With the BCCI planning to make IPL a 10-team affair, here’s a look at why states with a plethora of IPL fans like Bihar should have an IPL team in the near future.
As one of the most cherished sports in the world, cricket has been enticing millions of Indians for decades now. In fact, the popularity of cricket is such that many people see it as a religion instead of just a sport.
The advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has revolutionized the game of cricket in India. The IPL has served as a stimulant, propelling Indian cricket into the center stage of the world. Since the first IPL edition in 2008, the tournament has been home to several enthralling and exciting clashes, with its audience including several Bollywood stars and celebrities.
Besides providing the much-needed adrenaline rush for cricket fans, the IPL has made a significant impact on sports betting in India. Today, many cricket fans in the country place wagers on their favorite teams and players as they think that it’s a great way to show support. And with such a huge number of people enjoying IPL betting , it’s no surprise that the online sports betting platforms have quickly adapted to the Indian market, offering a variety of wagers and markets for IPL fans to bet on.
Apart from these developments, there’s no doubt that IPL has also deepened the spread of cricket in India. Earlier, with the involvement of many big names in the competition, the opportunities for uncapped players were limited. But now with so many IPL teams recruiting local talents, players from small towns and cities are getting their fair share.
Over the years, the IPL has contributed immensely to national integration. For instance, there is KL Rahul from Mangalore captaining a Punjab team and arguably becoming the world’s best T20 batsmen with them. One can also Suresh Raina from Uttar Pradesh becoming hugely popular with Chennai Super Kings.
So, the question that pertains in the minds of many IPL fans is that on what basis are these IPL franchises selected?
Team distribution of the IPL
Some of the most populous Indian states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have little representation in the world’s most popular T20 league. So, what could be the reason that the IPL doesn’t see franchises from these states?
With the likes of Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, and Piyush Chawla, these Indian states have given some star players to the cricketing world. So, it’s sure that lack of talent isn’t the primary reason for no IPL teams from this part of the country.
Taking the business angle into account, it depends primarily on the interests of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). BCCI may propose numerous cities that should have franchises, but it’s up to the potential buyers to select their favorite cities based on their
Also, the BCCI tends to cater to the best interests of team owners, along with looking for things like state-of-the-art infrastructure, hotels, airports, administrators, and more.
The Hindi belt seems to lag behind the existing franchises when it comes to giving a free rein to the teams owing to the political influence in these parts of India. This has resulted in the IPL not seeing a franchise from the Hindi heartland till now.
BCCI and the 10-team IPL affair
Prior to the 13th edition of the IPL, the BCCI had plans to expand the league to a 10-team affair. However, this plan didn’t come into effect due to the financial restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, BCCI members have given approval to the inclusion of two new teams in the IPL.
However, the board is likely to add only one team to the T20 league due to various issues.
First, introducing only one team now will allow the board to make the most of the 10th team in the near future. Also, with the two seasons left before the media rights will be up for bidding again, the BCCI doesn’t want to disturb the applecart right now.
Also, the board expects that the legalities involving arbitrations with Kochi Tuskers and Deccan Chargers will be resolved in the meantime. However, apart from these traditional power-houses of cricket in India, the other centers deserve their fair share of attention.
Places such as Indore, Kanpur, Cuttack, Hubli, and Patna have a plethora of fans without a home team to cheer and support for.
Apart from the loyal fanbase, these parts of the country have been home to several natural cricketing talents over the years. For instance, two Bihar players Harsh Vikram and Samar Quadri were picked up by Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020, owing to their elegant performances
in Ranji Trophy.
The common notion is that players from small towns and cities tend to exhibit higher mental and physical strength than those coming from metros. This is due to the fact that small towns usually lack the required infrastructure, so players hailing from these parts need to work hard
to get to a certain level.
With the recruitment of players from smaller towns by franchises like Rajasthan Royals, the belief and confidence of these players have grown manifold in recent times. And with the current IPL teams showing BCCI the way, it’s time for the IPL board to take the next step forward.