Indian Premier League (IPL) is league cricket’s ultimate success story. What was initiated as an experiment in 2008 is now the biggest league cricketing event with a brand value of staggering INR 45,800 crores in 2020, despite a noticeable 3.6% dip. It’s one of the most-watched events globally with a 21% rise in viewership in 2020 compared to the previous season. Rather, the season opener of the ongoing, 2021 edition registered a record 323 million total impressions.
Wonder why IPL has become such a rage? Well, the reasons are many, the popularity of cricket in India for one. For Indians, cricket is more than just a sport. Rather, it’s a religion that unites an otherwise fragmented society. The touch of Bollywood and glamour also helped make IPL such a crowd puller. Plus, the league has helped develop a strong cricketing culture that promotes talent. Call it a factory that churns out exciting talents season on season. Let’s discuss why?
Living Up To the Motto:
The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) came up with the idea of IPL to provide a platform for youngsters to showcase their talent, hone their skills and be future-ready. That reflects in the motto, “YATRA PRATIBHA AVSARA PRAPNOTIHI,” meaning where talent meets opportunity. The tournament has lived up to its motto remarkably well throughout its entire existence.
Over the years, some of the big-ticket players in world cricket have emerged from the IPL. Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, you name it. Also, the latest white-ball cricket sensations, Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya achieved recognition through the IPL. Interestingly, all three of them are an integral part of Mumbai Indians, indisputably the most successful team in IPL.
Exposure, Exposure and Exposure:
Rubbing shoulders with the best in the business is an enriching experience. IPL enabled young domestic players to share a dressing room with icons who they have admired all their growing years. Interaction with these established players helps them improve their technique, strategy and overall understanding of the game. These are vital lessons helping youngsters evolve as cricketers and stay future-ready. Imagine a young Devdutt Padikkal learning the tricks of the trade from Kohli and De Villiers. He’ll enter the international stage as a finished product.
High Cricketing Standards:
If India has the best bench strength, thank the IPL. The cricketing standards are high enough to inspire youngsters to raise their game and compete as fiercely as they can. When they do that on a regular basis, their confidence gets a boost and so does their skill level and game awareness. That’s perhaps why a confident Surya Kumar Yadav started his international career with a six. Several years on, he has been in the scheme of things of MI, the most successful team in IPL.
Develop Nerves of Steel:
International cricket is all about pressure. A player’s success depends on how well he can cope with the pressure. IPL exposes them to pressure situations early on in their careers. They learn how to stay focused, capitalize on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses when chips are down. Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant and other young Turks did that when chasing a total in the historic Gabba test on the fifth day. Need we say all of them are a product of IPL?