Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 reasons why ISL scores over IPL in Indian sports

A panoramic view of the Salt Lake stadium, Kolkata; one of the 8 venues for ISL
Indian Soccer League , ISL (abbreviation of India Super League) has just  commenced with much fanfare ,excitement and addition of  more-than-incremental doses of commercialization , professionalism and quality to the decades-old Indian national soccer league that had been long characterized by slow, mediocre games with very localized fan following. 
Eightteams are in fray in ISL with each team playing the other twice (home & away) in a group-format until four qualify for the knock-out stage in another 8 weeks. Eight key top world-cuppers & European League players who have quit the game a year or two back have been roped in as marquee players for the ISL teams along with existing players from the lower division leagues across the world. The format allows fielding maximum of 6 foreign players . Since majority of the players are from the European leagues (unlike the flood of second-grade Nigerians that dominated  Indian soccer for 2 decades); the game also has  acquired the pace & tactical flair of the latter.
A fortnight into the league, the games in ISL  have already picked up a new breed of fan following across the eight places in Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Pune , Kerala, Mumbai, North-east &  Goa. Interestingly these fans were so long monopolized by  IPL, the premier T20 cricket league & its association of film stars and entertainment. For sure ISL will have to compete with IPL for the sporting bucks of the fans and here are ten reasons  why ISL should have the advantage over IPL when the fans make a decision to open their purses.

Shorter  format akin to a movie show
2 hours with just a half-time
3+ hours with two time-outs in each innings
Truly world-class players
Players from among top 80 countries that play competitive international soccer
Players from among top 6 countries that play cricket
High quality of sports viewing
Only completely fit players can be seen
Pot-bellied players are often visible making IPL look sometimes like an Indian wedding
More quality foreign players lift up the game
6 players out of 11
4 players out of 11
Concentrated viewing
Zero advertisement during the game
As many as possible whenever there’s a break like when a bowler is tying his shoe-lace or a batsman adjusting his ball-guards.
Lack of irrelevant glamour in a sporting game
Cheerleaders, film stars and their decked up spouses can not distract a  fan from his game,
Plenty of opportunities to distract specially when  a wicket falls or a 4/6 is scored.
Purely a team game displaying execution of  strategy & finer tactics
High-pace chemistry among eleven players is a treat to watch  and a captain is rarely visible
An individual’s game, though played in a team format, where the  Captain’s role is more than anybody’s.  
Non-stop excitement
From the full game
Often only during the final overs.
Common man’s game & a larger fan base
All one needs is a ball and a field.
Expensive gears, accessories make it a game for the select few
There’s no dilution of the original game format
Football is followed worldwide in one format only. Hence it attracts the same fan base.
T20 is an abbreviated format of the more classic test matches and sometimes have separate fan followings.


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