Everything you need to know about the Indian Premier League

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Indian Premier League (IPL) explained

The Indian Premier League (IPL) or more popularly known as the TATA IPL due to sponsorship reasons, is one of the most popular men’s Twenty20 cricket leagues in India. This league has over ten teams that belong from seven different Indian cities and Three Indian states. 

The Indian Premier League was first founded in 2007 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India as a way to bring attention to cricket as one of the most popular games in the country. The championship events for the league are usually held between March and May of every year along with an exclusive window in the ICC Future Tours Programme. 

The popularity of IPL in India and around the world 

As the first cricket league in India, IPL gets the most audience attendance out of all the cricket leagues in the world. It even ranked sixth in the 2014 ranking of average attendance for sports leagues around the world. 

IPL again made it into history as it became the first sporting event in the world to broadcast its match live on Youtube to reach more audiences and provide fans with a way to see their favourite teams even without going to the event itself. 

As the audience increases in IPL, the brand value of the league also shoots up. In 2019, it was recorded to have a value of over US$6.2 billion as stated by Duff and Phelps. In 2015, the Board of Control for Cricket in India reported that IPL contributed US$150 million to the gross domestic product of the Indian economy. 

The attention to IPL didn’t see a decrease since it had set a massive viewership record of over 31.57 million average impressions in 2020 despite the pandemic. Meanwhile, the overall consumption increase of IPL in 2020 rose to 23% compared to the 2019 season. 

As of 2022, there have been fifteen seasons of the IPL tournament ever since it was created. The title holder for the year 2022 was announced to be Gujarat Titans. 

History of IPL: How it all started and where it is going

The Indian Cricket League (ICL) was first founded and funded by Zee Entertainment Enterprises in 2007. However, ICL failed to be recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as well as the International Cricket Council since the BCCI is not pleased with who is joining the ICL executive board. 

This created a dispute which then prompted the BCCI to increase the prize money on their own domestic tournaments to prevent players from joining the ICL. The BCCI even imposed a lifetime ban on every player who would join the ICL since it was considered a rebel league by the BCCI. 

Foundation of IPL

In the same year that BCCI rejected ICL right after India’s victory in the 2007 T20 World Cup, BCCI announced that they would franchise a Twenty20 cricket competition that is called Indian Premier League. BCCI is slated to start ICL’s first competition in April 2008 as a high-profile ceremony in New Delhi. 

During the April 2008 event, BCCI’s vice-president Lalit Modi, the one responsible for spearheading the efforts in creating IPL, laid out all of the details of the league tournament including the format for events, the franchise revenue system and the prize money for the competition. Modi also mentioned the squad composition rules that each participating team should follow.

During the event, it was also revealed that IPL’s governing council would be composed of seven members including the BCCI officials, former Indian cricket players and the top two teams that would qualify for IPL’s Champions League Twenty20. 

The press during the time that PL was released questioned whether it was a knee-jerk reaction to the existence of ICL, Modi clarified that it is not and that BCCI has been developing IPL for two years before its release. 

IPL follows the same format as that of the United States’ NBA league and England’s Premier League. 

Expansion and termination of teams 

Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala are two of the new franchises that joined the league on March 21, 2010, shortly before the fourth season of the league in 2011. The Pune Warriors India franchise was funded by the Sahara Adventure Sports Group for over US$370 million while Kochi Tuskers Kerala was funded by Rendezvous Sports World for US$333.3 million. 

In 2011, however, Kochi Tuskers was announced for termination due to breaching the terms of the condition set out by BCCI. On September 14, 2012, BCCI announced that the 2009 league champion, Deccan Chargers would be terminated from the game after failing to find a sponsor. BCCI held an auction in October of the same year to find the new owner of the replacement franchise for Deccan Chargers. Sun TV Networks won the bid and the franchise was then named Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

Pune Warriors India later withdrew from the league due to financial differences with the BCCI. BCCI then later officially terminated the Pune Warrior franchise in October 2013 since Pune Warriors failed to provide the necessary bank guarantee. 

Another heartbreaking news came in June 2015 after it was announced that the two-time league champions Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals would be suspended from the league for two seasons due to the role that both teams played in spot-fixing and the betting scandal. 

BCCI announced after an auction in December 2015 that Pune and Rajkot would replace the Rajasthan and Chennai team for the two seasons that they were suspended. 

Indian Premier League format 

As we have mentioned before, the Indian Premier League follows both the NBA and Premier League formats. This means that the 8 teams of the league would play against each other on both home and away courts. Two points should be earned to be considered a win, one for a tie and none for an immediate defeat. 

During this double round-robin process of elimination, the bottom four teams in the game would be eliminated and the top four would progress towards the play-offs. From this point on, the game would take on a complicated turn. 

The teams that finished first and second in the league competition will play against each other in the qualifier 1 round. The winner of this competition would immediately progress to the finals. Meanwhile, the losing team wouldn’t be eliminated immediately. Instead, the two other remaining teams would play against each other in the elimination round. 

The loser would be knocked out of the game while the winner would have the opportunity to play against the second qualifier. Whoever wins this match would fight the qualifier of the first match in the championship competition. During the pandemic, the IPL participating teams are given unlimited chances for substitutes. 

What makes IPL better than other cricket leagues?

IPL isn’t the first of its kind around the world, but it is considered to be the most popular for good reasons. Check out why IPL is at the height of its popularity and why it is loved by the cricket audience all over the world below: 

Prize money from tournament sponsors 

IPL is not just a venue for players to showcase their talent and for audiences to be entertained. It also proves its worth as an excellent bridge between different brands and their possible consumers. 

Throughout the years, IPL had evolved to be one of the go-to sports events for launching a new business and promoting products. IPL is shown to maximise the ROI of different companies using a short-term approach, which attracts companies to partner with IPL.

Ticket sales 

According to the BCCI, the ticket sales that are generated from franchise venues often earn a substantial amount of share of the revenue earned by the franchise. A franchise can play seven matches on average during the league stage. 

Big names and young players compete 

IPL is a league that doesn’t favour the big names. Every player has an equal right to the title of champions and having these new players brings new blood to the scene and excites the audience even more with the prospect of something new that the players can provide in the game.