Since its inception in 2008, a lot of cricket’s top stars take a break from their international and domestic cricketing requirements and take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) which takes place between March and May. In other words,during this period all eyes around the cricket world are on this exciting live cricket tournament. However looking at it in a broader view, it is inevitable that this shorter cricket format would not be so popular in the eyes of fans and cricketer’s alike in comparison to longer formats like the 50 over or Test matches. In fact, it seems strange that the T20’s benefits were ignored by the BCCI initially. The reason for this is simple, a much shorter match duration and the time period or schedule when the IPL takes place.
The first reason for the IPL’s rapid rise in popularity is its timing. It is a well known fact that the number of spectators in England for cricket has been on the downfall. This is especially true amongst the youngsters who prefer following sports which have shorter match durations compared to the long hours of a One Day International or Test Match. However the adoption of the T20 game was met with a lot of curiosity and enthusiasm, thanks to it’s shorter hours and its tendency to a thrilling cricket score. The shorter hours of the T20 meant that supporters did not have to plan their schedule around the match also added to each team’s urgency to get a high enough score.
Another thing that has no doubt worked in the IPL’s favour is the time of the year it takes place. It usually takes place during the summer in April and May where kids would be on their summer vacations thus giving more time to the entire family to follow the tournament. Plus the schedule of the IPL takes place when most other countries’ cricket seasons are not taking place which allows most of the international cricket stars to be available for the popular tournament. Players from the West Indies have proven to be so popular amongst viewers and teams alike often leading to schedule conflicts between the players and their cricket board. The IPL’s timing of it’s schedule and thus popularity has also been helped with the fact that countries such as Australia, England and other
countries do not have any domestic or T20 tournaments going on at that time.
In conclusion, the IPL is no doubt one of the most famous T20 cricket tournaments taking place today. With the popularity of smartphones, people do not even sit in front of the tv to follow it. They simply need to download an app and get the live scores, updates or even stream an ongoing match. There is no doubt that this shorter format is the way forward for cricket!