Cricket is one of the most followed games globally, with the Indian Premier League being the most popular. Like other major sporting events, it has attracted a large fan base, with some teams dominating the league while others find their ground. The league has even gone to produce some of the best cricketers in the world. However, ask any cricket enthusiast about which team is the most popular, and you will likely get different answers with each arguing his/her case. If you are a cricket fan and follow the IPL, you can root for your favourite team at sites like Comeon India while still having a chance to place bets on other sporting events. Read on as we explore which team should be considered the most popular in the IPL so far.
When choosing a popular team, some of the things you will need to consider may include its performance, fan base, size, and resources, among others. However, winning does not always guarantee popularity, as evidenced in a team such as Royal Challengers, who still commands a huge following despite being on the losing side most of the time. Some of the teams in the capitals such as Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore will have huge financial clout due to advertising revenues due to their location. Some teams will attract a huge following, especially if they can attract star players such as Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, or Chris Gayle. One of the ways to judge the popularity of teams is by considering their interest when it comes to television viewership. Some teams have dominated over its history, while some have charged from the blocks to take centre stage when it comes to popularity.
How teams have fared over the years
During the formative years between 2008 to 2011, the Knight Riders and Royal Challengers were the most popular teams. However, the Riders had the highest viewership in three of the four years when they boasted of star players such as Sourav Ganguly, Shah Rukh and Eden Gardens. Royals on the other hand boasted of Australian superstar Shane Warne who had a Bollywood flair. Even after releasing Ganguly in 2011, Knight Riders was still the most popular team before Mumbai started mounting a challenge from 2012-2015. While Super Kings won the title in two of the four finals; they were not the most popular teams. Super Kings and Royals were suspended for the 2016 and 2017 editions for the role they played in match-fixing. This resulted in the rise of Mumbai and Royal Challengers as some of the popular IPL teams. The Royal Challengers rise to the top was especially propelled by Kohli, who is even considered one of the greats to grace the game. The fact that he was even dating a celebrity further fuelled the popularity of the Royal Challengers. Mumbai won their 3rd title in 2017 before Super kings winning 2018 edition, which resulted in a rivalry between Dhoni and the emerging Kohli. During the 2019 season, Super Kings cemented their popularity status, even though they had lost to Mumbai Indians.
It is obvious that Mumbai Knights and Super Kings are the most popular IPL teams, with Super Kings being marginally ahead. However, if taken into context of the entire 13 years of the IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders can claim the crown of being the most popular IPL team even though their popularity has waned over the years.