The Business Of Cricket In India
Cricket is no longer a sport in India. It has become a business worth billions of dollars. Keeping track of sports news lets you know that this business of cricket involves multi-million dollar deals involving corporate houses of various sectors.
The Indians economy is growing fast. This has ensured that all sectors of the economy are growing. This includes the entertainment industry and sports industry also. Interestingly, in the country only cricket gets so much of importance. The rest of sports are largely ignored.
In the past years, hockey used to be the most popular sport in India. The hockey team won several gold medals in several Olympic games for the country. Indian hockey team also won world championship many times. After the Indian cricket team won the cricket world cup in 1983, general people got attracted to cricket. Soon, cricket replaced hockey as the most popular game of the country. Later better performance of the Indian cricket team led to popularity of sport in the country to a greater height.
Soon, looking at the popularity of cricket lots of corporate houses began to sponsor the sport. Soon, money started to pour in the game. Hockey was pushed into the background also due to the poor on-field performance of the Indian hockey team. Cricket soon became a multi-million dollar business in India. As the overall Indian economy grew it helped in getting more money for the sport. TV viewership increased tremendously in last some years. Now TV rights for cricket tournaments are sold for millions of dollars.
The new format of 20-20 in cricket gave a new level of popularity to the game. In this format the game of cricket is played in total 40 overs with one team playing for just 20 overs compared to 50 as played in a one-day game. It was good for TV viewers as they did not need to spend the whole day to enjoy the game. Now they were able to enjoy the game in a fast pace with lots of action packed into a short period of time.
This resulted in the private organization the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) becoming a rich sport organization. The BCCI came up with a new annual tournament of 20-20 format of cricket. It was branded as the Indian Premier League (IPL). Launched with lots of media publicity and fanfare, IPL soon became a big success. Involvement of various big corporate houses and film stars added to the brand name of IPL. As of now IPL has been estimated to be a $4 billion property.
Of late IPL has been in the center of controversy due to alleged irregularities, and its commissioner Lalit Modi. However, the third season of IPL has just completed with huge success. The success of IPL is a testimony to the popularity of cricket in India. The coverage of cricket in the sports news section of newspapers is also a sign of the dominance of the game in India.