English Premier League Should Learn From IPL
Posted on April 25 2018
The IPL T20 is back for 2018 with its normal array of big crowds and big star names. This year sees the return of the Rajasthan Royals, winners of the inaugural IPL competition, and two-time winners, the Chennai Super Kings after two-year suspensions to add to an action-packed season where the Mumbai Indians will look to retain their 2017 crown.
As the international fixtures take a back seat to the domestic game, it is refreshing to see the camera scanning around bustling stadiums and enthusiastic fans. Though test cricket is undoubtedly the greatest challenge for a cricketer, it must be demoralizing at times to play in front of half empty stadiums and the IPL offers a wonderful change of pace for both players and fans alike. Although the IPL grabs all the headlines for the star names on show and the vast sums paid to acquire those player’s services, it is the local fans and often the local players that give the competition the extra edge.
It is wonderful to see the passion and enthusiasm that the Indian crowds bring to the IPL, men, women, and children provide their teams with vivacious support, whether they’re winning or losing and everyone seems to have a thoroughly good time. It can’t be underestimated how much this adds to the competition. To compare this competition to the UK’s biggest sporting league, the Premier League, the atmosphere is put to shame. Scan through most of the EPL games today and you’ll find a very mediocre atmosphere for most games, with much of it being provided by the away fans. Add the intense hostility provided by crowds when their teams are not performing and the sheer joy of the IPL crowds can only bring a smile to your face.
Just as the Indian fans add to the entertainment factor, so do the local players. For all the expensive overseas players in the league, you often find young Indian players coming through to make a big difference. Take the game between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders. With Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers, two of the best batsmen in the world, well set on 31 and 44 respectively, up stepped part-time bowler Nitish Rana to take both wickets. Once again, this ability to attract the very best players in the world whilst still developing local talent is in stark contrast to the EPL where homegrown talent often struggles to break through.
All these aspects add up to make an excellent competition and one that is well worth a watch. Perhaps other leagues around the world could learn a thing or two from the example set by the IPL.
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