Former India coach Sanjay Bangar has said that the Indian Premier League has democratised cricket and it is the IPL’s biggest contribution to the sport.
Encapsulating the IPL’s never ending possibilities, Bangar said: “Nowadays, it is not only the national selectors who selects talents from national camps, but talent scouts like us from different teams travel to different parts of the country to unearth talents and that I think is one of the most beautiful aspect of the IPL. That’s why you find a 30-year-old Varun Chakraborty getting picked to play in the World Cup rather than playing First Class cricket for a long time. IPL has democratised cricket and that I think is IPL’s biggest contribution to the sport.”
The IPL mega auction saw the son of a cobbler and a tennis ball sensation Ramesh Kumar from Chandigarh picked by Kolkata Knigh Riders for INR 20 lakh. Similarly, Mumbai Indians picked Hyderabad 19-year-old Tilak Verma for INR 1.7 crore from his base price of INR 20 lakh. On the other side, 28-year-old Abhinav Manohar from Bengaluru, who was almost giving up cricket, was picked up by Gujarat Titans for INR 2.5 crore from his base price of INR 20 lakh.
“Apart from that, we have seen a lot of talented players emerging from the IPL and the batting revolution that we have seen in the IPL is phenomenal. The scoop, reverse sweep, wrap shot etc. in batting and things like slow bouncer, back-of-the-hand delivery, knuckle deliveries in bowling, IPL has opened a new dimension for cricket,” said former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, during the launch of the #YehAbNormalHain campaign aired during the lunch break on Day 1 of the first India-Sri Lanka Test in Mohali on Star Sports.
Gavaskar also added that IPL has helped develop “brand loyalty” among fans which is something very unique in the Indian context.
“The other important aspect of IPL is the brand loyalty that has developed among the fans. A CSK fan will always support the CSK team no matter if the team changes, same with RCB, KKR, MI and all of them, and this according to me is another beautiful aspect of the IPL,” he said.