Is IPL a boon or a bane for Indian cricket?
- A look at the pros and cons of the IPL with respect to its impact on global and Indian cricket.
The Indian Premier League is the most attended cricket league in the world and as of 2014, the sixth most watched sport in the globe. Founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the IPL has done wonders since its inception in 2008.
The tournament has been the backbone of BCCI's income. It has revolutionized not just cricket in India, but also the way the game is played throughout the world.
But is IPL really a boon for Indian cricket? With the latest season - IPL 2019 - coming up, let's discuss some pros and cons of the tournament on Indian cricket.
Pro: A stage for young talent to break through
The IPL has been the best place for young players and even older ones to showcase their talent and make it into the national team. Several superstars like Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Prithvi Shaw and many more got their place in the Indian team through the league.
Even foreign recruits are not far behind. The likes of Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Lendl Simmons made it to their respective national sides through the IPL.
Every year in the auction, franchises look to buy young unknown talent and hence form a favourable platform for the players to set the stage on fire.
Con: The quality of cricket is decreasing with each passing day
With the rise of the fast-paced T20 format around the globe, players have started to use unorthodox ways to play cricket which has dropped the quality of cricket drastically. Players are getting used to playing on flat decks which suit the shorter format of the game.
This can be seen in the Test format where batsmen are not able to be patient and more often than not miss the ball due to lack of technique.
Pro: Increase in popularity of cricket
IPL is being broadcasted not just in cricket playing nations but also in non-cricketing ones. That is totally understandable as the IPL was the first sporting event to be broadcasted live on YouTube in 2010.
The love of the fans for their local franchise encourages them to take up cricket. Nowadays in India, you can see a cricket coaching institution in almost every neighborhood.
Cons: Test cricket is becoming endangered
The longest and toughest format of the game, the five-day Test cricket, has been on a decline ever since the T20 format started.
Players are becoming more committed to the shorter version of the game, where you play just about 14-16 games and get about 2 million dollars. In contrast, playing all three formats at the international level for 1-1.5 million dollars seems like a bad trade-off.
Pro: It is contributing greatly to the GDP of the country
The brand value of IPL reached US$5.3 billion at the end of the 10th edition of the tournament.
In 2015, IPL contributed ₹11.5 billion to India's GDP. That is a staggering number and a clear indication of the impact of the IPL on the nation's progress.
Con: The exorbitant amount of money involved might lead to problems in the future
The revenue models mean that a large amount of money is involved in player wages, fees that franchises pay to BCCI and other expenses. With very high costs, the IPL model seems to be non-sustainable.
There is a great danger that after some seasons, the game will lose its viability and attraction and the event may have to close down or it will have to change its present format of high-cost structures.
Also, players are starting to skip the international calendar just to be fit for the cash, making the mega event lose some of its value for hardcore cricket fans.