The Indian Premier League’s 2022 season might be all done and dusted, but the 2022 edition was a season that introduced the fans to many unique experiences which made it interesting and unpredictable at the same time.
There were new and exciting talents on display and legends who bit the dust as their form tanked. The season also saw high crowd engagement, especially after two deadly waves of Covid-19. The enthusiasm of the fans shone through on their placards and banners.
There were spider cams which were not just following the ball but were getting hit as well. Then there were those breathtaking tag team catches at the boundary ropes to send the audience’s pulse racing. Worth mentioning is the chant of “Maaahi…Maahi” in the stands when MS Dhoni came out to bat and even when he hit just a boundary and then the pin-drop silence when he got out. Those were experiences that people who followed the game won’t forget any time soon.
However, it was some concrete changes made prior to the season and during it that played a catalyst for these occurrences. Here’s the list of seven such things that made the IPL 2022 more interesting and unique.
Drastic fall in TV viewership
IPL viewership fell by 30-35 per cent in the first four weeks of the 2022 season compared to last year’s figures. There was so much chaos related to IPL viewership that companies which placed ads with the broadcaster Star Sports, were forced to hold talks with it to try and convince it to reduce losses by slotting those ads in other prime time slots.
Maruti Suzuki Executive Director Shashank Srivastava had on May 1 said that in the first 25 matches, television ratings for the company’s target group of males, between 22 and 40 years of age, dropped by around 58%.
No Super Over
It was the first time in four years that not a single Super Over was held in the IPL. The last time a Super Over was not held was in 2018 when Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad to win their third IPL title.
The concept of Super Over was introduced in 2009 and since then there have been only four seasons (2011, 2012, 2016, and 2018) that did not see a single Super Over.
All league games in one state
Though the Indian Premier League has been played in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates previously, even there the venues were spread across the country. This was the first time that all the league games, a total of 74 of them, were played in only one state of Maharashtra and that too in only four stadiums in two cities of Pune and Mumbai. Pune just hosted 12 games and the rest 62 were held in three stadiums in Mumbai only.
The new caught rule
Another substantial change this season was the introduction of the new caught rule. Previously, if a player was caught anywhere and was able to cross the half-pitch before the catch was taken, the non-striker used to get the strike courtesy of crossing over.
But this year, IPL had to comply with the new International Cricket Council rule which states that on the fall of a wicket by all methods other than run out, it would be the new batter who will take the strike even if the batters crossed over during the catch being taken. This change tried to balance the game which has been heavily skewed in the batter’s favour. This gave the bowlers breathing space to try and transfer the pressure on the new batter.
Debutant team winning the trophy
With Gujarat Titans winning the IPL 2022 trophy, it became the first team to win the trophy in its debut IPL season. Since the league’s inception in 2008, a total of 14 teams have played in the league.
All the teams were new in the first season when Rajasthan Royals won the title. But Gujarat Titans on the other hand were able to win the league in the very first season that they played. Before them and Lucknow Super Giants, teams such as Rising Pune Super Giants, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Sahara Pune Warriors India and Gujarat Lions made their debuts in the league post the inaugural edition of 2008 which had eight teams originally. But they were not able to clear the last hurdle even once.
Neither Chennai nor Mumbai in the playoffs for the first time
Though it was a great season for debutant teams Gujarat and Lucknow, legacy teams like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings had a horrid time in the league. Not only were they not able to make it to the playoffs, but they also finished at just eight points each, which is the worst for both in any season.
This was only the first season in the 15-year-old history of the tournament that neither Chennai nor Mumbai, the teams that share nine out of the total 15 trophies, were present in the Playoffs.
Every team not playing the other twice
Since its inception in 2008, the concept of the Indian Premier League had been each team playing the other twice. The next phase was semi-finals for the first three years and then it turned into playoffs.
But this season, since there were 10 teams and the league had to be hosted in only two cities and four stadiums, the organisers decided to split the team into two groups of A and B.
The teams in Group A played against fellow Group A teams twice and then with one team from Group B twice and with the remaining teams of Group B only once. In total, a team played only 14 games, which would have been 18 in normal circumstances.