Twenty20 or T20 cricket has its origins in England. It was originally introduced in 2003 by the England and Wales Cricket Board as a means by which local counties could compete against one another. But soon the whole world got to see the merits of this shorter form of the game in many ways – the adrenalin rush, as well as the fact that games finished faster, with the results there for everyone to see in a much shorter time frame.
Accordingly, from being merely a domestic format played at my live cricket a local level, there were international teams competing against one another for supremacy in T20 cricket. This competitive spirit reached its pinnacle with the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 Championship, held in South Africa in 2007. This edition was won by India and from then, there has really been no looking back as far as the adoption of T20 cricket in the entire Indian sub-continent is concerned.
At the same time, it was really the IPL or the Indian Premier League which took T20 cricket to unimaginable heights, with player salaries matching that of high-profile leagues such as the NBA or the English Premier League.
Currently in its fifth season (in 2012), the IPL has witnessed nail biting finishes across most of the matches played this time. Accordingly, viewer interest in the tournament has risen to stratospheric heights, not only within India but across the world, especially since the IPL telecast is transmitted across the cricketing world, including Live telecast on YouTube (a first for any major sporting event).
It is in this spirit that it is wisely contended, when it comes to T20 cricket, it is only with the IPL that things truly come alive. Otherwise, there are other T20 leagues such as the Big Bash in Australia or the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) but none of them have really managed to attain the kind of frenzy which the IPL has achieved.
To a large extent, it is the money involved in the IPL – easily running into billions of dollars, which has generated so much interest and hype. Further, the owners of the IPL teams are themselves high and mighty, including Bollywood superstars such as Shahrukh Khan who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team.
Further, nowhere else in the world does one get to see such a high level of passion and enthusiasm for cricket as is seen in India. In fact, no matter which part of the country one may go, cricket would be the dominant sport being indulged in. It is easily a sport which cuts across all social divides in the country.
Therefore, if you are looking for a dash of unparalleled T20 cricketing fervor, head straight to India, to any of the IPL venues – T20 cricket well and truly comes alive with the IPL!