After the roaring success of Indian Premier League Twenty20 (IPL) cricket, film stars and business houses have lined up to invest in new set of sports leagues in the country. However, there are no takers for exclusive women sports leagues. All major leagues are for men (exception - badminton and tennis where both play).
On October 12, ISL, with the presence of foreign players and coaches, will take flight. Just like any other league, it will also hope to become a major hit with the spectators.
While it is no guarantee that a birth of a new sports league results in success, people are ready to experiment with new versions.
All the non-cricket leagues are banking on cutting into India's number one sport's revenue. Cricket is the most popular sport in the country and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the governing body is making millions of rupees. And the players are hugely paid by the BCCI.
Though regular domestic tournaments are conducted by each sports federations in India, the recent trend has seen city-based franchises in leagues.
One of the earlier experiments in India with the league was Premier Hockey League (PHL). It started in 2005 but was defunct by 2008 after just 4 editions.
PHL created a lot of buzz among players and fans. There were 5 city teams at the start, but all the initial excitement died down in few years.
Then, there was Zee Group's Indian Cricket League (ICL) which was launched in 2007 and folded in 2009 with BCCI not backing it.
So far, with many leagues operating, the biggest gainer apart from IPL is this year's Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).
PKL, in its inaugural edition in 2014, was a big hit. The organisers will be expecting to reap in more rewards in 2015 and further.
The Indian Badminton League (IBL) was launched last year but there was no play this year, and there is no clarity about next year. IBL organisers incurred losses in 2013 and might not return in 2015.
So far, leagues in India have received mixed response from the fans. While IPL continues to rule, it remains to be seen how other leagues manage to hold on to their fan base.
Here is the list of major sports leagues in India
- Indian Athletics League (IAL) - to be launched
- Indian Badminton League (IBL) - Launched in 2013; No tournament in 2014
- Indian Premier League (IPL) - Started in 2008, into its 7th edition this year
- Champions League T20 (CLT20) - Launched in 2009, into its 6th edition in 2014
- Indian Cricket League (ICL) - From 2007 to 2009 (Now defunct)
- I-League - Launched in 2007, into its 7th edition this year
- National Football League (NFL) - From 1996 to 2007
- Indian Super League (ISL) - To start on October 12, 2014
- Golf Premier League (GPL) - Launched in 2013
- Hockey India League (HIL) - Launched in 2013 (2 editions over, next in 2015)
- World Series Hockey (WSH) - Began in 2012. No tournament since then
- Premier Hockey League (PHL) - From 2005 to 2008 (Now defunct)
- Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) - Began in 2014 (first edition was a big hit)
- World Kabaddi League (WKL) - Launched in 2014
- Indian Racing League (IRL) - Announced in 2011, yet to start
- International Premier Tennis League - To start on November 28, 2014
- Champions Tennis League (CTL) - To start in November, 2014
- Indian Volley League (IVL) - Launched in 2011 (After 2 editions, no tournament in 2013 and 2014)
- Indian Wrestling League (IWL) - To start in November, 2014