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  • IPL 2024: Excitement Abounds, Yet Fans Express Dissatisfaction with IPL. Why?

    Compared to previous seasons, the 17th IPL season is seeing an onslaught of runs. Batsmen are overwhelmingly outperforming bowlers, repeatedly sending balls into the stands, offering cricket enthusiasts the excitement they seek. Already, this season accounts for eight of the top ten highest scores in IPL history, showcasing the extent of the batting aggression. While the batting has been impressive, other facets of this season are not meeting fan expectations, resulting in a general feeling of dissatisfaction among IPL followers. Let’s examine the reasons behind this.

    The Ball vs. Bat Contest?

    The true excitement in any match emerges from a balanced contest between bat and ball. When one overwhelmingly dominates the other, the matches often turn one-sided and interest wanes. This is currently the scenario in this IPL season. Batters have consistently dominated, resulting in frequent 200+ scores. This is a significant change from previous seasons, where bowling achievements like hat-tricks and five-wicket hauls were also highlighted. Now, the records being broken are predominantly in batting, with notable bowling performances barely making the headlines.

    Super Overs Missing

    In earlier IPL seasons, super overs, including double super overs, captivated fans. This year, however, there’s a noticeable absence of these intense showdowns. Previously, even scores slightly over 140 were defendable with remarkable bowling, but now, even totals surpassing 250 are vulnerable. This shift was highlighted in a recent game where the Kolkata Knight Riders’ score of 262 was eclipsed by the Punjab Kings, setting a new record for the highest successful run chase in T20 history.

    Last Over Victories

    In previous seasons, many IPL matches were decided in the thrilling final over, keeping fans on the edge of their seats. This season, however, has seen no such last-over dramas. Instead, the outcomes are often clear by the 18th over, either through teams reaching their targets or losing enough wickets early. This change has reduced the excitement for fans who look forward to suspenseful finishes.

    Impact Player Rule Impact

    The impact player rule, introduced in earlier seasons, has arguably had a negative effect this season. This rule, which allows teams to add an extra batter or bowler, combined with batting-friendly pitches, has significantly increased run-scoring. However, this environment offers little assistance to bowlers, reducing the effectiveness of impact players specializing in bowling.

    Lagging Star Teams

    This IPL season has defied expectations with teams like Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Lucknow Super Giants outshining traditional powerhouses such as Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, and Royal Challengers Bangalore, which hadn’t cracked the top four as of their Sunday match against SRH. This shift has frustrated many fans of the historically dominant teams. Nonetheless, Chennai recently clinched a major victory, propelling them into the top three and reviving hopes among their supporters.

    Boundary Line Reduction

    This season, criticism has emerged regarding the significant shortening of boundary lines compared to previous seasons. Senior cricketers have expressed concerns that these shorter boundaries make scoring too easy, adding undue pressure on bowlers, which could undermine their confidence and effectiveness.

    Lack of Controversial Spice

    Cricket has evolved from just the sport itself to include the drama of on-field conflicts and dominance battles, enhancing fan engagement. Previously, incidents like the Virat Kohli vs Naveen-ul-Haq and Kohli vs Gambhir confrontations grabbed significant media attention. However, this season has been considerably calmer, with no major disputes or sledging incidents, leading to some fans perceiving the IPL as becoming less exciting.

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