afaqs! news bureau

IPL's new anthem talks about comebacks...

... As people look to it and Diwali to spur an economic recovery, the anthem is facing plagiarism accusations.

Cricket is a religion in India, and the Indian Premier League (IPL) is like an annual pilgrimage. Millions watch this month-long event on their television sets and smartphones, while others can actually get tickets to watch the matches live.

The IPL has always taken place in the summer months of March, April and May. This year was also supposed to be the same. Then the Coronavirus pandemic happened – countries locked themselves, economies tanked, public gatherings were suspended, and so were live sporting events.

It's only in the last month or two that live sports returned, only to be played at empty stadiums with strict precautions in place. The IPL will take place in the UAE behind closed doors from September to November.

A lot is riding on this year's IPL and then Diwali. They're being seen as a beacon of hope, not only for the pandemic-weary citizens, but also for the economy, which wasn't at its best at the start of the year before the pandemic took it to the cleaners.

According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), "India’s real GDP declined y-o-y by 23.9 per cent in the quarter ended June 2020, reversing the economy back to its 2014 quarterly level of less than Rs 27 trillion."

As per a previous story on the IPL's advertising inventory on afaqs!, if sources are to be believed, the sportscaster (Star Sports) has, in fact, hiked the rates by 20 per cent and is looking at a price of around Rs 12.5 lakh for 10-second slots...

A source close to the development says, "More than 30 advertisers have already signed up, and 60 per cent of the inventory is already sold."

Each year, the IPL releases an anthem before it begins to build up hype around itself. This time's anthem holds more relevance than ever, considering the dual setbacks we're reeling from – Coronavirus and the economic crisis.

Released on September 6, 2020, it's a 93-second rap anthem called 'Aayenge Hum Wapas'. A line goes, "Ab milkar he saamna karenge. Yeh wali match sab saath main ladenge..." The video talks about the present situation and how we'll make a comeback together.

The Twitter handle of Hotstar USA credited Pranav Ajayrao Malpe for composing the anthem.

Here's a look at the last two IPL anthems:

The new anthem is only a few days old, but has already fallen into controversy. Rapper 'Krsna' has alleged on Twitter, "@IPL has plagiarised my song 'Dekh Kaun Aaya Waapas' and created 'Aayenge Hum Wapas' as this year's anthem, without credit or consent."

The IPL hasn't responded to these allegations yet.