Today, the Indian Premier League has been one of the most successful leagues around the world.
During the inaugural season in 2008, there were questions raised about the longevity of the tournament.
The questions of its survival were legitimate at the time, given that T20 was relatively new, and most players weren’t accustomed to playing this format of the game.
However, the 158-individual score from Baz (Brendon McCullum) in the 1st match of IPL put a glitter on the tournament and may well have laid the foundation for the format.
Fans bought into the format’s excitement at the outset, batters and bowlers were eating up the cheers with every boundary scored and wicket taken.
One of the T20 leagues’ biggest strengths is the uncertainty factor — one can expect the unexpected.
For example, no one would have ever imagined that Rajasthan Royals would have won the tournament when they did as they were not a star-studded team and moreover, led by Shane Warne, a man who is known more for his bowling than his captain’s skills.
In 2009, the league was shifted to South Africa, much to fans’ chagrin and a challenge to the handlers back then.
IPL has now evolved to be a perfect platform for youngsters to showcase their talents alongside big superstars and before a massive number of spectators.
Star players like Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, et al. had performed so well in the IPL that India’s cricket management had no choice but to add them to the senior team.
Over time, a vast amount of money has been invested in this league by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and franchisee owners.
The franchisees pick high-profiled international players by paying them large sums of money in exchange hopefully for brilliant performances.
Another big plus for this league is the combination of international players and young uncapped Indian players playing together.
A case in point, in a recent match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, Windies Kieron Pollard, and young left-handed batsman Ishan Kishan were batting together in a run-chase of 90 in 30 balls.
Kishan was looking to take on the bowlers but was not timing the ball until a bit of advice from Pollard.
Kishan later scored 99 runs with nine sixes, which almost won the game for Mumbai Indians.
In recent years, the competition’s intensity has increased as players have better honed their skills and are more strategic in their approach to the game.
The 2019 IPL points table demonstrates how competitive the tournament has become — the top two teams finished with 18 points, the third team with 16 points and fourth, fifth and sixth with 12 points each, whereas the seven and eight teams not very far behind with 11 points respectively.
In fact, this season’s IPL matches are finishing tighter than usual.
The IPL is expected to break all Television Rating Point (TRP) and records this year.
We have already seen two super-overs in just ten matches.
High-scoring matches are getting down the wire to the last over, as teams are backing themselves to chase big totals.
A few overs of good batting or bowling can change a game completely.
For the fans, IPL is a cricket madness time as they jump and cheer, to celebrate their favorite team’s wins, and curse the losses.
The last over finishes, super overs, big sixes, among other game factors, elicit all kinds of emotions from fans.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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