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Mumbai: The recent Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament registered a consistent wave of activity on Twitter, with over 10.6 million tweets about its matches this season, according to figures released by the social media website.

Twitter India released data for the popular Twenty20 tournament in the 60 days between 9 April and 29 May. The tournament emerged as the fastest growing sports league on Twitter recording a growth of 300% in the number of followers for its account @IPL, between 2014 and 2016.

This growth has come on the back of several factors, says Aneesh Madani, head of sports partnerships at Twitter India. “IPL has seamlessly integrated Twitter into the live TV experience and used real-time video on Twitter to give fans compelling reasons to stay connected to them on Twitter. In 2016, IPL published 32 times more Twitter videos and saw a 64 times increase in video views over 2015. The most viewed Twitter video of the season was Sunriser Hyderabad’s star bowler Mustafizur Rahman’s unplayable yorker to bowl Andre Russell of Kolkata Knight Riders," he explained, adding that overall, video consumption on Twitter had grown by 400% across Native Video, Periscope and Vine over the past 12 months.

The sport has always been an area of interest for Indian users. According to data, nine out of 10 Twitter users in India are fans of cricket, with sports being one of the key conversation drivers on the platform. Interestingly, 75% of these cricket fans on Twitter are under 34. Moreover, there is a growing interest in sport among women. The platform registered a 90% increase in tweets about cricket from women over the last year. “There has been a steady growth of women on Twitter in India over the past year owing to a gradual rise in the variety of content from users, spanning everything from food, music, travel, fitness and fashion. A compelling six month season of T20 cricket has further contributed to this rise in Tweets by women on cricket," said Madani.

The blue-eyed boy of Indian cricket, Virat Kohli (@ImVkohli), was among the most mentioned players on Twitter during the IPL 2016, followed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (@msdhoni), AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17), David Warner (@davidwarner31) and Chris Gayle (@henrygayle).

Kohli was also the most-followed IPL player, with 10.9 million followers on Twitter. “Alongside his magical run on the field, Virat has developed a candid, personable voice on Twitter. The most retweeted Tweet of the 2016 IPL was his photo with AB De Villiers after both of them scored centuries, showing that he loved connecting to fans in the moment. He has been unafraid to speak his mind on matters he cares about, and this has led to a follower growth of 200% since 2014, which is even higher than Steph Curry, the 2016 most marketable athlete in the world as named by Sports Pro," explained Madani.

Interestingly, all the top five tweets of the tournament featured Kohli. His tweet with AB De Villiers got 9,100 re-tweets. Shah Rukh Khan’s congratulatory message to KKR and commiserations to Kohli was re-tweeted 5,300 times, while Jos Buttler’s tweets that Virat and AB being on the same team is akin to Messi and Ronaldo playing together, got re-tweeted 3,200 times.

Among the most mentioned teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore led the pack, followed by the Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, Rising Pune Supergiants, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab.

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