If you think the IPL is merely India’s domestic T20 tournament, you can’t be more wrong. Lalit Modi’s game-changing billion-dollar baby is the perfect marriage of cricket and glamour – a complete package for a country which loves their cricket as much as their Bollywood. Despite India being a latecomer to the T20 phenomenon, the IPL has revolutionised the way we look at cricket and has captivated the imagination of a billion cricket crazy Indians by providing the ideal mix of glamour and entertainment.
Let’s take a look at the Top 5 Innovations in IPL that make the cash-rich league stand out from T20 international cricket.
1. The Cheerleader effect!
If the United States can import Cricket, then we are allowed to import the cheerleading phenomena, aren’t we? There was much hullabaloo about the introduction of cheerleaders in cricket, but India has warmed up to them surprisingly well. The girls are as much an attraction as the match itself, dancing to Bollywood numbers when there is a boundary or a wicket to cheer for. Of course, the self-righteous moral police have created much noise about their skimpy clothing or dance moves, but that is for another day.
2. Strategic time-outs, or should I say, Squeeze-more-ads-in break?
When the IPL moved to South Africa in 2009, Mastermind Lalit Modi decided to compensate for the loss in revenues by squeezing more advertisements in timeouts of seven and a half minutes each after 10 overs of each inning. Now, the timeouts are two and a half minutes long and the bowling and batting sides can choose when to use them in each inning. So, ten minutes of extra ad time and more eyeballs for advertisers. Yo IPL, so rich!
3. Microphones to get into the thick of things!
Last night, it was rather interesting to have Kevin Petersen talk about the mood in the Royal Pune Supergiants camp and his observation of leg-spinner M Ashwin. It is rather engaging from the audience point of view to have umpires or players wired up and have a chat with the commentators during the heat of the moment. Like, Umpires asking “Are you ready batsmen? Are you the ready bowler? Mumbai, are you ready?’ before he declares the start of play, or commentators catching up with players to get their take on the match situation. As a cricket lover, it can’t get better than this.
4. Sponsor’s name written all over commentary
“And Dhoni has just dispatched that delivery for a DLF Maximum,” that’s something you must be quite used to listening to on the IPL broadcast. No, not the fact that Dhoni hit a six, but the fact that the six in IPL is referred to as a DLF Maximum. Then there are the Karbonn Kamaal Catches that get awarded at the end of each game. It is as much preparation on the part of the commentator to research about players and their form as it is to make sure they add Karbonn or Vodafone to any notable event on the field.
5. The IPL late night parties!
These parties include everything from fashion shows to music to booze and continue until the wee hours of the morning. Cricketers, businessmen, models, Bollywood celebrities and those associated with television and fashion are all in attendance. Want to party with the likes of Gayle and KP? Shell out 40 grand for a ticket to watch the match from the corporate box and attend one of these late night parties.