The fifteenth season of the Indian Premier League has begun with much fanfare & will continue till the 29th. of May 2022.
The 20 over cricket Tournament that was introduced by BCCI in 2008 mainly to stop the poaching of young players by the Indian Cricket League promoted by Indian Media Mogul Subhash Chandra along with the legendary Kapil dev, has now acquired a brand value of USD 6.2 billion in 2019, as per Duff & Phelps. And now it is being considered as one of the most popular Sports Events of the world compared with the National Football League( FootBall), the English Premier League (FootBall), the NBA(Basket Ball) or the National Hockey League(Ice Hockey).
The details are given below.
According to BCCI, the IPL 2015 Season had contributed USD 150 million to the Indian GDP. However the Govt. still considers the IPL as entertainment, being Taxed accordingly despite protesting by the BCCI. However, the IPL has always remained under Cloud for various reasons, since its inception.
Some of the controversies that dented the image of the IPL
Lalit Modi, the man who conceived the idea of the IPL in 2007 & made it a reality. Lalit Modi was later on removed from the post of IPL Chairman & Commissioner due to the charges of Corruption & financial irregularities.
The two teams from IPL the Chennai Super King & the Rajasthan Royals faced suspension for two years in 2015 for betting & spot fixing activities of their owners in 2013. In 2013 only, Sreesanth, who was playing for the Rajasthan Royals was arrested along with two other players on the charges of Match Fixing & was later on banned from all formats of cricket by BCCI.
In 2011, two new teams were included in the fold of the IPL, namely Kochi Tuskers Kerala & the Pune Warriors India, at astronomically high Franchise fees. Kochi Tuskers Kerala, the team from Kerala could not submit the Bank Guarantee for 10% of the Franchise Fee, before the beginning of the Season & was shown the door. After the Season of 2013 Pune Warriors India also bowed out due to the financial difference between the Owners & the BCCI.
The Impact of the IPL on Indian Cricket
It is a fact that the IPL has been able to attract the best cricketers across the globe as players, coaches, and mentors & allowed the young Indian Cricketers to play with them & develop. The credit for building the strong bench strength of the Indian cricket team goes largely to the IPL since Cricket has now taken firm roots in Tier II & Tier III towns of the country. Fitness & Fielding had always been a matter of concern for the Indian Cricket Team & both the factors have always let down the Indian Team. In both areas young Indian Cricketers have improved a lot & credit to a great extent goes to The IPL & the opportunity IPL has provided to rub shoulders with the best of the cricketers.
The all-pervading importance of the IPL has diminished the importance of other domestic tournaments. Now the National Selectors also attach a lot of importance to the performance in the IPL, while selecting the team. So all the Cricketers always try to put up their best performance in the IPL, since it also provides Big Money, even to the younger players.
Cricket in India is more than a religion & the cricketers are like demi-gods.
So it is the duty of the BCCI, the highest authority for governing the cricket in India to keep it free the Cricket & particularly the IPL from vices like Spot Fixing & Match-fixing. It is easier said than done, but the country expects even from the Cricketers to maintain Self-discipline.
Time will tell whether Indian Cricketers could live up to the expectations of their followers.