OPINION

Taking Stock of The IPL Effect

June 04, 2008
Varun P

What lull! What happened? What is the time right now? 8:30 pm, right?? So why aren't the TV on? Where have all the screams and shouts disappeared to? How come we have saas-bahu serials on TV again at this hour? What's wrong? No match today? An off day for the IPL?

These were some of the questions that I was bombarded with as I entered home last evening, and then reality dawned on the ignorant me: The IPL extravaganza had come to a conclusion; the festivities, the celebrations had all reached a dramatic crescendo on Sunday, June 1, 2008. Life is expected to return to normal now that our daily dose of the 3-odd hour long sports+entertainment show is over. And it is unlikely to stage a comeback at least till October 2008 and that too only if the Champions T20 cup takes off as planned.

The success of the IPL can be gauged by how much the IPL had become a part of our daily life! Look at what the IPL has achieved - thank god for the instigation provided by the ICL else IPL might never have been conceptualized, despite whatever Lalit Modi might claim. The IPL has proven to be successful beyond any of our wildest dreams! A hit with the masses, the stadium sales, the advertisers, the sponsors and the TRPs, all bear fruit to the unprecedented success that the IPL has enjoyed! Lalit Modi has even suggested holding the tournament twice a year from 2011 onwards - what option does ICC have but to make room for the IPL in the Future Tours programme! The game is attracting viewership across all age groups and geographies and it's not only the organizers who are happy with the success - the players too are reaping benefits of performing in this niche tournament! With their salaries likely to go through the roof from next year onwards (when the cap of $5 million may be removed), the ICC had better take proactive measures to ensure that players do not cut short their international careers to participate in the IPL.

The inaugural edition of the IPL has enjoyed unprecedented success and had become a daily ritual where we finished work in time and ensured that we were seated in front of the TV sets by 8 to cheer and egg our franchises on! The next day, at work, was obviously spent in lauding this format and analyzing the game, with expert views coming from both genders! The format and unpredictability of the game has stumped everyone - some have had a pleasant experience while others are fuming at the surprises coming their way! The least we have seen is an unearthing of the talent that abounds in India - if not for ODIs or Tests, we at least got a healthy pool of youngsters to choose from for the international Twenty20 matches.

The IPL had also freed us of the daily overdoses of the saas-bahu serials, albeit a temporary respite! Now that the IPL is over, we need to return to the normal grind of life and ensure that we sleep-walk thorugh the days till the T20 games are back on TV. The soaps are back at the top of the TRPs chart - yet another proof of how the IPL had an impact on our daily routines.

P.S. The cap on players' salaries is unlikely to be lifted next year. This is likely to ensure that all franchises have equal purchasing power.

A passion for reading translates itself into a passion for writing .. Or you may say, that beacuse of loading too much of what I read onto my brain, I constantly need to pen it down to help my brain cope with the craziness floating around in my head!
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