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Virat Kohli was the highest run-scorer of IPL 9 © AFP

Indian Premier League (IPL) is a blend of glamour, cricket, controversies and possibly every element that is as thrilling as a Bollywood movie script. With a lots of positives and negatives gathered throughout the eight seasons it had witnessed so far, it stepped into another season; all ready to entertain the cricket lovers from the subcontinent as well throughout the world. Though every season witnesses many records being made and broken, somehow, IPL has not been able to find its worth as a game of pure cricket, owing to the extravaganza it bears along. Read: IPL 2016 becomes most-discussed season on Facebook

Cricket is a game that involves a lot of passion, dedication and all those clichés, and there is nothing wrong about them. But the way cricket is played at international level or for that matter, the countries’ respective domestic levels, IPL differs from that in many ways. A huge part of the game involves its huge number of fans that ardently follow it and it is a very rare occasion when they change their loyalties. Cricketers rarely change the team they play for (unlike Eoin Morgan and Ryan Campbell) and that’s what keeps the unfailing trust of the fans over a single team.

Cricket is a lot different from football, for a major chunk of the game involves club football where players are randomly drafted and the team line-up keeps changing. IPL is somewhat the same. While football is a lot more about fandom (for instance Real Madrid and other clubs that have a global fanbase), cricket involves a lot of player-based fandom that takes over the love for the team and that is the reason why an Indian fan prays for AB de Villiers to score. IPL, being a part of cricket, inherited this quality. Cricket fans support an individual cricketer more than a particular team. Read: Virat Kohli gifts bat and gloves to Sarfaraz Khan

But the ninth season came with a lot of emotional attachment. You are associated with a team for a long time. You strive hard to win by playing quality cricket but you eventually fail. A situation like this can obviously land you amidst an emotional phase. As Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) darted out of the tournament and the cameras rolled to capture the gorgeous ladies, precisely Cheerleaders, they were caught crying. From a spectator’s point of view, they are well paid and the team’s result should not bother. But, then, the truth is stranger than fiction.

Though many would try to establish Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans as the most loyal ones, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fans’ dedication cannot be overlooked. CSK have been one of the most successful teams in IPL, but to support a team that has never been able to lift the trophy even once with the same passion is something the Bangalorians have mastered way better than any others. Read: Vijay Mallya seen enjoying IPL 2016 final in London

The final match was sure to be a full house, with cricket’s ‘next big thing’ leading the team at home ground. RCB have been quite an usual team being uncertain of qualifying for the final and suddenly they were in the top four with a prominent chance to rewrite history and lift the trophy for the first time, but things went the other way. While the passionate Virat Kohli was captured to be disappointed, the one player who cried along the hardcore RCBians was Sachin Baby; much to one’s astonishment as the player was a part of the franchise for the first time.

It is the love for the game that keeps cricket growing with all its glory. It is that love that will make the spectators accept the game in every form, because cricket was, is and will be the synonym of passion.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)