IPL and Future of Cricket
IPL is big.
IPL is big in terms of revenue, glamour, supporter-craze and of course in terms of cricketing excellence. The cricket crazy nation of India has probably never seen such a good domestic tournament so far – in any sports.
How popular is IPL? What percentage of popularity of cricket is actually driven by IPL? I started thinking about these questions after talking to grandfather of my kid’s mate. He’s Polish and lives in a village. But, IPL is one of his favorite sporting pass-time, apart from watching soccer. He’s still not so crazy about cricket but was able to tell me about KKR, Shahrukh Khan, Sunil Narine and what not. He enjoys the thrilling finish of T-20 games. But, to the contrary, he doesn’t watch normal ODI cricket.
IPL makes BCCI rich. Prior to IPL, majority(85% as of my latest knowledge) of revenues of all ICC tournaments were equally divided among the member nations. So, all countries were in a sense equal. IPL disrupted the same. They turned that equation upside down. Since IPL stands as Indian domestic league – BCCI pockets the profit from this tournament. That made BCCI one of the richest cricket boards.
That takes me to my first infographic that shows how IPL is climbing the ladder of popularity. Below is the search trend of two keywords – IPL and Cricket. The red one is cricket and the blue one is IPL.
Worldwide the interest around cricket is growing – but not at the same pace of that of IPL. IPL is a seasonal phenomenon and at its peak, it has overtaken interest on cricket in 2012.
If we concentrate only within India, we’ll see similar phenomenon replicated albeit IPL gaining more prominence compared to Cricket.
IPL is dominating cricket in India.
But don’t miss the point. The pinnacle of all these is the world cup winning moment of India. The IPL peak is hardly 60% of it. So, even though IPL slowly taking over cricketing phenomenon of India, the World Cup stays in its place.
IPL is most popular in West Bengal – probably justifying the recent success of KKR as a team.
I think its safe to comment that except a very few selected tournaments (such as World Cups), IPL is going to be the most popular cricket tournament in the coming decades. Whether it would enrich Indian cricket or not is a different question and I am not too hopeful on that right now. But the status of stature of IPL as a cricket tournament can only rise in coming future. Any opposition?
N.B. – Click on the images to visit the google trends for those keywords.