In a year that was dominated by the deadly contagion that is the coronavirus, and new keywords like ‘quarantine’, ‘lockdown’, it is surprising that cricket, which itself was affected by the virus and was under cold storage for a major part of the year, has still managed to trump everything, emerging as the most searched query on Google in India.
Well, to be honest, it should not really come as a surprise that the Indian Premier League (IPL) managed to trump Covid-19 to become the most-searched query in the country.
And, there are two reasons attached to it. 1) Cricket in India is a religion; it is a single-most unifying factor among Indians, divided by caste, religion, and political ideologies. 2) With the entire world going through so much pain and agony due to the virus unleashed by China, people needed something to distract their minds. And, nothing in India comes close to the beautiful game of cricket as far as pure, raw, unscripted entertainment is concerned.
The Indian Premier League was supposed to take place between March 29-May 24, 2020. But, that of course, did not happen as the virus escalated in the country, forcing the BCCI to postpone the cash-rich league for an indefinite period of time.
IPL 2020 was staged in the UAE due to Covid-19
With the Covid situation in the country becoming bad to worse, the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI decided to stage the IPL across three venues- Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai- in the bio-secure environment of the United Arab Emirates.
The IPL eventually kicked off on September 19 and went on seamlessly, producing edge-of-a-seat stuff for a better part of the next 50 days, helping the fans glued to their screens to get a bit of distraction from what was happening in the real world.
The IPL saw a 28℅ surge in the viewership ratings. The tournament was eventually won by the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians.
As far as the most searched sporting events are concerned, the IPL is followed by UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, French Open, and La Liga.