In praise of the IPL’s very many contrived and meaningless post-match awards

Posted by
4 minute read

Just for a minute there, we thought the IPL’s Fair Play Award was the only one that wasn’t sponsored. We wondered what that might say, if it were the case. However, after about two minutes of looking into it, we realised that nothing could ever be so simple as one unsponsored award in the ever-shifting sands of IPL sponsorship.

There is surely no clearer indication of the IPL’s awe-inspiring status as an unstoppable juggernaut of marketing than its ability to imagine-up new awards and persuade firms to sponsor them.

Been contacted by a brand keen for some exposure? Simply manifest a new award tailored to their exact budget.

These are the ones we like the best: the ones that are so excruciatingly niche that no-one is even pretending it isn’t a complete contrivance.

Shall we have a quick look at some of the awards the IPL gives out at the minute?

Construct the stage, wheel out the dignitaries and set Ravi Shastri to ‘boom’ – it’s awards time!

Aramco Orange Cap

An orange cap worn by the tournament’s leading run-scorer. As someone who also follows pro cycling with its various jerseys to denote leadership of (or victory in) various competitions other than the overall race, we rather like this one. (The concept anyway. We’re not mad-keen on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned fossil fuel company.)

Aramco Purple Cap

For top wicket-taker. See above for our feelings on this one.

My11Circle Ultimate Fantasy Player of the Match

Magnificent stuff. It’s not for the player of the match, you see. It’s specifically for the fantasy player of the match – the fella who scored the most points in’s fantasy game. We always really like the idea of fantasy cricket leagues, but then we’re reminded of the reality, which is that they reward constant, week-in, week-out tinkering. The main thing you have to do is pay attention to who’s injured or likely to be dropped and that is not, to us, a fun use of our time.

Angelone Super 6 of the Match

Confusingly, we don’t think this one is for hitting a ‘super’ six, but for hitting the greatest number of sixes. We think the award name arises from the assumption that all sixes are by definition ‘super’ – although if that’s the case, why does it need stating? We move that the IPL introduces separate awards for (a) flukey sixes and (b) nasty, rustic, muscled sixes that are all power and zero technique.

Rupay On-The-Go 4s of the Match

Most fours, obviously. Fours are not branded ‘super’ – which is fair enough, because honestly who gives a toss about fours, these days? Really, they should do an award for threes, because threes are way more interesting. They should also do a special one for fives because if there’s a five in a match, that’s definitely going to be the very first thing anyone wants to know about. From a marketing perspective, they’re surely missing dating app sponsorship opportunities by failing to reward singles (or twos, which probably makes more sense but doesn’t lend itself to a name so well).

Puch.ev Electric Striker of the Match

The batter with the fastest strike-rate, we think. Not sure what the qualification threshold is. ‘Six and out’ should surely warrant an award all of its own, so you must have had to face at least 10 balls or something like that.

Visit Saudi Beyond the Boundary Longest Six

You’d have to hit it a bloody long way beyond the boundary to wind up in Saudi. This is an end-of-season jobbo. It for some reason replaced the Unacademy Lets Crack It Sixes of the Season, which was awarded to the player who hit the greatest number of sixes. No idea why they don’t have both.

Upstox Most Valuable Player

Another end-of-season one. They give players points for fours, sixes, wickets, dot balls, catches and stumpings and most points wins. A catch is worth the same as a four and a six is worth the same as a wicket. Look, we don’t make the rules.

Herbalife Active Best Catch of the Season

It could well be that some of these will have new sponsors for 2024. We probably won’t find out until they’re handed out.

Fair Play Award

Okay, turns out this has been sponsored by Paytm for quite a few years and we’d guess it probably will be again.

The King Cricket Award for Greatest Number of Visits to the Awards Podium

It’s worth highlighting that a large number of these awards massively overlap. For example, after Royal Challengers Banglore’s last match, Virat Kohli was obliged to stand on stage and awkwardly smile while accepting the following awards…

  • Player of the Match
  • Rupay On-The-Go 4s of the Match
  • Angelone Super 6 of the Match
  • My11Circle Ultimate Fantasy Player of the Match

He’d also earned himself the Aramco Orange Cap.

Genially tolerating all this crap honestly constituted a way better performance than what he did with the bat. In fact a point of interest for connoisseurs of podium tedium here to finish this article – it is never less-than-impressive how instantly and completely the smile vanishes from the face upon completion of each award acceptance photo.

> Why the IPL’s ‘Impact Player’ substitutions are another step in the wrong direction

Emails! Getcha emails! Roughly three a week! Complete free! Everyone’s welcome! Sign up here!


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Paytm I meant. My apologies to them for violating their brand guidelines.

  1. I have tried a couple of times (ie a couple of seasons) but I simply cannot engage personally with the IPL.

    I recognise that it is influential, with big money, and therefore important to the game now. But engagement comes from the heart and mine will not embrace the IPL.

    As for the sponsored awards, they seem even sillier than the silly ones I make up for charity cricket matches and tennis tournaments.

    Mind you, I missed a trick over the years failing to get the Irn-Bru Moment or Vimto Moment sponsored by the soft drink maker in question. On the other hand, it would be tricky in these woke times to find an acceptable sponsor for my “Close But No Cigar” awards – in the old days I could have auctioned that one to the highest bidder – probably B&H or John Player.

Comments are closed.