When in 2008, the 1st season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) started, nobody had thought that this glamourous cricket tournament of 20 overs a side could be one of the most important leagues after almost 12 successful seasons of IPL so far. The league has seen its’s ups and downs, from making unknown players shine with the biggest stars from all around the world or be it the downfall of the league after match fixing was done, banning teams like Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for 2 years. IPL has seen it all. For me, IPL has helped Indian cricket to grow in many ways by finding talents from all over the country and giving them the exposure to play in front of huge crowds as well as with cricketers from all around the world, making these young talents grow into mature cricketers.
Well, people have their opinions that glamour has overshadowed the cricket, but I don’t think so. Yes, glamour is there, but the quality of cricket is the same as in international cricket. How about taking the example of Jasprit Bumrah, India’s premier pace bowler from the past 2-3 years. How did he came to be known as one of the best fast bowlers the world has ever produced, let alone in India. Its because he got an opportunity to play for the Mumbai Indians in IPL where he developed his skills, played in games where his team were under pressure and performed to his fullest. Got to play with legendary Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga, learned a lot from him and gained in his skill set as well as confidence. This is the biggest gain from IPL. That’s what is the biggest pro for this glamourous league. IPL has given many superstars and now they are performing rather well for their respective countries. Many countries boards select players on the basis of there form in the IPL, which is a huge compliment for the IPL, as a cricket league.
But as is said, with pros come cons as well. When the match fixing scandal arose in IPL, it defamed the whole tournament, but the teams and the players took this whole controversy head on and went on playing and making IPL the best twenty-twenty league in the world. Well, another con of IPL could be that selection on the basis of IPL performance can be sometimes unfair, as players performing well in IPL doesn’t mean they would perform well in International cricket also, especially in the toughest format of the game, i.e., Test cricket. For playing or even doing well in test cricket, individuals need to play first class cricket, in India’s case that’s playing the Ranji Trophy. So, I think the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) should also give more emphasis on India’s premier domestic tournament, Ranji Trophy. The improvement in Ranji trophy tournament will mean the overall development of Indian cricket to its fullest.
Well everything said and done, I feel that IPL has added a great dimension, not only to Indian cricket, but to world cricket and given fans a way to enjoy this beautiful game, known as the Gentlemen’s Game- Cricket.