The IPL has become the biggest T20 competition in the world. Held annually in India, many of the world’s great cricketing stars flock to the country to compete in what has become every cricket player’s dream competition. The IPL has also managed to inspire a wave of other T20 competitions throughout the cricketing world, which has led cricket players to enjoy more opportunities to ply their trade.
But what is it that makes this competition so popular, especially in South Africa, where we have our T20 competition? The Mzansi Super League, which was established in 2018, simply hasn’t reached the same heights that the IPL has, despite being a local competition. Here are some of the reasons the IPL has become the most-watched and supported cricket league in the country:
Plenty of South Africans in the IPL
While IPL teams have a certain number of Indians that must join the roster, there is space on every team to enlist talent from around the world, and since South Africa is one of the leading cricketing countries in the world, it’s no wonder that plenty of this talent comes in the form of South Africans. Stars like Faf Du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada, and Quinton de Kock can all be found plying their trades in India, and legends of yesteryear, such as national treasures Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn have become IPL legends. There are ten South Africans that are playing in this instalment of the IPL, spread across 8 teams. The star power and level of South African talent that is on display in the IPL outweighs the level of talent that is on display in the Mzansi Super League, which is perhaps a large contributor to the fact that more South Africans watch the IPL.
Part of what makes the IPL so attractive is the fact that it is just so competitive. Part of this is because the competition is held in India, where some of the best cricket players in the world are from, but another part of it is because the IPL attracts some of the best stars in the game. What’s interesting to note when taking a deeper dive into the winners of the tournaments, is that only two teams have managed to win the competition back to back. While South African cricket betting sites often pick out favourites, the margins between the teams are incredibly narrow, making it increasingly difficult to know who will win the tournament before the season is underway.
Advertisements and coverage
It’s no secret the IPL is the biggest tournament in the cricketing calendar year, and it is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. With all of the hype surrounding an IPL campaign, there are plenty of advertisements, and sponsorships, that essentially get the word out that the IPL will be starting soon, which has been shown to increase the number of viewers. The reasons listed above are just some of the reasons South Africans are huge fans of the IPL. The tournament is the biggest of its kind in the world, and recent additions of the Lucknow Super Giants and the Gujarat Titans are proof that the competition will continue to grow, both in size and in popularity.