Thursday, April 17, 2008


IPL is starting tomorrow. But the right atmosphere for such big tournaments is not created as of now. In fact i doubt how many people of aware that it's starting tomorrow. There aren't enough advertises, no team merchandise on sale, tickets for all matches are not on sale online. Agreed that this is the first season and it will take at least 2 years to get all things in order.

But there is another thing about IPL that I didn't like. Many people have compared IPL to EPL in football. But IPL is modeled on American sports and not on European football. Why?

1. Teams in IPL are franchisees and not clubs, just like US teams. What franchisees are...well they are just like companies owned by big businessmen. So basically if the owner wishes he can move his team from one city to another city, if he finds better business proposition. And this has been number of times in US. So there is less loyalty among local fans and so the passion is based only on the stars in the team and can be fickle. (That's why people say College Basketball or Football generates more passion n draws more crowd) Agreed that there are some historical teams in US, like Yankees, n they generate passion, but such teams are small in number.

Teams in Europe are based on club structure and fans often have stake in them. (Though ownerships have changes over last few years, fans still have much say in the way club is run) There is much more that a sport in a football club and thats why it's so passionate. And loyalties don't change for entire life.

2.Another issue is it's being promoted like 3 hours of entertainment, with all the Bollywood stars n all. Just like Superbowl n all US sports are promoted. You come there to have good time and then forget about it. All focus should be on cricketers n not on other stars. Cheergirls n all is also feature of US sports, another way to divert attention from pure sports.

European football on the other hand is only about the players and the teams. And there is much emphasis on the game and tradition and community. Players are accompanied by children from academies, instead of showmen, just emphasizes this fact. There is entertainment, but it comes from the pitch itself.

3. And, of course, there is tradition in European football. But it can't be brought to IPL. So I am not discussing that.

In short, IPL is just emulating US sports. I would have rather liked it to be based on European football. What does that entail to? Currently, cricket in India only equates to international cricket. So there should be development of local cricket. I think, Club structure should be developed across the cities, or rather the small clubs (which play in tournaments like Times Shield).

I would also like to support something like Western Suburb Club and would like to lock horn against some club from Central suburbs or say some town team . But this Mumbai Indians isn't generating enough passion. Maybe it would be generated as the tournament progresses. But till then IPL would be another source of entertainment and not something which I would follow with passion!

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