You can click here to download the audio podcast of the above conversation.
In the European Champions League, away goals count double if the scores are tied. And it’s easy to see why the rule is still in force (even though widely debated) — winning, or for that matter, even scoring in an away match is seen as a harder task than doing the same at home.
Therefore, it’s a huge thing for Manchester City to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, or for the New York Knicks to beat LA Lakers at the Home Depot Centre.
This season’s Indian Premier League has seen such a trend emerge. Modelled on leagues like the EPL and the NBA, the IPL now witnesses matches where teams have really made it count at home. Hyderabad Sunrisers and Chennai Super Kings are an example.
“Crowd support is now starting to matter in the IPL,” cricket expert Ayaz Memon told us on Sports Talk. “And it’s not just conditions. Just the fact that you’re on your own bed makes a big advantage. Look at Mumbai Indians for instance – good at home but not so much away, while Chennai, the best team in the IPL so far, has adjusted to playing in away conditions.”
We’ve already seen Virat Kohli get unsettled in Mumbai and taking a dig at the crowd. Ayaz agrees that fans have become bolder in the IPL: “They’ve become vociferous now. As long as it doesn’t get out of hand, it adds to the drama and spectacle of the IPL.
The IPL is still very young, and not all fans are 100% behind a particular team — in the sense that you may be from Chennai but your favourite player may play for Kolkata Knight Riders — allowing you to support both teams.
While agreeing to this, Ayaz says that a stronger and more solid fan base will be created in the future: “This will emerge over 10-15 years. The IPL has just taken root.”
Check out the video above for the full conversation between Pulasta Dhar and Ayaz Memon.