In India, cricket is not followed as a game but as a religion and IPL is our way of showing our passion for cricket to the world. IPL, the cash rich extravaganza of cricket is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm and this year it has entered in its 9th edition. But this time the TRP ratings are telling a totally different story. It seems as if IPL 9 has not been able to live up to the expectations of fans.
Cricket idols like Sachin, Sehwag, Sourav are no more playing in IPL. One of the most followed teams of IPL – CSK is suspended due to corruption charges. And our captain cool Dhoni is no more a part of Chennai’s franchise. And to worsen the situation no match is scheduled in Chennai leaving the Chennai fans with a bitter taste.
IPL is known for its exciting last ball victories but many of the matches have resulted in one sided victories leaving the fans disappointed. Many International players liken Martin Guptill, Darren Sammy remain unsold this IPL season whereas players with very less experience like Murugan Ashwin, Karun Nair, Sanju Samsun were bought in whooping prices.
IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla believes that the year’s World T20 venues provided an overdose of matches and that is the prime reason for the stadiums not getting fully occupied in the initial weeks of the 9th edition of the cash-rich tournament. But According to him, IPL 2016 is catching up on the minds of the people quickly and expects a great end to the tournament in terms of close matches and viewership but the response is less so far. Also an interesting correlation arises with the 2011 World Cup, which was also followed by the IPL. That time India had won the Cup, which kept the spirits of the fans up. This time at the WT20 India lost in the semis, and thus people opted for a break than getting hooked to IPL. Ticket prices are also an important consideration, which is not affordable for everyone. Decreasing the prices of tickets could increase the turnout at the stadiums.
The situation seems to be improving and IPL’s ruling authorities expect to see a spike in the viewership towards the end. But before that happens, IPL has its loyal fans to cheer for the teams at the stadiums.