Cricket. Once considered a traditional, old-fashioned sport it has since undergone massive changes and grown hugely in popularity, mostly due to the emergence of a new format - Twenty20. Instead of having games that stretch over a whole day and maybe even more if you’re talking about test cricket, T20 cricket involves the teams playing for only 20 overs each: resulting in a 3-hour, exhilarating, fast-paced game of cricket that is infinitely more appealing to newer audiences! What better time to discuss how newer T20 leagues have transformed this game than the start of the IPL?

Unlike traditional cricket formats where players represent their respective countries, the IPL introduced a franchise-based model wherein players are bought and sold through auctions. This revolutionary approach not only democratized cricket by allowing players from different nations to play together but also paved the way for a more competitive and financially lucrative ecosystem. The IPL auction has become an event in itself, attracting worldwide attention and setting the stage for intense bidding wars among franchise owners vying for the best talent.

It has also revolutionised cricket through innovative concepts such as strategic timeouts, which allows the team to pause, strategize and discuss tactics for 90 seconds in the middle of the game. Many times, these breaks have resulted in key breakthroughs in the game; enabling bowlers to take crucial wickets in games or allowing batsmen to score runs where they were struggling beforehand – sometimes changing the entire course of the match!

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has not only redefined cricket but has also brought to the forefront players known as "impact players." These individuals possess the ability to single-handedly alter the result of a match, and can be changed once per team every match, sort of like substitutes in football. This has never been seen before in the game and paves the way for an incredibly interesting future.

The impact of these innovations extends far beyond the boundaries of the IPL, influencing cricket globally in profound ways. T20 leagues inspired by the IPL have sprung up in various cricketing nations, adopting similar formats and introducing their own twists to attract audiences and enhance player participation. The success of the IPL has spurred investment in cricket infrastructure and talent scouting, fuelling the sport's growth and popularity in emerging markets!