The second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is two days old. Compared to IPL-1, IPL-2 has been a decidedly subdued affair. For starters, even the biggest stadiums accommodate no more than 20,000 spectators; twice as many unauthorised entrants get into stands here. The cheer girls are OK, but when haven’t they been?
The “atmosphere” has been missing. And the Television Rating Points (TRPs) have been dismal. We were told a billion people would do the same thing at the same time; it turns out only 13.9 million (i.e. 1/100th of them) tuned in.
On the cricketing front, too, it has been a muted affair. The scores have been low in all but one of the five matches. Fewer runs have been scored (1135 against 1565 last year), fewer fours hit (98 vs 131), fewer sixes slammed (38 vs 67), fewer 50s and fewer 100s. More wickets have fallen, though, but above all, IPL-2 on foreign soil has (so far, repeat, so far) proved to be a tougher “ask” than IPL-1.
On the basis of the evidence (so far, repeat, so far), has been IPL-2 been a better viewing and sporting experience than IPL-1? Was it a good idea to shift the tournament to South Africa becuase of security considerations? Or will it heat up in the days and weeks to come?