207 on May 30, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    cricket__fan, You are one of the very few intelligent fans and readers I have seen. Most of the poeple just get exploited by the media. Cheers.

  • shahul16 on May 30, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    i believe only Lalit Modi can make the IPL successful. Remember in IPL2 when Indian government denied security for players, he made arrangement to play IPL in South Africa. Who else can do?

  • on May 30, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    IPL4 really messed up due to scheduling...We didn't get a time to enjoy our WC victory...The night matches should start by 7pm so that it can end by 10pm...else, we watch the first half only. Though am a CSK fan, i didn't feel like watching the second innings in the final...Switched off the TV after AB's wicket...Please give us a break or we will have to give a break to cricket.

  • Jim1207 on May 30, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Same writer would be writing next year that IPL has been a wonderful entertainment and is bringing all fans into cricket field. This year, they have got a reason on world cup so they criticize IPL for coming too close to world cup. How long would the duration have to be? So India won the world cup in April and it is OK to play test cricket in June against WI? Would world cup fatigue be over by May so we can then forget the world cup and watch test cricket? What does the fatigue means, by the way? Nobody would talk about fatigue now when countless ODIs start coming up. It's all the media who creates the thought into the minds of fans that it's too much cricket and then fans comment like that here again which the journalists then canvass much more against IPL. I wonder when the media would just report news judicially without contaminating people's minds!

  • on May 30, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    Dear Sharda, We realise you don't like IPL T20 cricket. Fine. And you are most likely an espncricinfo plant. For conflict, drama and readership :) I don't blame you at all for trying though (yes you have succeeded!) Cheers!

  • Natesan333 on May 30, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill, so there is a drop in viewers and now the sky is falling. Please people take a deep breath, WC was one of the reason and the high ticket price didn't help either, but just remember there are 100 million followers in India alone, so IPL will do just fine.

  • on May 30, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    good riddance!! time to get back to "cricket"

  • on May 30, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    Started well, but the fatigue set in at the end. Too long...

  • GreatOsho on May 30, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Posted by Valerio_DiBattista on (May 30 2011, 10:30 AM GMT) Valerio, Australian cricket Fan from where?? Mumbai.. Or aussie cricket fan of indian origin. Lol. There was nothing OZ about your post :-)

  • Dharaka on May 30, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    IPL made me fed up of T20 cricket....IPL makes me puke :P

  • on May 30, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    In my opinion IPL 4 had sev

    1. It was right after world cup and there was just too much cricket this year 2. Following a High (WC victory) is very difficult unless you can produce an even better event. 3. IPL added its own share to the "too much cricket" by extending itself for 51 days or so 4. Most of the games were onesided 5. Ticket were very expensive for an average fan to go to the stadium

    Here are some options that IPL should consider 1. 2 groups- each team plays about 10 games, playoffs and final (like NFL) 2. Timing - most of the students had exams during IPL and that should be kept in mind 3. Play in a different country to avoid pitches drying up and producing turners and belters 4. Ensure that the stars are available for the entire duration. Hence reducing the event to a month max will help. 5. The Franchises should start doing events in the cities/communities to develop a fan base.

  • hattima on May 30, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    I think representation of the team by local/well known players was a key issue. The Delhi team suffered from the drain of its talented Ranji player and was unrecognisable. The Kolkata team had hardly any reputed player to cheer for except kallis, gambhir and pathan, (and occasionaly Bret Lee,) and barely had any local representation. Its hard to pay so much money day after day to watch matches that hardly mean anything in dreadful viewing conditions.

  • Indian_Rules on May 30, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    High ticket costs is the only reaso why people stayed away from the stands.. reduce the prices and people will start coming back... and reduce the number of matches.,. its very dull and boring to tolerate it for 51 days..... 10teams format has surely not worked out.. the teams are diluted and quality has been distributed ( barring some cheaters like CSK who manipulated the auction to retain most of their players )

  • kingcobra85 on May 30, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    can believe the guys who calculate don't reveal the real numbers.Last year its was 8 teams so obviously more people would have rooted for neutral teams and watched random matches..Now two new teams the numbers get divided further but the viewership would have remained the same. Last year its was 50 odd matches this year its 74 odd matches this drop in TRP is compensated by more AIr time...Who are they trying to fool ? IT department ? They would have definitely made more money this year than last year..Anyway i will do a SWAT analysis of IPL4 soon if i get time and publish at my blog

  • Horn.OK.Please on May 30, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    I don't care if IPL is here to stay or not. But fact is this year's IPL ruined a long cherished dream to celebrate an Indian world cup victory. We won it after 28 long years and an IPL soon after meant we could hardly savour the moment. This, despite me being a CSK fan.

    I will never forgive BCCI for this.

  • on May 30, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    Bring Lalit MOdi back. I knew this would happen. if anyone is reading ...please bring back Modi...this year's IPL felt more like a one day/test match. The IPL charm wasnt there.the only solution is to bring back MODI

  • on May 30, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    I'm from Pakistan and honestly, there were so many people here who didn't even know the IPL was going on. I think the IPL is now struggling due to politics. I don't think the IPL would do well in the future without Modi. It was his vision that got the IPL to where it is.

  • TheUltimateTruth on May 30, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    Regarding the comment that there is no TV interest in the IPL outside India, that may be true, but is irrelevant for the IPL. IPL was built on expectations of interest within India. They should make sure to not let that wane. Increasing the number of teams and the "breaking" up of the teams with new auctions hurt the IPL because the former diluted quality and the latter split audience loyalty. They can improve next year by (i) reducing the number of games and (ii) allowing the teams to retain most of their players. (iii) They should also bring Pakistan players in by clearing all political hurdles. That's a huge TV audience right there. (iv) They should reduce ticket prices drastically -- a full stadium creates an aura that benefits even TV viewership. Although not part of their primary revenue source (v) they should fix broadcast rights issues abroad -- especially the US and Australia. Significant pay per view dollars are being ignored due to fixable disputes.

  • yomeshk on May 30, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    As saud by everyone one of the major reason for the IPL4 being not so successful was the schedule. It started 6 days after the WC. Second was high ticket rates during playoff's. IPL is for the common man in India(as the rich guys have already bought the teams) so ticket prices need to be at that level. The second problem is player loyalty. This year the teams were reshuffled, Bengal did not have any player for WB. You need to have local talent in the team. Also, prior to the auction there were certain players who were happy playing with their old franchises. I think if the teams are not changed regularly(unless they are not performing) there would be more home support for the team. To do this BCCI can put up a rule stating that a player in the auction can stay with his old franchise but only at the base price. Lets see how loyal the players are to the franchise. Secondly they can spread out the entire season in multiple parts, jsut like EPL so there wont be an overdose as well.

  • on May 30, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    Hopefully srilankan premier league will not be this boring due to reduced no of games.

  • themightyfenoughtys on May 30, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    This is not just about this World Cup, and this IPL. You will repeatedly see IPL events following ICC events (world cup 2015, 2013 t20 in Bangaldesh), and the IPL does not live up to the standard of the world event. Worse, as the franchise holders seperate off into the companies for whom the team is a marketing tool (Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai) and those supposed to run as legitimate seperate businesses, then you will see a divide between those prepared to take a loss, and those who can't afford to take their current losses. The beginning of the end, just as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the West Indies try and launch their own copy cat events, with the benefit of the worst possible timing in the eyes of the Indian broadcasters.

  • on May 30, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    I have been a cricket lover for over 5 decades and even now like to stop and see a game being played on the local maidan if I am driving by. But even for a compulsive watcher of cricket like me, this years IPL was just too much to take particularly after the sumptous meal of the World Cup which India won. It simply amazes me that the BCCI which is financially very successful basically because of India's economic clout and nothing else really has just no time to visualise the future of Indian cricket. 20/20 is no doubt popular but that popularity is on the wane because the crowds just cannot take this 78 match day after day business of colured gamactcas pounding a cricket ball. It had to break and I hope the BCCI will have this tournament once in 2 years if at all. It is sickening the way the BCCI keeps doing things without any concern for a deeply thinking public as we have in India. I wish they would spend time in planning future tours for both the national and the A teams instead.

  • crikbuff on May 30, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    It is clear that IPL is causing serious damage to Indian cricket and to World cricket. Players are aggravating their injuries in the IPL, instead of being prepared for test tours. Sachin Tendulkar could have chosen to spend time with family by missing the IPL. Instead he wants to miss the West Indies tour!!!! BCCI's top priority should be test cricket, then other forms of international cricket, then domestic cricket, but IPL is given priority over everything else.... Cricket fans are being taken for a ride here, so it is time we all woke up and realised how IPL is killing cricket.

  • AllwinJ on May 30, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    I think the next time, 8 players should be allowed to be retained by the franchise. Otherwise people cant identify themselves with a team. I am sure the most followed teams this year were MI and CSK because their teams remained almost the same.

  • on May 30, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    What kind of people go to watch IPL matches in stadiums? The answer is - the ones who have never been to stadiums for international ODI cricket matches where the tickets are scarcely available, or, the ones who are not that staunch followers of the game to endure a day of test cricket in the heat for test matches - where the tickets are more easily available. There is also a third category, which are more of serious cricket lovers - who watch ipl because -it still gives you the opportunity to watch the likes of Warne,kumble. All this talk about supporting mumbai, kolkata etc is utter crap. You just cannot make a team of any 11 players of your choice, and associate the names of places with it.

    Any sensible and devoted indian cricket fan will never cheer against Sachin even if Saurav or whoever is in the opposing team. The public is not as stupid as the BCCI thinks.I pray for doom of BCCI, for its bully like attitude that is bringing nothing but doom to world cricket in the long run.

  • on May 30, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    hey sharda, as much as i enjoyed reading your article, cant help but tell you that you got it all wrong. Ok, agreed that it does become monotonous, but constantly tagging the IPL as a money-minting league is not fair by any means. No sports league in the world runs on charity. And if we wanted less glamour, we might as well watch the ICL. Oh wait....yeah thats right.... the ICL is EXTINCT! The IPL is by far the only thing that has SAVED cricket not only with the money, but also as far as catching eye-balls are concerned. So its an appeal to all the IPL bashers, that, all sport leagues reach a saturation point. the fall in TRP was bound to happen.

  • on May 30, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    Having too much of this type of tournament every year makes it a boring affair.. Should have it once in two years and make ppl long to watch a gala like this.... This may well be an answer to fitness issues of many players and also increase tv ratings...

  • ArabianBlade on May 30, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    IPL is going Down??? WELL NOT A SURPRISE!!! IPL HAVE CHOSEN TO EXCLUDE PAKISTANI PLAYERS, OFCOURSE there isnt going to be much fun watching, there isnt much variety, king xi almost had a team full of aussies, gilchrist, harris, marsh, hussey... they are great players but everyone knows missing out pakistani players has just KILLED IPL and that means HALF THE WORLD doesnt watch ipl. Sohail tanvir absolutely starred the ipl, shoaib akhtar and gul burnt the batsmen in ipl, wel without great players there isnt going to be much fun is there.... COMMONSENSE!!!!!!!!

  • on May 30, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    The day I got to know that BCCI would now control it directly,I knew all this would happen.Basically,they've made it a T20 Ranji Trophy...Empty stands,Long schedule,less of the glamour & masala...Bring Modi back (Or somebody like him) and you shall see some new innovative marketing pulling everyone towards the IPL.The IPL can & I hope will Reinvent itself...

  • on May 30, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    The main reason for IPL4s failure was, there was no time gap between World Cup (Apr 2) and IPL4 (Apr 8). During world cup we had plenty of cricket. People were not in a position to take more cricket but to rejoice the WC glory.. Now, after IPL i am feeling allergic towards CRICKET... :(

  • nasir159 on May 30, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    the IPL has made cricket a huge business,because IPL is all about money

  • Valerio_DiBattista on May 30, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    I am an Australian cricket fan and happily did not see any of the tournament due to the TV dispute (as mentioned by Udesh). I love watching the Indian Test side (who wouldn't) and do not mind following the one-dayers, but I cannot stomach T20 cricket. In fact, I much prefer to supplement my diet of cricket with some baseball from America to avoid watching or following the circus that is T20. That is my opinion, but of course I must learn to respect those that have a different view. On the same hand, I must be able to tell from the heart how I feel as well.

  • amit1807kuwait on May 30, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    I'm not the biggest fan of Sharda, but this was one fantastic article by her. Well done, Ma'am!!

  • mikechand on May 30, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    The main problem was that it was just after the world cup. A separate window for the ipl (eventhough its called a domestic tournament) should be there with less matches prior & after it so that all players can participate... moreover ipl council should ensure its no more a 0ne sided tournament as it was..... play offs & final should be played at NEUTRAL venues with equal tickets shared by both the teams... IPL is missing MODI a little... Somebody of his calibre sould be the chairman not the current one..

  • wrongturn on May 30, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    well written about the overdose of t2o ckt in ipl.......they cn opt for...league based tournament with 10 teams but they gone with same schedule of all home and away basis match.....BCCI should rethink this otherwise it will make....game fall down ....it should know....money is not everything...............

  • Richard_Vivian on May 30, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    My Solution for Improving the IPL: 1) Include Pakistani Players - this will enlarge the talent pool 2) Divide the teams into 2 groups and cut short the schedule. 74 matches is way too long. Have the IPL as a one month (4 weeks) long competition. 3) Reduce the ticket prices. This year they were sky rocketing. 4) Change the timing. Start the matches half an hour earlier at 07:30. This year 8 PM matches ended at 11 PM. This is very late. Start at 07:30 and end at 10:30. 5) Ensure that some team jerseys are changed. I mean, when MI and RR were playing, there was hardly any difference in their attires. If possible introduce dual uniforms, like in football or how RCB wore Green for one match. 6) Have a rule saying that every Franchise should include atleast 2 players in the playing XI who are from the Ranji State team that the city is situated. E.g. This year KKR hardly had any Bengal player in their side. 7) Lastly, do not have the IPL near or coinciding with major tournaments.

  • Thyagu5432 on May 30, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    There is nothing like T20 if you want entertainment. We are not here to analyze whether a batsman bats with a straight bat, doesn't play across etc., we just want big hits and some thrilling finishes. IPL is here to stay. I think it was a few factors which possibly dampened this years interest in IPL. First and foremost, world cup. World cup itself was thrilling this year unlike most other times and for another tournament to start almost immediately thereafter and to build the momentum was difficult. Secondly, it took us all some time to come out of the Team - India spirit and get into the Team - Local spirit. Even the players found it difficult because they didn't even have enough time to be together with a few who were possibly opponents just a few days ago. In any case, it will certainly rock next year.

  • on May 30, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    Sharda is one writer that regularly comes that comes up with high quality articles (I remember the article written on CSK owner Srinivasan. That was a very good one). There was quality dip during the WC which I assume was because of the frequency. I wish Cricinfo could hire more such quality staff unlike the mediacre stuff we see around these days on the site.

  • on May 30, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    The time has come with ten teams that you maybe 5 or 6 international players which will improve the standard of cricket. Right there are not enough quality domestic cricketers to fill 70 spots. Teams like Deccan and Delhi hardly have anyquality indian batsmen apart from the internationals.

    They can also use a draft system similar to the NBA for replacement players like Gayle and have a transfers similar to football.

  • mysay on May 30, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    I think the IPL is now a "Has Been" I don't think it's going to get any better. If to improve maybe the IPL should be a one in four year event at the most. The IPL has caused havock with players losing sight of their priorities as well. This is a shame for the game itself. I think the IPL should leave out international players and sign on players such as Martin Crowe who are looking for a comeback, and what better way than a dry horse IPL to Give Mr. Crowe that oppurtunity.

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on May 30, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    just happy that the damned thing is over. time for 3 slips and a gully :)

  • themightyfenoughtys on May 30, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Excellent stuff as usual Sharda. Worldwide, IPL doesn't cause a ripple, the drop in TV audiences is 25% in India, but in , Australia, America, Pakistan, either the event is now not shown or has tiny broadband audience figures. What is the most worrying underlying trend is the losses being taken by the franchises, who are realising that they overpaid and will never break even. Eventually their cost cutting will hit, and you'll see financial reality reduce the noise of the show even further. Maybe then, some of India's icons will see the value of representing their national team rather than their bank manager.

  • liaqathussain on May 30, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    im from the uk and this year i didnt watch a single game of the IPL . simply beause im bored of it,, and 74 games is just killing cricket,

    i think the big bash and other format are providing more quality cricket,

    it should be about quality not quantity,

  • on May 30, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Who is Paul Valthaty and Rahul Sharma, are all of u sure u know them very well. Its all about IPL structure.True to lengthy Series but not boring for cricket lovers.stadium empty because price of ticket for short games.

  • robheinen on May 30, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Let's stop looking at the IPL as being cricket. Its audience is different to a cricket audience. Its players may look familiar but they seemed to have ran in to some doorpost or other. And frankly, I haven't watched much even though it was televised where I live. In my opinion the ICC should sever the ties between IPLT20 - and frankly all T20 - and itself. What's lost may look like a lot of money, but is actually something that has nothing to do with cricket. The only good thing to come from T20 is the Mongoose MMi3 cricket bat and even that has probably been developed before there was even T20. But about that last fact I'm not sure.

  • DaddyDickFingers on May 30, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    I am not a fan of the IPL... Too many average domestic cricketers from India, SA & Australia being paid lots of money and being billed as world class cricketers.. When the truth is they are average at best and their personal records & performances show this.. The IPL lasts too long as a spectacle too and there is far too much advertising in the commentary... i.e. city bank moment of success, max mobile time out.... And when you see male cheerleaders you know its time to turn off..

  • Acha12155 on May 30, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    The players did a fantastic job entertaining the audience and the fans across the globe. I'm a fan of CSK, RCB, MI, and KKR for various reasons. Since day 1 of the IPL season 4 there is something missing and it was still missing when CSK lifted the IPL 4 cup. I'd say we are missing a great energizer--Lalith Modi. He thought the world of cricket something new. His project management skills are abundant. Unfortunately, we in India find reasons to oust highly talented people in one way or the other. There would not have been an exhausting schedule if LM was the organizer. It was a funny (I'd say silly) idea to organize IPL immediately after World Cup. I'm sure if there was LM there we wouldn't be feeling this way. TV commercials talk about Kapil Dev lifting the world cup, but not MSD. IPL season four has almost nullified the moments. Fans should have been given the opportunity to take pleasure in the winning moments of world cup along with cricketers who actually won the game.

  • me_shoeb on May 30, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    I think this is a good solution. The IPL (just like the EPL) should be played through out the year. That way, the interest factor would be there and no over-doze of cricket !

  • Winsome on May 30, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    It will be more popular next year if it is not hard on the heels of another big tournament, especially if India win. It's too early to be writing these types of epitaphs.

  • sweetspot on May 30, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    In all seriousness, IPL is not an overkill of cricket. It is an overkill of things non-cricket. That lousy band playing in the studio, with those disinterested dancers - to me, that is the ultimate torture. This is Bollywood playing itself out, crying itself hoarse. It is TV's formula, not cricket's formula that is not working. NOBODY ever came to the grounds to see cheerleaders or the lousy ceremonies. The monotony was turned on not by the cricket in the middle, but by the artificial noise in the sidelines. Emotionally, we fans were spent after the WC. That was high and handsome. If the IPL had been postponed, or cancelled for this edition, not many of us would have complained. Now is the time for us to celebrate the WC triumph. As for the business of IPL, Dhoni and CSK rather settled that one, didn't they? I just have a sneaking feeling, if RCB and Pune were the finalists, there won't be so much bickering about overkill.

  • prasanth.kongati on May 30, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Thank God IPL is Over....yes i got the same feeling...overkill of cricket. I am desperately waiting to see Red ball cricket.

  • on May 30, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    The thing is.. IPL ran successfully in first few seasons, because it was a NEW thing, everything was unexpected. but then as it happens in INDIA,..... SYSTEM creates itself, and never changes itself. just like government firms. so, everything now starting to get boring. especially commentary, i like to watch it on TV but since Commentary standards are so low, that i have to enjoy the match on cricinfo. : sunil gavasker's biased views; ravi shastri's FEELINGS. and so much boring way of explaining. i wonder if they ever heard a football commentary. or F1 commentary, thats what we LIKE to listen. and then other major flaw is, OLD PLAYERS, when IPL started even warne was good for a season or two, but now all superstars in their last breath, its hard to understand who leads the IPL then? pomersbach aint gilchrist.

  • on May 30, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    Too much is being talked about IPL is going down and so on. The fact is, it happened just after the World Cup. Viewers had a fatigue of cricket. Next year when nothing of that sort will be there, then we will again see the interest rekindle for the same. Also this year the teams were reshuffled. This lead to fans again drawing up their loyalties. It will be in line for IPL 5. IPL 5 will again do good next year for sure. This year was an outage and not much is needed to be read into it.

  • on May 30, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    It is all about Money. In every sphere of activity people tend to increased their visibility, create demand for themselves, leading to encash the maximum Mioney. These are changes the society undergoes in the economic activity. None can help. Players chose not to play 5 day bcoz they want to be fit for T20. Even retired players want to play take the example of Warne, Gilly, Dravid, even dada with his blinking eyes. Some players take forward retirement to play more T20. Well the whole world moving with the change. Even the spectators(including those watching in the AC Hall at home) like to spend minimum time with xtra entertainment. May be due to excess cricket in India as the IPL 4 started rolling after the WCup. Colors will be added in the next IPL editions only to make it more vibrant at the cost of 1day and 5 dayers. Long live cricket. Long Live entertainment.

  • ashok16 on May 30, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    Time to disband the national team and just let cricket evolve completely under private hands. Instead of this national whine, the market and the audience should decide what is worth watching and what is not. Cricket is not a matter of national security like defence or the reserve bank and having a quasi government BCCI monopolising everything is just corruption. Somebody appears to be willing to support the IPL structure, and it is upto them to figure out how to make it financially sensible. It is just a sport and can do fine in private hands just like Indian cinema.

  • Peevee on May 30, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    i think the BCCI should consider the format of the IPL in the lines of EPL. though the franchise system and 'home' & 'away' games r in that format, scheduling also needs to be like that. like EPL, IPL can have division 1 & division 2 and have the matches spread over a full season. then the final leg or the playoffs can happen with more pomp & show at one stretch. this way the burn out issue will be tackled and the country vs club issue could also be answered. viewers also would be more interested to wait for the weekends to watch the matches. most importantly, BCCI has to stop projecting IPL as a world event. it is after all a domestic tournament with some foreign players in each team and heavy paychecks!.

  • Bhattu on May 30, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Shastri asked that question to Dan Vettori , not SRT - "Your last game was a good, tight one against ... whom did you beat?".

  • on May 30, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Well done Mr Ugra....I hope BCCI reads this article too....I am a big cricket fan....but the end of last Match... I posted a tweet.. "Thank God IPL is Over!"...This was the reaction which actually came from heart.... it was really too much....over kill of cricket and cricket personalities.... And that too after World Cup!... that was definitely the biggest feat...for any indian.... They really have to reduce the number of matches, divide the teams into 2 groups....so That teams can understand the value of each match....and then for final 4 have a round robin match....the team winning most of them should be crowned....

  • howizzat on May 30, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Nice article. Looks like a white paper on IPL. Truely tipping point has been reached. Cricketainment should give way to some quality cricket. Otherwise IPL will end up in yawning annual rituals. It is a misconception that by playing too many matches the franchisee can make money. Season 5 needs a change in format. Ideally the 10 franchisees should play 9 matches each which is a total of 45 matches in phase One. Top 8 will then move into phase Two, the QF stage. 4 double-legged QFs on home and away basis will make it more excitng. Shall be followed by double-legged SFs and then the finals. A total of 45 + 8 + 4 + 1 =58 matches. A shorter duration but of more quality and more excitement. I too suggest the concept of 'catchment area' should be scrapped so that the frachisees can chose the right talent from anywhre in India. Get rid of iconic status and auction rituals too and introduce annual transfer window. Ex. imagine Yuvraj and Sehawag playing in the same team!!!

  • on May 30, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    None of the cricket lovers in Australia got to see this season of IPL because legal dispute between the BCCI and ONE HD (Australian right holder for the IPL). That might be a one of the reasons for the TV view drop.

  • MeowCat on May 30, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    With Modi gone,its not fun anymore..

  • courierpost on May 30, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    It has tipped since just after the world cup no one nerd to watch 20/20 yeh time is up

  • Venumuvva on May 30, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    rightly said!!

  • bala-chala on May 30, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    The last line is the best line of the article.

  • Thekick on May 30, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    Everything runs over a period is bound to get to this point Sharda. I see you are not particularly fond of the IPL and you still choose to write on it to make sure your lack of fondness reaches us.

    What are your suggestions to moving forward with IPL ? How do you think they can fix the issues that happened this season ? Is the other T20 games on other parts of the world stadium filled ?

    Is BCCI gonna change its attitude because of your article ?

    Are you just writing this because you need to write something ? In that case please use your skills to write some good piece on either test cricket or ODI.

  • on May 30, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    There is absolutely no such thing as franchise loyalty in this league unless u r from one of the playing cities. IPL was a stolen concept and created to make big bucks fast and crush anyone in their way. If it is not achieving at least that then I for one am thrilled that this circus will end soon

  • Saaalik on May 30, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    too many matches....the IPL has also robbed us of savouring the indian world cup victory for long...by beiing so close after world cup

  • Quazar on May 30, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Personally, I lost nearly all interest in the IPL, and actually felt angry, once the WI Test and ODI squads were announced. It was extremely disturbing to learn that one big name after another would not be representing India in the WI, which was disrespectful to both the India cap and the West Indies. It is now quite possible that we actually lose the ODI series (remember our peformance in the Zimbabwe triseries last year with a similarly young team?) and even get seriously tested in the Test series (if Taylor, Roach, Edwards, Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan are picked). If we do get embarrassed in the WI, it'll be justice for the WI (whom the BCCI and our top players have underestimated)... and egg on the face of the BCCI. As for the many greedy franchise owners, who actually don't give a toss about Indian cricket and our team's hard-earned international ranking... I'm glad almost all of them are still making losses.

  • ROLAYH on May 30, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Way Tooooooooooooo Long... Reducing the number of matches.. or making multiple pools might make it interesting....

  • cricket__fan on May 30, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    It appears that Ms Ugra is back from the summer holidays!! There is nothing new in what she has written. When will cricinfo learn to employ quality cricket analysts and journalists who write stuff which has substance and not the rubiish which this writer has written (and got paid for).

  • ArnieRoss on May 30, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    A brilliant summary of IPL's problems: I suggest they introduce a draft system and a salary cap to even out the teams, making for more close games and giving more teams a realistic chance of making the finals. I don't think the talent pool is too shallow for 10 teams; I think there are too many average Australians being drafted into the teams - and many others, specifically South African and English players, who could do a better job.

  • on May 30, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    I am not so sure enduring Navjot Sidhu will be worth its due to anything.

  • Praxis on May 30, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    The bowling standard this season was really poor.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Praxis on May 30, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    The bowling standard this season was really poor.

  • on May 30, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    I am not so sure enduring Navjot Sidhu will be worth its due to anything.

  • ArnieRoss on May 30, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    A brilliant summary of IPL's problems: I suggest they introduce a draft system and a salary cap to even out the teams, making for more close games and giving more teams a realistic chance of making the finals. I don't think the talent pool is too shallow for 10 teams; I think there are too many average Australians being drafted into the teams - and many others, specifically South African and English players, who could do a better job.

  • cricket__fan on May 30, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    It appears that Ms Ugra is back from the summer holidays!! There is nothing new in what she has written. When will cricinfo learn to employ quality cricket analysts and journalists who write stuff which has substance and not the rubiish which this writer has written (and got paid for).

  • ROLAYH on May 30, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Way Tooooooooooooo Long... Reducing the number of matches.. or making multiple pools might make it interesting....

  • Quazar on May 30, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Personally, I lost nearly all interest in the IPL, and actually felt angry, once the WI Test and ODI squads were announced. It was extremely disturbing to learn that one big name after another would not be representing India in the WI, which was disrespectful to both the India cap and the West Indies. It is now quite possible that we actually lose the ODI series (remember our peformance in the Zimbabwe triseries last year with a similarly young team?) and even get seriously tested in the Test series (if Taylor, Roach, Edwards, Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan are picked). If we do get embarrassed in the WI, it'll be justice for the WI (whom the BCCI and our top players have underestimated)... and egg on the face of the BCCI. As for the many greedy franchise owners, who actually don't give a toss about Indian cricket and our team's hard-earned international ranking... I'm glad almost all of them are still making losses.

  • Saaalik on May 30, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    too many matches....the IPL has also robbed us of savouring the indian world cup victory for long...by beiing so close after world cup

  • on May 30, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    There is absolutely no such thing as franchise loyalty in this league unless u r from one of the playing cities. IPL was a stolen concept and created to make big bucks fast and crush anyone in their way. If it is not achieving at least that then I for one am thrilled that this circus will end soon

  • Thekick on May 30, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    Everything runs over a period is bound to get to this point Sharda. I see you are not particularly fond of the IPL and you still choose to write on it to make sure your lack of fondness reaches us.

    What are your suggestions to moving forward with IPL ? How do you think they can fix the issues that happened this season ? Is the other T20 games on other parts of the world stadium filled ?

    Is BCCI gonna change its attitude because of your article ?

    Are you just writing this because you need to write something ? In that case please use your skills to write some good piece on either test cricket or ODI.

  • bala-chala on May 30, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    The last line is the best line of the article.