Is the Indian Premier League heading towards becoming a classic example of too much of a good thing? Probably. The average rating for this year’s first six matches is 3.76 as compared to last year’s mark of 4.63 at the end of six games The fifth edition of the IPL has not captured the imagination of the cricket-loving public in totality and the drop in TRP ratings this year is a reflection of dwindling interest.
It could well be that cricket lovers have seen through the tamasha (celebration of wickets and matches are World Cup-like). Even cricket’s shortest form can get boring with a flood of fours and sixes. Attacking batting is not often complimented by attacking bowling and therein lies the problem. Smart spectators will be quick to notice this.
Sure, the tournament may get more captivating in the second half, but it also begs the question whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India would be better off with a shorter event. It is a challenge to keep audiences interested for 53 days. A significant factor causing the dip in interest can be attributed to the amount of cricket the Indian team has played over the last 12 months, and the results have not been impressive. Apart from Test series wins in the Caribbean and at home, Team India has faltered on every tour they have undertaken.
Although it is a domestic tournament, the Governing Council of the IPL may do well to consider allowing more than four foreigners in a playing XI. After all, foreign flavour adds to the spice of the dish. While the PR machinery of some teams has been active, not all teams are going on the front foot as it were to expose their players to the media.
Some promotional tools are warped. A classic example of this was witnessed after the Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore game in Chennai yesterday. “Carnage at Chidambaram” was flashed on the giant screen at the ground. The match was far from one-sided. In fact, Chennai won off the last ball.