India won the inaugural Twenty20 cricket world cup by defeating arch-rival Pakistan by five runs in a nail-biting finals in Johannesburg on Monday.
Nobody gave India any chance of even making it into the semi-finals, especially because their top four star players had sat out of the tournament to give chance to new, upcoming players. India also had almost zero experience in this shorter version of the game, having played only one Twenty20 international match coming into the tournament. With a new fearless captain and several rookies amongst its ranks, the Indian team improved with every game and defeated England and host South Africa in the Super 8 knock-out stage, and world-champion Australia in the semi-final.
Twenty20 World Cup was a huge success with sell-out crowds and superb organization. Pyrotechnics and American-style cheer-leaders were seen for the first time in this so-called gentleman's game. Tournament's success would be a great boost for this new format of cricket that will pull-in more cricket fans - games are fast paced, last only three hours, and can therefore fit into schedules of more fans. India, which almost single-handedly drives the global cricket economy, given its over 1 billion cricket-fanatic base across the globe (me included), will now surely play a huge role in popularizing the new format.
Team India was awarded more money ($2Mm) from its cricket Board (richest in the world) than the champion prize money ($500K) given by ICC, the official global cricket governing body that organized the tournament.
Talking about economics of cricket, last year, the cricket Board in India increased its revenue by 10x by selling TV rights to the Indian cricket games to Nimbus Communications for a staggering $612M. Nimbus is also the recipient of the largest private equity investment in the Indian media & entertainment sector. Cisco, 3i, and Oman International Fund (OIF) invested $125M in Nimbus earlier this year, mainly due to Nimbus' lucrative cricket rights.