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Broadcasting IPL in different languages has changed the game: Irfan Pathan

And for a country so in love with a sport like cricket, things were not always this convenient when it came to viewing and experiencing sport.

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Kolkata: One of the most discerning features in a country like India is its sheer diversity when it comes to cultures, traditions and languages.

And for a country so in love with a sport like cricket, things were not always this convenient when it came to viewing and experiencing sport.

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With the dawn of the Indian Premier League, came hordes of new fans from every corner of the country but not everyone could speak the same language and consequently could not enjoy the IPL to its full potential.

Advancements in broadcasting has allowed viewers from across the nation to truly understand and appreciate the sport, thanks to broadcasters like Star Sports who have consistently raised the bar in providing the best and most immersive experience with regional feeds for leagues such as the IPL.

Speaking to Star Sports on the occasion of celebrating 15 years of IPL, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan talks about how commentary in different languages has helped diversify the IPL, “Star Sports has changed the game by adding different languages to the picture itself. First, there was Hindi and English, now we have Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and more. Two years ago, we ever started feeds in Gujarati. We never even imagined this before that there would be commentary in our own local languages. The IPL provided in these regional languages that cater to the regional audiences will help them enjoy the same viewing experience in their own preferred language.”

Pathan talks about how the IPL has grown in stature and had a positive impact on the Indian cricket ecosystem, “We have become the second biggest league in the world as far as the commercial value is concerned and it is a proud moment, not only for IPL fans, but every Indian out there. To be the second in the world in this day and age, is unbelievable. When the IPL started, we didn’t know how much it will grow in the future. We thought that the IPL will be a league that will run for two months and we will be playing in different teams. I remember having a lot of on-field banter with Brett Lee and Kumar Sangakkara. Sometimes, we even got personal, but then we realized that in the IPL, we will have to play with those players only in the same team later.”

Pathan elaborates on how the broadcaster has redefined the IPL, “Indian cricket’s golden period started with IPL and when it comes to broadcasting, the league has been taken a notch higher.

When you see boys from big cities rubbing shoulders against players from smaller cities, players like a rickshaw driver or a sweeper’s son – these players are now playing with the biggest cricketers in the world and the experience they get here, playing shoulder to shoulder, is invaluable. The experience of IPL, the integration of cricket with Bollywood stars, makes the broadcasting experience even bigger and better.”

Pathan further said, “Because of the IPL, we got to know and understand different cultures and their cricket. The IPL has truly grown in leaps and bounds. Look at the purse itself, today that is double. The league had 8 teams, today we have 10 teams. In all of this, there were two teams that came and went which also added value to the league. So, commercially the league has been benefited a lot.”

Pathan also said, “If you look at cricket purely, there’s nothing that has had a more positive impact than the IPL. So many players have got the opportunity. For example, there was Amol Muzumdar. He was a domestic cricket and used to score plenty of runs but he didn’t get a chance to play for India. But now, if you have two to three good seasons in the IPL, then immediately you are noticed by the selectors. You are also being noticed because you are playing and performing well against the likes of Jofra Archer and international cricketers.”
“So, the process to make it to the Indian team is on the fast track if you dish out good performances in the IPL. If you look at innovation in shot making as well, right from the time Brendon McCullum scored that innings of a lifetime in the inaugural season, to AB de Villiers reverse sweeping, has happened only because of the IPL,” he added.

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