IPL losing its spark

Is IPL losing its Spark?

Way back in April of 2008, when Ganguly and McCullum walked out at the home of RCB. They not only created history but set up a pillar for an amazing journey called IPL. From the very first hundred that day, we have seen a lot of sports filled with drama. Over the years we have seen a lot of drama series of the likes of Harbhajan being slapped, and dissolution of teams and later to see these teams come back after years. The spark is there in IPL, however, if you ask a cricket fan, it is slowly dimming.

IPL is a similar club sport with the likes of EPLs and LA LIGAs of the world. These club games have a similar way of continuous games and winning and losing, every sport would have that. But there is a stark difference in various aspects as well. These domestic competitions have evolved and have tried to elevate the drama to the next level. There is relegation for a team post a dismal season. Rewards post good season are good too and you get to compete against the best of different leagues. This was something that even the IPL governing council tried. However, the idea did not take off, probably because the plot here was getting changed.

If you have ever understood the Indian audience, they are seeking a comfort zone in their TV series as well. This is the reason why a TV serial in India which has never changed its plot for decades would easily be the longest running show and be successful too. Lookup longest running shows and you will find such shows where a man’s marriage is kept on hold for more than a decade (Reference Taarak Mehta Ka oolta chashma) so that they do not have to change the plot. And the credit for this would highly be attributed to the Indian audience, since they are not comfortable to watch the death of an on-screen TV character. So much so they did all drama to get that character back. For the reason over the past few years we have seen limited or no innovation in the Bollywood as well.

A good part of this Indian audience is also looking at the western world for creativity and much better plots. The success of recent shows like Game of Thrones, Big Bang theory and Narcos is a great example of this. Importantly, it is this next generation or the youth of India which is under migration from Indian creation to the western creation.

With IPL, obviously we do not expect more drama like Game of Thrones, but at the same time, we do not expect a routine like looking matches and their finale.
Maybe IPL can introduce cricket academies to support the budding talent or maybe re-introduce champions league. Revamping the existing teams completely could bring back the slowly dimming spark. Else, over the period it might lose the attention it enjoys now.

IPL has passed the difficult test of starting off with much ease and also performed brilliantly as Toddler. It has to try and look at newer opportunities to grow in various directions. IPL now needs to cautiously figure out next growth avenues.

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