If you talk about Indian Cricket team, every ram and shyam (I use this instead of Tom, Dick and Harry because I know none) has an opinion on who’s good and who’s bad. But, gone are the days when we watch the international games because let’s face it, they’re just too few in number (minus India’s tour of Australia just before the world cup).
Everybody is talking about the IPL, the league that many deemed was set for doom after a few seasons, is running its 8th season and is doing oh so well with increased TRP’s every year. See how I casually brought in TRP here, because let’s face it, there’s a whole lot of cricket involved, but there’s a whole lot of entertainment involved as well and the first thing we think of when we hear the letter’s TRP is entertainment soaps. Only, the IPL is way, way more entertaining, to women, children and men alike. All my friends and family, even the ones that aren’t avid cricket fans wish to go for games or follow (or maybe pretend to follow) the league.
The only place I think its lacking, is how easily the teams are changed. I understand the concept of the auction and I agree to it 100%, but for me, there’s just not enough players being retained for people to start building loyalties.
Often, we see sporting events abroad, we see even the team that’s finishing last with massive fan support, here, we just abandon a team when they seem to be doing badly.
The main ‘pain’ area for this problem is the consistency of players, a few names have been kept consistent and that’s why those teams have had massive support. For example :- CSK, at least 6 players who play on a regular basis have been consistent with the team and when you watch games, the support graphs are always in their teams favour. CONSISTENCY is key.
More than helping the team develop an on and off field bond, it helps the fans in backing players, backing the teams. The thing is, as a casual cricket watcher, I don’t follow cricketing movements of other teams. Goes without saying, people like me would be lost when it came to international players who’re constantly rotated. We saw tears when india lost out to Australia in the semis, just imagine how intense the game would be if we all (not just a few) saw IPL and had passion towards it.
I’m not saying this is a flawed system, but the owners and managers should do something to help increase loyalty of the fans towards the games, towards the teams, towards the players. I’d like to sign off by simply saying , – “The fans aren’t called the 12th fan for no reason”.