At the World T20 in 2007, cheerleaders and fireworks by the boundary-side were a feature across stadia, and the IPL saw no reason why they couldn't have their own. With the American notion of franchises imported into the shortest format of cricket, the introduction of cheerleaders followed suit: Royal Challengers Bangalore got themselves a cheerleading troupe from the Washington Redskins, while Kochi Tuskers brought in an ensemble of Ukrainian models. However, it was Pune Warriors who added an ethnic touch to the phenomenon, with the introduction of Indian-classical dancers, who broke into Bharatnatyam or Kuchipudi routines every time Pune Warriors cleared the boundary or picked up a wicket.
The IPL's marketing mavens have consistently invented new dimensions to the T20 game, while managing to garner sponsors to christen them with. One such commercially successful innovation was the strategic time-out, which, in the words of the league's founder Lalit Modi, was designed "to help teams re-strategise and confer among themselves". The time-out in its original avatar lasted a snooze-worthy seven-and-a-half long minutes at the half-way stage of the innings, but was split into two sets of two-and-a-half minutes each, after the completion of the inaugural edition.
The trumpet tune
Or, as its Spanish originators know it, Pepe el Trompeta of Paso Doble fame. From a tune that was part of a Spanish music composition popularised by French DJ-producer John Revox, the IPL's trumpet tune has become the go-to for DJs at every other stadium, apart from being transformed into the casual fan's ringtone of choice. A peppy piece of music without any linguistic affiliations, the tune is now played at most limited-overs international fixtures and franchise T20s the world over.
Helmet cams, umpire cams and spider cams
While the IPL cannot claim to have introduced any of these sports-broadcast innovations, it can, at the least, boast the bragging rights for having revolutionised the way cricket is viewed in the drawing room. The spidercam, came to India via the Indian Cricket League, whereas the helmet cam found its way into the game about 45 years after American sport had introduced it. Regardless of their context of origin, these bits of remodelled video-recording equipment provide breathtaking live shots of what may be otherwise deemed routine occurrences in a cricket field. Run-out decisions and emphatic shots down the ground look more real than ever before, courtesy the cameras attached to the umpire's hat that follow the movement of their eyes and give the TV viewer a whole new perspective on close calls.
Another of IPL's additions to the cricket vocabulary, this Latin term, previously only a favorite of math nerds working out calculus, made its way into the mainstream to describe sixes. After a few seasons with different sponsor plugs, TV commentators have now come to apply it to sixes of all manners and distances. The word, an embodiment of the IPL's success in wedding commercialism with hyperbole, perfectly corresponds to the inversely-proportional relationship between shrinking sizes of boundaries in the modern-day game and the hunt for new philological varieties of existing cricketing terminology.
In a move to "increase involvement of viewers", the think-tanks behind the showpiece event, came up with an innovation in 2016 that allowed fans in the stands to express their views on decisions referred to the third umpire. As part of this exercise, fans could participate in the decision-making - albeit only to the extent of holding placards that carried 'out' and 'not out' - while letting the cameras pan around and show the most animated ones on the screen. Given that the decision of the umpires was final and binding regardless of the fans' verdict, the hype around this innovation quietened as the season progressed.
Among the IPL's newer ventures, fan parks have taken the tournament to India's second- and third-tier towns, attracting massive turnouts that are known to shoot up to 300,000, as per the organizers' estimates. Fans turn up to not just watch the game on large screens, but regale in the entertainment that accompanies the visual experience offered by any IPL match. From covering just 16 cities two years ago, the runaway success of these parks is touted to spread its reach to 36 cities across 21 states in the tenth edition.
In Morrison's own words, his commentary career post-IPL can be summarised thus - ..aaaaaaannndd, BOOOOM!. Team names and player initials, all became spelt-out acronyms, as "Double G"s and "Double R"s rang out at tens of decibels louder than cricket fans were used to. A mix of on-the-spot analogies, pantomime gags and an all-too-ready approach to embracing local flavour, Morrison's idiosyncrasies have made him every franchise T20 tournament's commentator of choice.
Debates over the classification of the flying object aside, the hot-air balloon, which was sold as a 'blimp' on air, was yet another consumerist trope experimented with in the IPL that died down after a solitary season in the spotlight. Commentators, throughout the 2010 edition, could not stop themselves from going on about the object every IPL stadium, often invoking and praising the sponsors for being at the forefront of technological innovation. However, when the 2011 edition hit us, the much-vaunted object above the stadia vanished quietly into thin air, contrary to the manner in which it first appeared.
Mic'd up players and umpires
Mic'd up players, often a feature of Channel Nine's broadcasts in Australia, predate the IPL by a few years. However, the tournament has taken the concept to a whole new level; be it Billy Doctrove speaking in Tamil with a Caribbean accent to launch the 2011 edition, or Faf du Plessis doling out insights on coconut water in its natural and bottled forms - these hilarious moments were nothing short of live-broadcasting gold.