If you think for one minute that, following the World Cup final on April 2, there might be any break in the year-round madness that is cricket scheduling, then think again. No sooner have we taken a breath after seven weeks of one-day, 50-over cricket, than on April 8, the six-week fandango that is the Indian Premier League (IPL) begins. The IPL uses the shortest form of the game of cricket—20 overs per side, or T20. If Test cricket might be likened to a five-course meal with a suggestive Chardonnay, then one-day cricket is a pub lunch with a fine pint of ale with which to wash down your bangers and mash. T20 is a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. It’s served fast, it leaves you full (although vaguely digestively distressed), and it comes with toys—in the case of the game of IPL, fireworks, cheerleaders, and musical mayhem.
Guess which one rakes in the dough? That’s right: the IPL, and other T20 competitions, bring in quite a bit of the money that oils the world wide panjandrum that is cricket. It also pulls in multiple millions worth of dollars in sponsorship, player salaries, and the kind of advertising revenue that TV stations elsewhere can only dream of. Why? It was announced today that India’s population just passed 1.21 billion. As they say in the advertising profession, that’s a lot of eyeballs, my friend. Here’s a brief taste of T20 fun!