There always existed a captive cricket audience in India, especially in the absence of other any other marketing effort to make other spot viable. Lalit Modi recognized this and saw ways to make the shortest recognised format of cricket, the twenty-overs game, rake in the moolah. And boy, it’s kept coming! Like the famous soccer leagues fought by clubs the world over, the idea of forming multi-national teams, get the corporates to clash not just in the stock markets but on the cricket field, adding celebs to the party proved a heady and profitable mix.
Ironically, football would have been the first beneficiary as Modi had offered to do Japanese type ( J-League) league involving the world's best soccer stars, but the national federation didn't give him the reins. IPL's first event was such a hit, newer people began watching. No even moving it to South Africa last year in the wake of post 26/11 security concerns hurt the game an iota. It’s back and going on and bigger than ever!