Indian Premier League- the posterboy of a powerful India
Bhaskar News | Apr 05, 2013, 05:14AM IST
New Delhi: With a brand value of Rs 19,000 crore, representation from all major continents and an extravagant display of culture and sports, the Indian Premier League have become a sign of India’s growing economic prowess across the globe.
Through lure of immense riches and fame, the IPL has managed to accomplish what no Indian government has been able to do till now- improve the image of India in eyes of developed world. For instance, there used to be times when visiting teams used to frown on prospect of touring the sub-continent. The unpleasant fact was evident when Sir Donald Bradman along with the Australian team, on their return from England on their way back home, refused to step out of their vessel on bunker port of Kolkata.
But today, five years after IPL was started, contemporary Australian legends like Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting among others are leading teams for their Indian franchise owners. Experienced and budding cricketers from England and across the globe are coveting for the share of IPL pie. The wheel of fate has turned , and it is India which is at top this time.
But critics of IPL point out that mixing the sport with entertainment has degraded the quality of cricket in the country. Some sport-writers admonish the fact that youngsters are more lured towards glamour of IPL than cricket, and thus cricket in the country has taken a hit. It is believed that IPL has destroyed budding cricketers by introducing them to vices of Bollywood(read late night parties and hobnobbing with celebs). Punjab leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, accused of taking drugs in a rave party during last IPL epitomizes the phenomenon of talent being detracted by vices.
Some financial analysts opine that share of huge amount of money invested in some of the IPL teams has dubious origin, or could even be black money routed through foreign accounts. Owners of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab must be aware about the fact better than others, for having faced the ire of investigative agencies for their doubtful financial transactions.
Rahul Sharma’s failure notwithstanding, the matter of fact is that IPL has given India more promising cricketers in recent past than any other domestic competition. The success stories of Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and many others who grabbed the limelight through maverick performances in IPL are well-known.
Not only India, IPL has also nurtured overseas talent that has benefited national teams. Remember where did you first see explosive opener David Warner?
Statistics quash the argument of IPL having degraded the quality of cricket. The first five seasons of IPL have seen batsmen amassing 96,722 runs in total at an average of 25.22 and scoring rate of 7.89. The bowlers have had their sare of luck too, striking after every 19.49 ball. The high point of IPL history till now has been the number of boundaries , with 3,086 sixes and 8, 555 fours.
What these statistics have done is changed the course of international cricket. Chases have become more daring and even 400 is not impossible to make or chase in a 50-over game today, largely thanks to the IPL attitude.
All the criticism of IPL teams using unfair economic practices is countered by the tremendous amount of business that has been generated. Though the beneficiary has largely been the BCCI, others from government, businesses to the media have had their share of IPL pie. When the IPL caravan reaches a city, from local tourism to local business, all get a boost.
Ironically, the ever-vocal Indian media that has often been at forefront of IPL tongue-lashing appears to be the greatest beneficiary of the IPL largesse. The circulation of newspapers and the ratings of TV channels have got a boost owing to news and controversies generated by the tournament. Advertisements abound when IPL fever is on.
But one place where IPL impact has been felt the maximum is on the entertainment industry. Be it the foreign cheerleaders who rejoice with the crowds or the reel stars who come out of their shells during these matches, IPL has revolutionized the way we view entertainment.
Except for few negatives, the impact of IPL on Indian cricket, business and entertainment has thus been largely positive.