Too often and too loosely events in cricket are described as historic or epochal. When the Indian Premier League began, fans weren’t sure what to make of it, cricketers weren’t clear if they were making enough from it and the media didn’t quite know how to cover it.
At the end, everyone agreed on one thing — this will change the way cricket is governed and consumed around the world. Is that good? Is it the worst thing ever? Time will tell, but it’s crystal clear that change is here.
When franchises sit down with their balance sheets after the dust has settled and the cheerleaders have gone home, we'll know more about whether the financial model is robust enough — profits in the first year may just be expecting too much.
<b1>For the tournament to be a hit, two things were crucial — the players had to take the games dead seriously, and the fans had to buy into the concept. Big-note wages and a high-profile stage ensured the first, and even conceding that complimentary passes were distributed liberally, the fans thronged the gates and more.
If you’ve travelled in India this last month, there’s nowhere you could have gone without eavesdropping on an IPL conversation.
The tournament has brought out the best in some — grounds in India have improved out of recognition — and the worst in others — Slapgate being a case in point.
Sport often holds up a mirror to society, giving us commoners a chance to live out dreams through the acts of others on a more grand stage. Is the Jaipur fairytale your story? Do you sympathise with Bangalore? The IPL provided a variety of fixes. Did you get yours?