Cricket is, without a doubt, one of the biggest sports, if not the biggest in India. Almost every Indian is least familiar with the sport, and you can see cricket fans all over the country. As such, the Indian Premier League (IPL), the country’s biggest professional league, is also one of the biggest professional T20 leagues in the cricketing world. It is so big that in fact, that the entire league has been estimated to have a total net worth of around $6.7 billion. By comparison, the NBA made around $8.7 billion in revenue for its 2018-2019 season.
Indians show their love, interest, and enthusiasm for the sport of cricket in a lot of different ways. Some personally go to the stadiums to cheer and support their favorite players or teams. While others who cannot go to a game, watch the games live and cheer for their personal favorites. And there are many who express their love for the game playing Fantasy Cricket, which is why some people are always on the lookout for the latest IPL prediction today as well as the odds and lines for every game.
In the IPL history over the last 12 years, a lot has changed in terms of how IPL was played in 2008 to how it is played in 2020. With all of these in mind, how would these changes affect not only the players and the management of the IPL but as well as the fans and its avid supporters?
Indian cricket outside of India
The 2020 season of the IPL, which is the league’s 13th season, is being organized outside India in the UAE. For die-hard cricket fans who follow the sport passionately, this is not the first time that the IPL is being hosted overseas. However, this situation is different than ever before with the tournament being forced to be hosted in the middle-east. Also, this choice was not because of a partnership deal nor a simple overseas tour for the league but due to India's continued battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to move IPL 2020 to the United Arab Emirates was indeed a perfect move. Looking at the increasing rate of COVID-19 transmission in India, it wasn't possible for India to host the game locally lest they increase the risk of further community transmission of COVID-19. UAE is a transportation hub, it has advanced and up to date facilities, and its tourism is promising, despite the current situation with the pandemic.
This is one of the most challenging times for the IPL in its recent season. Since the games just opened this September 19, people are yet to fully see and understand the effects, if there are any, of the decision to move this season of the IPL outside of India for now. Still, analysts as well as fans believe that the league, and the entire cricket sports, will push through these challenging and tough times.
The future of Indian cricket?
Will cricket still return to India? Yes, definitely. The question regarding the return of professional cricket being played in India is not a matter of if but a case of when. No one can tell right now if the next IPL season would be back to India, or even played as per the original schedule at least.
For now, it should be appreciated that despite being delayed for several months, BCCI was successful in getting the league underway during such unprecedented times.