It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
With 3 years of cricket-flavoured drama behind it, the inevitable happened--IPL viewership ratings dropped last year. Some blamed that on World Cup fatigue, others on a product that had failed to innovate and had become too long, drawn-out, and overwhelming.
At the end of the day, however, it's all about the fans--if they watch and come, IPL 5 will be a success. To better get a handle on how Mumbai cricket fans felt about the IPL this year, we got hold of a few and asked them the following questions:
1) What do you think about the IPL as a concept and as a tournament?
2) Who are you supporting?
3) Who do you really think has a shot at winning?
Here's what they had to say:
"Honestly, I think the IPL is rather dramatic. The essence of the game has definitely been diluted but even still, there's a yang to this yin. It's a stellar way to ensure we keep finding new talent and there's no way I can deny that I'm looking forward to it anyway! I can always expect some big sixes and exciting plays at the very least!"
"My support is a bit fickle; I flip between the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals (no, I'm not from either place) but I definitely think the former's going to take the cup again this year. Their team is the most solid!" -Arjun Srihari, Associate, Penn, Schoen & Berland.
"Well, taking into account how much cricket viewership had dropped before the IPL came into the scene, I'm thrilled that the organizers have managed to prioritize the game again! The format is much more watchable, it's increased interest in the sport and for once, the women are loving it too!"
"It's Mumbai Indians all the way for me and since I haven't had too much time to analyze all the other teams' rosters, I'm convinced they're going to win it this time too!" -Akash Sethi, Director, Omega Realtech.
"I think the IPL has become the perfect replacement for TV soaps and unintelligent movies, especially for the middle class! It's less cricket and more entertainment, but I doubt too many fans of the sport are complaining about that format."
"I always support the Delhi Daredevils but I'm fairly certain that the Chennai Superkings are destined for glory again. They've got the best balance within their team and it's evident they're going to make full use of it!" -Jayant Tca, Marketing Professional at Castrol.
"First thoughts? The business aspect of the IPL is fantastic because it's making cricket more entertaining, commercially viable and promoting the game as well in a manner that's providing entertainment to millions of people!"
"KKR is a personal favorite, but I don't have too many illusions about them actually winning. I think the Delhi Daredevils might win though because with Sehwag captaining the team, there's tons of potential there." -Sudeep Ghosh, Marketing Professional.
"I think everything about the tournament is incredible! I've gone for quite a few matches myself and the experience has never been anything short of thrilling. It's extremely well-organized and the entire match is over within 3.5 hours. For the working class, that's time-effective entertainment at its best!"
"Mumbai Indians can always count on my loyalty, but I think the final victory is a toss-up between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai!" -Akshath Gupta, Business Development Manager, SCAM (no really, we swear it's the name of a company!)
"Any concept that ups the competitive spirit of a sport is a great one. The IPL is essentially a pioneer in bringing talents from different countries together, it's undeniably glamorous and the best part is, it even gives the players a chance to assess one another! So they can probably go back and use that knowledge in international fixtures! The player commitment and the loyalty extraction through money is an interesting game to watch in itself as well."
"As far as winners go, I honestly don't really care. As long as i'm getting my money's worth of entertainment, I'm more than happy!" -Karthik Sridhar, Director, Penn, Schoen & Berland.
-Pictures courtesy Thinkstock and iplcricket.com-
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