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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2008: Which Team to Support?

There are just 60 hours left before the start of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2008 cricket tournament. It is the richest cricket tournament in the history of world cricket and it is going to take place in different cities of India from 18 April. BBCI has given every effort to ensure maximum publicity for IPL. There are many Bollywood stars who are trying to promote the clubs they are related to. Some Bollywood actors are due to related with ownership and team management. Shah Rukh Khan is the number 1 Bollywood actor and he is owner of one of the IPL teams. Shah Rukh Khan is not from Kolkata but he is the owner of IPL Kolkata. There are some other actors and actresses who are brand ambassadors for different IPL clubs and who are promoting the IPL clubs. Thus BBCI and the owners of all the franchises of IPL have been trying their best to promote IPL so that a lot people go to stadium and at the same time millions of viewers cricket matches.

Already, you have seen that many TV channels from around the world are broadcasting IPL matches live. If you go though some other entries of this blog then you will find the TV channels for your own region that you can enjoy live IPL matches. So, it is sure that there is no shortage of publicity and promotion for IPL. Now, next question should come that which IPL team should we support. You know that IPL clubs are based on eight cities of India. Thus, we have IPL teams from Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Punjab, Kolkata, and Rajasthan. In fact, some of the names represent a city while some other like Punjab and Rajasthan represent the provinces. So, the people living in these eight places or eight cities and provinces know which team to support. For example, the people living in Maharashtra know that they should support Mumbai because Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra. However, there are millions of people in India who live outside of these provinces and they do not have any emotional attachment with these provinces. So, which team they should support? This is going to be a big question as IPL progresses. The problem is even bigger for cricket fans around the world. For example, IPL matches will be broadcast live in England, Canada, USA and Middle East. So, a typical cricket fan of England or Pakistan or the Middle East will be in a big problem to support which team to be supported in IPL. They represent Indian cities and that is why, it will be tough for any cricket fan of Pakistan an Indian club. I think, the best way to solve this problem will be the fans of Pakistan may support the club that features their favorite Pakistan players. For example, Shahid Afridi is playing for Deccan Chargers. So, many fans in Pakistan will surely support Deccan Chargers.

One problem I see that BCCI has not taken any initiative to promote IPL outside of India. For example, there is hardly any effort to promote IPL in Australia, Pakistan and England. So, it will difficult for the people of these places to select a team.

Of course, you have to remember that this is the first version of IPL and that is why, it is difficult to take all the preparations. So, the best thing that fans of other countries can do is to follow the players that they like.

Who is your favorite club in IPL?

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