Wednesday, February 20, 2008

IPL vs ICL vs EPL

Indian Premier League IPL LogoAccording to you, Which of the three leagues - Indian Premier League, Indian Cricket League and English Premier League is going to be the most popular one in India?

My Answer: Indian Premier League for the next 7-9 years and English Premier League from then on.


Indian Cricket League ICL LogoThe question - 'Which is popular among the two existing cricket leagues in India?' is a no-brainer. The ICL may have been the first off the block, but the fact that players signing a contact with ICL bring their career to a halt means very few stars would be signing with them in the future. And IPL provides the cricketers with a better, if not lucrative option. Since only one entity owns all the teams, the capital base of the ICL is also not expected to be huge, preventing it from future expansion.


English Premier League EPL LogoThe recent buzz for IPL shows clearly the huge popularity that Indian Premier League is going to enjoy. But the real competition for IPL comes from English Premier League. Though soccer as a game is not as famous as cricket in India, it is slowly gaining popularity, especially among young male Indians. [Target Segment of Indian Premier League too] Additionally, English Premier League already boasts of a huge number of Indian Die Hard fans. And it would take a monumental effort for any franchise in English Premier League to create a similar group of die hard fans.

With the increased globalization and increased number of Indians traveling abroad, the reach of English Premier League is going to be an upward graph. And with the Indians' inborn attraction of anything Western, it would seem 'cool' for many young people to follow and to proclaim to be a fan of Manchester United rather than Chennai Super Kings.

With the extreme popularity that cricket enjoys in India, Indian Premier League is sure to remain as the most popular professional league in India, atleast for a few more years. For the dominant position to continue for Indian Premier League, both the players and management have to provide unadulterated fun for people who are watching it - on Television and on ground.

P.S: Since it is going to take a long time for Tirunelveli to get a franchise on its own, I have decided to become a fan and supporter of 'Chennai Super Kings', Chennai Franchise of Indian Premier League. To extend that support, I have started the first fan blog of Chennai Super Kings at http://chennaisuperkings.blogspot.com. If you would like to hear about 'Chennai Super Kings', do subscribe for the blog at http://feeds.feedburner.com/chennaisuperkings.

5 comments:

Arvind said...

IPL for the next few years and then EPL??? Can’t get the logic behind this as EPL is already very popular in the cosmopolitan and metropolitan cities of the country... further if IPL can be the buzzword for the next decade, why would it lose its popularity after that???

Comparing IPL and EPL is akin to comparing oranges and apples. Both are entirely different in their own means - EPL happens whole year around on the weekends while IPL is just a six week affair. The money involved in the EPL is extremely humongous when compared to that in IPL.

Most important thing for the success of a professional league setup is the loyalty among the fans. You may very well argue that when EPL Teams can have die-hard fanatical supporters even when they field non-English starting elevens, why not the IPL? Simply because EPL happens all year around and every weekend you get to see your favorite team play whereas in IPL you have a six week window when the fans are expected to shift their allegiance to players they don’t have much idea of... For instance, consider Dinesh Kartik (he'll play for the Delhi Daredevils) hitting a six of Superkings' Makhaya Ntini... Think what would be going thru the minds of those who watch this match at the Chepauk... They wud definitely be confused regarding whom to support... Dinesh, being the home grown lad, son of the soil, would actually find much more support from the locals and you might end up seeing the crowd backing him all the way even when their own team is losing!!! Pretty untested format is this IPL and I'm surprised people are talking about the long term success of this... I must say, the first year is very crucial for IPL and if it evokes a lukewarm response, then the end wouldn’t be too far for the league.

Coming to IPL vs ICL, calling the contest a no-brainer is being a bit too harsh on the ICL. The IPL, though was on Lalit Modi’s radar for a long time, was actually rushed thru’ only because of the rival ICL. Actually the IPL has done a world of good for the ICL. Till date the ICL has found the going tough, but now with IPL providing lucrative contracts to some Domestic players, it can easy poach the other aggrieved ones. No one wants to lose an opportunity to make big bucks. Any domestic player, unsure of his future or vexed with the selectors’ continued ignorance of them, now have a place to go and I m sure we would see so many defections this year to the ICL and this would really be a big head-ache for the BCCI. I personally feel that ICL would actually survive this onslaught on it by the rest of the Cricket Community and actually would eat into the player strength of the BCCI.

On a different note, looks like Superkings have signed on Ashwin, Anirudh and Badri and are on the verge of signing Abhinav Mukund… Don’t you think Vidyut should have also been selected, given his all round abilities?? And maybe Ramkumar would have been a better spinning option than Ashwin… Your views on this??

Robin said...

@ Arvind.
It is surely a very informative comment..

Though IPL and EPL are entirely different, they compete for the same customer segment in India - Young Indians... So at one stage have to compete against one another for the same fan base...

Yeah! I accept that the fan base is very trick for IPL.. A Sachin fan from chennai would support Mumbai no matter what.... But still, it would be interesting to watch out how things turn out.. That is why the first year is very important..

Though IPL was fast tracked because of ICL, it has certain inherent advantages like the capital base of eight big industrial houses of India.. But in ICL, there is only one business house.. This capital crunch would surely cripple ICL now or later... At the most, it could be only be a rebel league all its life.. never the leader...

On Chennai Super Kings.. Recent news that Chennai Super Kings is looking for a left arm spinner means that atleast one of them - (Vidyut/Ramkumar) is being considered... :)

Arvind said...

@Robin: In case they are looking for a left arm spinner, then definitely Ramkumar should get the nod.... I feel Vidyut should have been considered ahead of Ashwin... Ashwin is more of a bowler who can bat and has not been high on confidence due to a season plagued by injuries... hence Vidyut might have provided a better all round option... further he is in sublime form as seen in the recent one day tourney.. and he can bowl a bit... in T20, u need to bowl a max of only 4 overs and he would definitely manage to do tht... after all he rose up the batting order from being the no.11 for the TN team to its opener!! anyways lets see how the team selection happens...

Robin said...

@ arvind,
we all know that selection is not only based on performance and talent... Personally, I don't think Anirudha (Son of Srikkanth) as the best opener that Super Kings can lay their hands on.. It has more to do with his connections...

Personally, I feel Super Kings needs more spinners in general since the T20 has been more friendly to spinners than the fast bowlers... We will see how things work out...

Vikas said...

EPL is the clear winner in the competion.T20 is the batsman game which does not reflect the fair side of the game.