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IPL 2018 burnout: Are Delhiites losing interest in watching the cricket spectacle?

Delhi Daredevils’ disappointing performances over the years to the lack of reinvention, here are a few reasons why Delhiites might be getting bored of the Indian Premier League.

delhi Updated: May 21, 2018 12:11 IST
Abhinav Verma
Abhinav Verma
Hindustan Times
IPL,Indian Premier League,IPL deals
Delhi Daredevils cricketer Glenn Maxwell (right) celebrates the wicket of Chennai Super Kings cricketer Ambati Rayudu during the 2018 Indian Premier League on May 18, 2018.(Photo: Money Sharma/AFP)

Ever since the inception of IPL (Indian Premier League) in 2008, the months of April-May have been synonymous with cricket. During the IPL season, Delhiites would head to restaurants to watch the matches on giant screens and also to snap up the great food and beverage deals that have so far been part and parcel of the IPL season. This year, however, it seems that interest in IPL has waned in Delhi — for a number of reasons, including the consistently poor showing by Delhi Daredevils — and so the deals, too, are on the decline.

“Delhi has lost its entire [IPL] fan base. Delhiites no longer want to watch the matches when their own team struggles to even reach the play-off. When the customer is not interested in something, there’s no point running deals around it,” says Manish Sharma, owner, Molecule and The Drunken Botanist.

A recent report by The Economic Times suggests that television viewership of IPL has been declining, and that fewer people are watching it in 2018 compared to the 2017 season. One of the reasons for this decline, according to a recent article by Scroll.in, is that matches go on till late night (11.30pm-midnight), and viewers usually switch off by 11pm.

READ | IPL 2018: How Delhi Daredevils stifled MS Dhoni’s big-hitting prowess

Delhi restaurateurs believe that the reason for the lack of interest are many more. Neeraj Sharma, owner, Philtre – The Bistro, says, “When IPL began, it was India’s only sports franchisee league. It was the centre of attention. However, with the promotion of other sports such as hockey and kabaddi, IPL is not the centre of attention anymore.”

Also, people are bored of the round robin matches, and interest may spike only around the final battles later this week. “Most people only watch IPL during semi-finals and finals, as they find routine league matches boring,” says Piyush Jain, owner, Decode.

And what do Delhiites think? “IPL has stagnated. There have been hardly any changes in the format; it has become predictable. IPL’s rival league — the Big Bash League in Australia — is more interesting, because they keep changing the format and rules every season. For 10 years, IPL hasn’t evolved,” says Anand Dixit, 25, a model by profession.

Anshul Pratap, a 19-year-old medical student, echoes the thoughts, saying, “People are getting bored of IPL, because it’s not new anymore. Also, a sport like football is more interesting and much more popular universally, and Indians now are slowly gravitating towards football.”

First Published: May 20, 2018 16:43 IST