October 11, 2012

Champions League

Champions League or IPL 2.0?

Gareth Kidd
Trinidad & Tobago celebrate their victory, Jamaica v Trinidad & Tobago, final, Caribbean T20 2011-12, Bridgetown, January 22, 2012
The absence of their big names severely hampers T&T  © Randy Brooks/West Indies Cricket Board
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At its core, the Champions League T20 is a brilliant idea; the top T20 sides around the world, congregating for an International-domestic tournament. Two weeks of slap-happy cricket, throwing a spotlight on players of the future, or in some cases, players who may have only ever been renown within their nation's fan following. It can be a great yardstick as to the depth of the national pool of T20 players, or perhaps just an example of some local sides with strong with a weight talent. However, the 2012 CLT20, more than the previous two seasons, has seemed a little more like IPL 2.0.

Team Qualification: In the first two editions of CLT20, three IPL teams played, compared to the two from Australia and South Africa, and a sprinkling of single teams from other nations. In the third year, Kolkata Knight Riders were able to compete for one of the open slots, successfully making four IPL teams in 2011. This year, four of the eight automatic qualification slots have been given to the IPL sides. This now means sides from New Zealand, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, England and Pakistan, make the tournament only if they secure one of the two remaining spots. While the BCCI is the major stakeholder in the CLT20 (along with the Australian and South African cricket boards), having so many teams from the one domestic group takes the sheen off the international appeal.

IPL vs Home Conundrum: Easily the most contentious aspect of the CLT20 is player allegiance. In this day, when T20 Leagues represent a good financial opportunity for a player, it is not unusual for someone to be signed to multiple domestic sides. One would think that the player would automatically play for their home province. Unfortunately, players have the luxury of choice, and more often than not, are picking their IPL sides over their home franchises. Who can blame them? With so much prize money up for grabs, the player wants to ensure their best chance of winning the tournament. For the health of cricket, the triumvirate of cricket associations must come together, and alter this rule. The exodus of T&T players, the Morkel brothers and Brett Lee (just to name a few) from their local sides dilutes the intended purpose of the competition.

Home-grown players: Here lies an issue with both the IPL and SLPL sides. Within their respective leagues, IPL and SLPL sides are allowed to field a maximum of four and five international stars respectively. However, with most other T20 competitions, this is a maximum of two. The effect here is twofold. It not only gives the IPL and SLPL sides the possible advantage of fielding a side with more quality cricketers, but once again contradicts the concept of the domestic team. It may even trivialise the contest, for if the Sydney or Perth sides played Chennai Super Kings, it may be possible for 14 of the 22 players appearing to be Australian. Whether the other nations are allowed more, or IPL and SLPL sides are restricted to fewer, all sides competing in the CLT20 should have a standardised number of allowed international (that is foreign) players allowed in one side.

As stated, the Champions League is an exciting tournament, and one which will no doubt provide a great spectacle from start to finish. The only qualms, keep it even, and keep it domestic… in an international sense.

Keywords: Controversy,

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by AB on (October 16, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

The tournament's a complete farce, hence the reason no-one is really paying attention. Should just be the two finalists from each country's domestic league. No more, no less.

Posted by shah salman on (October 13, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

thats cent% true... the criteria of clT20 is a big quetion mark.... it should b name iplt20 rather then champions league t20...... there should b one side playing from each domestic tournament so that each domestic side wil get their chances tu play........ sialkot stallions is a very good side quality young talent... but entering their frst clT20 they have to pass the hurdle named qualifier.... play two games and should win both to qualify... thats disgusting! the main investors are the boards of india africa and aus isnt mean that they allow 4 3 2 teams respectively to have benches in groups directly

Posted by Anonymous on (October 13, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

The fixtures for the qualifications should read: A vs B, Loser vs C.This will avoid side A winning both games in succession, thereby making the 3rd game more relevant. As it was, Trinidad and Tobago , and the other teams do not stand much of a chance with that format, having to exit after only playing just 1 match.

Posted by stn on (October 13, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

I dint even strongly agree with the point of 2 teams from SA Aus and Ind. Why????? So far the 4 T20 WC have shown that overall Pak has been the most formidable side,amongst all, so why not 3 teams from Pak??? There should be only, the winners from every country!!Period!!

Posted by NBRADEE on (October 13, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

People of Trinidad and Tobago are very unhappy with the current format. If there was only ONE IPL team playing, our team would have been strengthened by having Pollard, and the locker room would have benefitted from Bravo's presence. Know for sure that we will NEVER support this format, or derive any true pleasure from it either...

Posted by Anonymous on (October 13, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

Does the whining even matter ?bcci has no interest in cricket it's alll about the money!

Posted by loken on (October 12, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

I know there are 4 teams from English premier league in EUFA champions league...but i have never seen league winner of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal etc playing qualifiers to champions league... and see the cricket champions league...I dont have to watch mr bean today....

Posted by prajith on (October 12, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

It was initially intended to be IPL 2nd season of the year.... I would personally like IPL 2.0 with top 5 IPL teams competing against each other in home and away format.

90% of cricket revenue contributed by India & it is unjust to say that year round India should share that amount with all 10 members, ie, 10% return after contributing 90% money!... (Although I can understand every one wanting Neighbors pie!)

Either this format or better BCCI should just go with IPL2.0 which I can guarantee will be a bigger hit with Indian audience.

Posted by Mir on (October 12, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

great article hitting on the realities !!!

Posted by MG on (October 12, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

@Dr. Talha..have you ever asked you Boss why you get paid way more when we work equal amount of hours? I hope you understand rest of analogy.

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