Indian Premier League - Season Two
Roughly a week ago, the Chennai Super Kings beat the Mumbai Indians by 22 runs to win this year's Indian Premier League. Sounds neat-o, but in what sport do you ask?
Cricket, perhaps one of the most popular sports on Earth that is not played professionally in the U.S. The sport is extremely popular down under, where I first encountered the IPL, but the the Aussies have other sports to gaze at such as rugby (the Australian Football League). In the U.S. there's the NFL, NBA, MLB and others.In India, they have other sports, but none nearly as popular nor with the monetary backing of cricket.
The IPL has grown since its inception in 2008, with millionaire and billionaire owners and investors paying the premiere players of the world to come play in a competition that has as much glitz and glamour as any NBA or NFL game, with a crowd, that is perhaps more energetic than any sport in the U.S.
There are three types of cricket. A test match, which can take up to five days to complete; an ODI (One Day International) where each side gets 50 overs (one over is six pitches) or 10 outs to score as many runs as they can. The type that is played in the IPL and has gained much popularity in recent years is the Twenty20.
The Twenty20 is like an ODI, except each team gets 20 overs or 10 outs (whichever comes first), which causes teams to swing for the fences rather than play safe and conservative, creating drama, tension, excitement and an overall great spectacle to watch.
The U.K., Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, South Africa, and of course India (with the most) all contribute players to the IPL, giving it a vast spectrum of viewers and creating a popular competition with nearly worldwide influence in just two years. Hopefully one day the U.S. could be involved in this ever growing competition.