5 reasons why the Big Bash League can challenge the Indian Premier League
The Indian Premier League was possibly the biggest disruption that the world of cricket ever saw but after the initial shock that it wrecked on established practices, it became the league in which all the players wanted to participate. The riches on offer even forced some cricket boards to reschedule their seasons and the IPL's status as the world's pre-eminent league was firmly established.
It still remains the biggest show in town as far as T20 leagues are concerned and the recent $2.55 billion deal that it inked with Star Sports for the television rights has made it one of the world's most lucrative leagues, across all sports.
So, can any other league really challenge the IPL and its hegemony? Many countries now have their own T20 leagues but none of them has been a runaway success like the IPL. However, there is a slight exception and that is Australia's Big Bash League. It has become immensely popular over the past few years and while it is unlikely that it can challenge the IPL in terms of finances, it could challenge it on the popularity scale.
Here are 5 reasons why it could do that.
If a T20 league is to become popular then it needs to be played at a time when a large number of people from all over the world can actually tune in to watch the games. While it is impossible to have the games at a time that would be suitable for everyone, it helps if the game is staged at a time when a majority of cricket fans can watch it. The matches start in the afternoon in Asia, while in Europe the games start in the morning and so fans do not find it difficult to tune in from these regions.
For instance, the Caribbean Premier League might actually be a good product since the Caribbean is the breeding ground of some of the finest T20 cricketers in the world, however, the timing is a major problem. Fans from most cricket playing nations can't watch it and the subcontinent is fast asleep when the matches take place. So, the BBL's match timings could be a huge factor in the years to come if it is to challenge the IPL.