Is IPL Fixed? Conception, Success and Scandals
Rewind the clock by a good decade and you will find the game of cricket in a dreary state. The 50 over format was proving to be too much for casual fans and the test format had been abandoned by even the most die-hard of followers. Cricket needed some sort of stimulant and that came in the guise of t20 cricket. In this article, we will focus on the birth of the Indian Premier League, the success of the league so far and the scandals that have come with it. Yes, there are many scandals that have plagued the IPL with many asking the question Is IPL Fixed?
IPL | Birth of T20 in India
It was in 2008 that Lalit Modi made the earth-shattering announcement that IPL will be launched in India. As is the case with most things that bring about change, the announcement was met with skepticism and criticism. Old school cricket fans were horrified by the idea of shortening the format and many likened the t20 to a crude Bollywood item number. There were no doubt similarities between IPL and Bollywood. The tournament was to be accompanied by dancers, music and fireworks making it into a full spectacle.
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Regardless, Lalit Modi soldiered on and eventually, the inaugural tournament was held in 2008. To deem it a success would be a massive understatement. Given the multitude of distractions now available to the Indian audience including NetFlix, Flipkart and more, the cricket matches in this tournament were short and full of excitement. Each match became a must-see event to see how many sixes or how far the sixes would be. Similarly, the fielders used the tournament to showcase their athletic ability.
IPL |The Business Model
Another factor that contributed to the massive success of the tournament was the involvement of private investment. The investment from the private sector was used to not just sponsor teams but outright own them. As you can imagine, prominent business tycoons and celebrities jumped at the idea to put a stamp on their respective teams.
Shah Rukh Khan and Juwi Chawla took ownership of the Kolkata Knight Riders while the Ambani family assembled the Mumbai Indians for battle. This was the rare occasion where BCCI and the private sector worked together to create the tournament. Team owners were given the assurance that there would only be a limited number of teams playing in the format. This executed the over-demand / undersupply phenomenon in economics leading to a rise in value.
The team owners were required to play a pivotal role in the team’s management and ensuring that a responsible, yet exciting image was being portrayed to the punters. This put very little risk on BCCI and placed the onus on each team owner to guarantee success.
IPL |Resurgence of Test Cricket
With a shorter format, both batsmen and bowlers were required to think outside the box in order to help their team win the game. Batsmen were encouraged to be aggressive while bowlers could no longer rely on just one style of delivery to achieve their goals.
The fielders themselves were put on the spot as they became pivotal in stopping the flow of runs. Over the years fielders have catapulted themselves in the air and have taken catches that were previously thought to be impossible. All of these improvements have seeped into the other formats of the game as well. This has meant that IPL has one way or the other subsidized other formats of cricket especially the Test matches.
It comes as no surprise that fans eagerly await IPL’s return. The pandemic that has crippled nations has also proven to be a roadblock for the Indian Premier League. While the latest season is expected to restart in UAE with a reduced number of spectators, fans are still wary as to how long the season will be able to last. One sign of infection and the entire tournament will be at risk of shutting down.
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Is IPL Fixed?
One dark cloud that has always loomed over cricket in the sub-continent is that of match-fixing. The cricketing world was shaken to its core when the late Hanse Cronje pled guilty to his involvement in match-fixing. This created a ripple effect that tarnished the names of several celebrities that had otherwise achieved god-like status.
These included cricketers from Pakistan such as Wasim Akram and Salim Malik and former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin. To this day there are those that still believe that cricket is no longer a fair game and that match-fixing continues to rear its ugly head even in the newest format of the game. We hope that match-fixing has not managed to make its way into the IPL so we can finally put an end to comments such as Is IPL Fixed once and for all.