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IPL overkill?

I know what some of you are thinking. Many of you are now starting to suffer from IPL overkill and your enthusiasm is starting to wane regarding Edition 6.

Although I certainly do not blame those from outside India thinking that way, it is important to remember that with India being the cricketing hub of the globe, the event is still ‘killing it’ there.

Let me remind you also that less than five per cent of the revenue generated from the IPL originates from outside India’s border such is the enthusiasm for the product. Doesn’t that tell a story?

The IPL has just reached the half-way stage and clearly there is still a long way to go with only 41 out of the 76 scheduled games completed.

Just to refresh your memory, it all started on April 3rd in Kolkata, and will culminate at the same venue on Sunday, May 26th.

That is some seven and a half weeks of players, coaching staff, commentators, organisers and production crews traipsing the length and breadth of India to satisfy the endless thirst for the T20 product in that country.

The packed stadiums, the newspaper headlines, the magnitude of the coverage on the 24-hour news channels and the ever-lurking eager media hounds are testament to the fact that the IPL is a very different beast and the local population can’t get enough of it.

The show the players have put on at times has been quite breathtaking with many games being decided in the blink of an eye by individual brilliance deep into proceedings.

So far the 41 games have produced many nailbiting results with the implementation of two ‘super overs’ to decide tied games.

To add to that excitement, nine games have resulted in last-over wins by the team batting second and an additional four have been last-delivery victories by the team batting first.

All things considered, there has certainly been enough action to keep eyeballs glued and, satisfyingly, the overall quality has also improved this year.

But everyone must get one thing straight. The duration of the IPL is lengthy but also perfect for India. It works brilliantly commercially in that environment but that is not the case in any other country.

The secret of a successful national T20 tournament outside India is to maintain the impact of the event, put the best players on show and sustain the enthusiasm for it.

In my opinion a concise, pumped-up event lasting four weeks is ideal and when that is forgotten the product is often compromised by an element of greed.

Hang in there guys and remember the IPL is not necessarily for you, but it is a superb product for those it was intended for.

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