Cricket in India is not merely a game. Some consider it to be a religion whereas others consider it to be business. They say cricket is the best business in India. It cannot be pirated and people just cannot live without it. When countries like The United Kingdom can give birth to The English Premier League and Barclay’s Premier League by focusing upon the country’s love for soccer then why not India? These were the thoughts that probably went through Lalit Modi’s mind when he envisioned the Indian Premier League.
Going all the way back to 2008, cricket fever was at its peak and the Twenty20 version of the game was had found its way not only to the stadiums but also the hearts of the fans. This version of the game was quicker and much more fun to watch as wickets fell fast and runs were made faster. The thrill of the game never died out and people saved a lot of time watching Twenty20 matches over the conventional one day internationals that lasted for fifty overs. Hence when the Indian Premier League was introduced, the idea of watching T20 cricket with teams comprising of players from all over the globe was just irresistible to the audience.
It was decided that each team in the Indian Premier League would represent a famous Indian city which would invariably be their home ground. The teams were auctioned to the highest bidders and it was up to the owners to bit for each and every player on the team. Famous business tycoons such as the Ambanis and Vijay Malaya were among the winners of the bids. The bids were soaring and money was pouring. The best players from across the globe were for the first time pushed to play on the same side as their usual opponents and at the same time play against their fellow players.
The Indian Premier League took a major turn when the king of Indian Cinema, Shahrukh Khan bought the team from Kolkata, known as the Kolkata Knight Riders. This is the point when two Indian favourites, Bollywood and Cricket met and one could say success had already built its foundation. Indian Premier League witnessed the money value for the franchise when the auctions for the players began and India’s Captain Cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the highest paid player of the season with a cool 1.5 Million Dollar package.
Soon after, the teams were given catchy names, which was something that even football clubs hadn’t done before. The popular ones included Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore etc and these soon became common household names. The first season of the Indian Premier League paved the path for a future of T20 cricket that has gone on for five seasons till now and many more yet to come. Rajasthan Royals took the victory in the first season and they have gone down in history as the first team to win an Indian Premier League.