How To Become An IPL Fan

This is my major problem with the IPL: why should I support one franchise over another? When the Kochi Tuskers were on their way to defeat the other night, the cameras showed a few disappointed fans, their faces clearly registering some sort of heartbreak. But why? What could they possibly feel for a franchise that was created less than a year before, and that too by a murky set of backers that has never ever fully revealed itself?

Yes, one could say there’s a geographic basis for support. (So, Mumbaikars will support Mumbai Indians, and so on.) OK, but then, does that mean a team can contain any number of non-Mumbaikars and still qualify for loyalty? (That is, will you really cheer on Andrew Symonds, just because he’s Sachin’s teammate?)

Add to this the three-year shuffle, wherein teammates play an expensive episode of musical chairs, and I’m left with no narrative whatsoever. Are the Rajasthan Royals still the canny underdogs? What is Bangalore without Anil Kumble at the helm? And what am I supposed to be make of the Deccan Chargers, now they’ve been reduced to, essentially, Kumar Sangakarra, Dale Steyn and J.P. Duminy?

So why am I still watching this thing if I don’t have a stake in the outcome?

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8 thoughts on “How To Become An IPL Fan

  1. […] Ducking Beamers* wonders how to become a fan of an IPL team– the teams changed drastically year-over-year, there are only weak city-based ties and some teams are just plain bad: This is my major problem with the IPL: why should I support one franchise over another? […]

  2. Poorvi says:

    Because you can enjoy good quality cricket without any of the tension that India matches generate. If you’re not supporting any team, then just watch for fun. That’t the only reason I watched the Ashes. I didn’t care who won & wished that every match went down to the wire.

    I’m from Chennai & I support CSK, but I’m not heartbroken when they lose a match.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      But isn’t tension an integral part of the fun of being a fan?

      • Poorvi says:

        I think it depends more on your personality. I enjoy tension free games every now & then. But then again, I would never call myself a ‘fan’ of CSK or Australia/England. I am a ‘fan’ of Indian team & yes, the tension does add to the fun.
        I get what you’re saying though. So why should you watch? I have no idea. Maybe coz the world cup is over & the next important series is yet to begin.

  3. BH says:

    I totally understand your argument, and have thought about this a lot in the context of other sports.

    The fact is that we cricket fans are spoiled by the amount of international cricket we get to see, and by the historical narrative that surrounds the cricket. This narrative is possible largely because of: (1) the colonial implications of the game; and (2) the small number of teams.

    Nearly all other team sports (soccer, baseball, American football, Aussie rules football, etc) and individual sports (tennis, F1) operate under the paradigm you are describing. There is no reason, for example, for anyone who has never even been to England to support Arsenal, and yet they do, and very fervently too. And how many people from Boston actually play for the Red Sox?

    I understand your argument, but sadly I think we are in the minority.

  4. Azar says:

    I was an IPL fan during the first three seasons , but this year I suddenly started hating IPL. I think it is partly due to the controversies during last year and partly due to the World Cup.

    Just few days back, I started teasing my Keralite friend about how poor Kochi team is and he started opposing Chennai. Eventually I become a CSK fan, though I never liked CSK before.

    Now both of us watch KTK and CSK matches.

  5. pam says:

    Was supporting RCB due to Kumble, Dravid been a kannadiga.
    This year don’t have a favourite as such. But want RR( Dravid ) and Pune( Uttapa, Pandey ) to do well. I am more of follow the cricketer guy

  6. great post and very interesting points. Being a sports fan is inherently irrational, we are put our emotional well-being in the actions of strangers, strangers (the athletes) who could care less about us. Part of the appeal of cricket is that, as opposed to most other sports, the emphasis is on international competition, where it’s more defensible to cheer on your own country, rather than a football club owned by a foreign corporation run purely for profit.
    as for the IPL specifically, it comes down to this, the only rational part of being a sport fan is deriving enjoyment from seeing a sport played well. So, if one enjoys watching the short form of the game, then one should not worry about attaching oneself, arbitrarily, to one club or another and just enjoy the cricket.

    And for what it’s I’ve chosen the Knight Riders on name alone. They should replace their crest with a shirtless David Hasselhoff scarfing a burger

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