I have not watched a cricket match in ages but was forced to watch the final of the 20/20 cricket tournament last Sunday.
It made a pretty poor impression on me. For a start, the game is too short for any real buildup of excitement. A 45 or 50 over game is of decent enough size to allow for a certain amount of strategy. The original world cup matches were of 60 overs duration, which in my opinion were perfect for a championship tournament. Twenty overs is just too little. I have seen more excitement in 6 a side cricket than in the 20/20 matches, indeed six overs a side is a decent size (the Hong Kong sixes is packed with excitement)for a quick match; 20 over falls between two stools and is pretty lame.
Second, I did not see one single stroke of grace or beauty in the whole match (I started watching in the 12th or 13th over so not sure if anything decent was played before this). In fact the stroke making was positively ugly, a standard not even seen in beach cricket.
I have liked watching bits of the IPL because they have nice cheerleaders but this tournament lacked even this.
The Sri Lankan cricket team may not have performed very well but they must have earned a decent fee; the team must rank as one of the top performing export industries these days.
On a different note, I wonder how long the IPL will last. Vast sums of money have been expended on the tournament and much of it lost to the sponsors (owners), the only chance a sponsor has of recouping the loss is if the team wins, which means a majority of the sponsors will lose their money.
I think a sponsors will continue to back an expensive sports event as long as it has the requisite glamour and prestige, with the ICC trying to cash in on the craze with an annual 'world cup' (the normal cricket world cup takes place once in four years) I wonder if the attraction of the 20/20 will be diluted, thus killing it off.
Luxury must be sold on the basis of rarity, age and, if possible arcane or exotic rules. There is only one Wimbledon and one Ascot.