A Foreign Field No Longer: India, the IPL, and the Global Business of Cricket
Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol. 48, No. 5, pp. 541-556 (2013).
16 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2014 Last revised: 16 Aug 2016
Date Written: October 1, 2013
In the past decade India has become the financing hub for cricket, a broadcaster in its own right, and an agenda-setter in the management of all forms of the game. What some commentators have called the ‘Indianization’ of cricket extends beyond business: it is a social, political, and cultural phenomenon. For five seasons, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has offered a glimpse of this phenomenon, prompting enthusiasm from young fans and those who stand to profit from the new league, and resistance from traditionalists. This paper discusses the material and symbolic roles the IPL has come to play in global cricket. It begins with an overview of the IPL’s history, discusses how the IPL is changing the global business of cricket, and explores how the IPL is challenging the traditional culture of the sport. The paper concludes with arguments about the IPL as a grand spectacle, and a cultural phenomenon that, despite its problems, might prove its critics wrong. Throughout, the paper treats the IPL as a useful case study not only in the business of sports, but also more widely in our theoretical and empirical studies of globalization.
Keywords: economics of sports, globalization, India, Indian Premier League, sociology of sports
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation