For most of today the lead story on the Stuff sports page was about Trent Boult taking three wickets for some team in the IPL. It also featured prominently on other sites as well in various radio bulletins.
What makes this worthy of comment is that New Zealand, and its media, tends to ignore the IPL as some irrelevant show of vulgarity that we don’t need to waste our time with. But a range of factors has ensured IPL8 is different.
The Cricket World Cup Honeymoon
It may be over, and we may hay have accepted its deflating finish, but it appears as if we miss the tournament. Since it started it increasingly dominated conversations in New Zealand, and something had to fill the void.
Let’s face it; the IPL is not screened at NZ viewer friendly hours. There are two matches a week, however, than can be managed. They are the ones that start at 10:30pm on weekend nights.
A gentle buzz went around Twitter around 10 on Saturday evening when it was breaking that the Chennai Volts were batting first against the Hyderabad Knights.
That meant Boult was bowling to McCullum. Just like the Super Smash we never got; only bigger, brighter and louder.
Then McCullum scored his century that started with his World Cup form, and finished with a couple of falling over scoop shots.
The following night in the same time slot Southee won a match with the bat, to be followed by Boult winning his next match by taking three wickets including that of AB De Villiers. Plots and sub-plots all over the place.
And people can’t get enough of Boult; no doubt helped by his perfect son-in-law image.
It has not always been this way; in some recent tournaments New Zealand players have barely got on the park, but the big names are dominating this one.
Whether this sudden attention to the IPL continues probably rests with a continuation of the form from the new national darlings. But it’s good while it lasts.