Filling stadiums in South Africa would be one of the biggest challenges facing the Indian Premier League but its publicist Percy Dubash expressed confidence that a large number of fans from India and abroad will flock the country to witness the tournament which kicks off in Cape Town on April 18.
“The Rainbow Nation is a very popular tourism destination and we are certain that a large number of Indians and non-resident Indians would also visit the country for IPL,” Dubash said.
“The league is immensely popular with a huge global fan-base. The fact that the league also coincides with summer holidays in India also bodes well for an influx of Indian tourists,” he told ‘SuperSport’ in an interview.
Speaking about the IPL’s success to grab worldwide attention, Dubash said, “The success of the Indian Premier League has been attributable to an amalgam of multiple factors but most importantly it was due to the fact that the on-field action was truly world class.
“That is the main catalyst behind the unprecedented success of the IPL. In most developed economies of the world, live sports play a very integral part of the family experience, be it an NBA game or an English Premier League game on weekdays or over weekends.
“In a similar vein, I think the void of live entertainment was more than adequately filled by the Indian Premier League as it combined some of the best cricket talent in the world, together with the next generation of Indian talent all packaged into a highly-entertaining three-hour roller-coaster of fun, excitement, and adrenalin-packed cricket action.
“That is exactly the reason the Indian Premier League managed to capture the imagination of an entire nation, and more importantly the world.”
Dubash accepted that IPL has brought a whole lot of financial benefits.
“IPL’s success has provided monetary rewards apart from honour and pride, not only for the players, the BCCI and the cricketing fraternity. At modest estimates, the IPL involves around a total of USD 2.5-billion in terms of overall revenue. But the BCCI has stressed from the very beginning that the monies earned through the IPL will be ploughed back into the game,” he said.
The IPL publicist also informed that an elite team of 15 former players would be the commentators for the event.
Heading the list would be Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Ramiz Raja and joining them would be Arun Lall, Simon Doull, Pommie Mbangwa, Kepler Wessels, L Sivaramkrishnan, Robin Jackman, Danny Morrison, Ranjit Fernando, Alastair Campbell, Abbas Ali Baig, Greg Blewett and Jeremey Coney.