Champions League October 11, 2012

Champions League or IPL 2.0?

Gareth Kidd
The Champions League is an exciting tournament, but the only qualms, keep it even, and keep it domestic… in an international sense
21

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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...

  • 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!

  • 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....

  • 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.

  • Mir on October 12, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    great article hitting on the realities !!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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...

  • 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!

  • 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....

  • 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.

  • Mir on October 12, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    great article hitting on the realities !!!

  • 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.

  • Sarab on October 12, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    So according to you IPL is a farce and BCCI, evil.

    Wrt to the players choosing to play for club which pays well !1 For the love of god these guys are professionals not amateurs. It's like in football when you choose EPL over Pakistani Football League. Secondly, coming to the team qualification, we don't have the same luxury as in football. The international cricket is jam packed therefore impossible to incorporate qualifications. The window to schedule CL-T20 is very small and therefore only a limited number of matches could be played. In order to keep the tournament competitive only the best teams should play. We all have seen the quality of some of the qualifying teams, need I say more. Regarding home grown players, If you don't like it change your rules. The rules are not set in stone. Why blame leagues for having the 4 int player slot, blame the one's who don't. Lastly It was BCCI primarily who floated the idea of a CL-T20 with SA and Aussies. If you don't like it don't play !!!

  • doconcall on October 12, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    It makes sense to include 4 teams from IPL for couple reasons. First, is advertising revenue and second is the quality of international players in these 4 teams. Now a days, the major income for any tournament is advertising and the subcontinent (especially India) holds the key. If only two IPL teams play, advertising revenue will drop significantly. Also, IPL brings in the world's best players. These players opt to play for IPL because of the hugh income associated with IPL. What is wrong with that? Today's busy cricket schedule leaves a player to make money only for few years and I do not blame cricketers to opt for better playing franchises. IPL and CL are pure business models. If you try to attach emotions to it, it's going to cost the quality of cricket. Bottom line is, whosoever plays, single season of IPL and CL brings more revenue to great players like Gayle, than their boards can afford over a years time.

  • Tom Huelin on October 12, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Well put. Couple of things to add. firstly, players who sign up to IPL actually sign a clause that means should they reach the Champions League, they will have to represent the IPL franchise, rather than their local team, should they qualify too. I think the other important is the number of home-grown players, with only two allowed in england, versus 5 in the IPL. Them's the rules though, and as the BCCI are the major stake holders in the competition, they set the rules, rightly or wrongly. As you said it takes away from the idea of this being a domestic competition

  • toonmili on October 12, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    This tournament is turning out to be a predictable joke. The organisers just hated the way Trinidad dominated in the first edition and has since made it increasingly difficult for them to qualify. Also I believe the IPL managers are using strong arms tactics to get these players to play for them int he tournament...like maybe saying they will never get selected by an IPL team if they dont play for the IPL. I say England and Trinidad and other boards whose real champions are forced to qualify should just say "Thanks but No thanks." It is not difficult to have a bigger table that includes at least one champion from diffirent board then choose the top 2 from each table for the semis.

  • Selassie - I on October 12, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    So true!50% of the teams from the IPL!? maybe they could have 2 spots but you can't really call it competetive when a team from pak, WI, Eng, SL(or maybe SA/Aus) have to qualify. I understand the stake holder thing but do they really need 4 times as many teams as anyone else? It shoudl be the winner from eache league with the runners up going into qualifying then it could really become a worldwide club level tournament with a window for it.

  • Deepak Kumar Singh on October 12, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    In even India also everybody thinks that this is not a good idea of playing 4 teams from India, there should be some better formats like there should be 2 teams from Aus, India ,and SA , and they should allow all the winners of T20 from each permanent Nations, like Pak, Eng,NZ,WI,SL,and Bangladesh. And there should an qualifying round in which other 2 teams of IPL and runner ups from other nations (pak,Eng,NZ,Bang,SL,WI) out of which 4 or 2 teams get qualified . So, there will be 14 or 16 teams and the tournament can be played on the worldcup format basis, that will create more interest in viewers also. and that will be a good platform to judge a club on International level

  • Hasan on October 12, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Well said Kidd. All champion domestic team from each country shall be playing instead of 4 team from a single country.

  • davidtt on October 12, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    So no representative from the West Indies (WT20 Champions)in the Champions league, well done to the organisers of this tournament.#shame.

    What is the use of having a qualifying competition in the Caribbean for this, if the top side can't secure a berth? #No respect.

  • Talha Irfan on October 12, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    Very nice article...I totally agree. The moment 4 IPL teams were automatically in the 8 (already) qualified team, it made the event unmeaningful. IPL 2.0 Hahaha...Good one. It seems as if BCCI is the artocrat captain we used to have in our childhood in street cricket who used to bring his bat and ball and used to open (was allowed two chances and fielders were advised to drop his catches) and used to do all the bowling till he got tired.

    CLT20 is an amazing idea but in practice, it will only be great when there will be no qualifiers and 2 teams each from India, Aus and SA (Now England will not play the CLT20 anymore, so it leaves 4 places to be filled, which can be filled by SLPL winner, Pakistani winner, HRV cup of New Zealand winner and West Indies competition winner

    Again, as far as fielding the foreign players is concerned, I think there must be a no agreed by all - say 3 and every team should then play accordingly.

  • Rik on October 11, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    Dear Gereth, While I understand that 4 teams from IPL is a over kill (but understand there is no choice as we want the competition to be competitive) I would earnestly request you to shade away your prism of looking from a country point of view. The player is local to the club not to any reason, they have loyalty to the club - that's what the professionals do. Please do not look into the CLT20 from country point of view but from club point of view. It is so wonderful to see Gayle playing fro Bangalore, Gul playing for Uva....terrific.

  • Sifter on October 11, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    I'm sure you know it comes down to money in the end. Point 2, about players choosing their IPL teams comes down to money too. Do you think Brett Lee really has a stronger connection with KKR than Sydney? Of course not, but if Lee 'chooses' KKR, then KKR must pay Sydney $150,000 in compensation. So really, the players are selfish is they choose NOT to play for their IPL teams.

    What I don't understand is why they haven't tweaked the format to make it a bigger competition (answer: scheduling...no one wants to leave room for a league they don't respect. Maybe change the format, gain some respect and make it last a week longer?). They invite 6 teams to play in the warmup comp. that lasts 3 days, kick 4 of them out and then start the 'real' competition. Why not keep ALL those 6 teams, add the winner of the Bangladesh league (maybe Zim league too) to get 15 (or 16 teams). Then have 3 x 5 teams groups, or 4 x 4 - maybe even a 16 team knockout!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Sifter on October 11, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    I'm sure you know it comes down to money in the end. Point 2, about players choosing their IPL teams comes down to money too. Do you think Brett Lee really has a stronger connection with KKR than Sydney? Of course not, but if Lee 'chooses' KKR, then KKR must pay Sydney $150,000 in compensation. So really, the players are selfish is they choose NOT to play for their IPL teams.

    What I don't understand is why they haven't tweaked the format to make it a bigger competition (answer: scheduling...no one wants to leave room for a league they don't respect. Maybe change the format, gain some respect and make it last a week longer?). They invite 6 teams to play in the warmup comp. that lasts 3 days, kick 4 of them out and then start the 'real' competition. Why not keep ALL those 6 teams, add the winner of the Bangladesh league (maybe Zim league too) to get 15 (or 16 teams). Then have 3 x 5 teams groups, or 4 x 4 - maybe even a 16 team knockout!

  • Rik on October 11, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    Dear Gereth, While I understand that 4 teams from IPL is a over kill (but understand there is no choice as we want the competition to be competitive) I would earnestly request you to shade away your prism of looking from a country point of view. The player is local to the club not to any reason, they have loyalty to the club - that's what the professionals do. Please do not look into the CLT20 from country point of view but from club point of view. It is so wonderful to see Gayle playing fro Bangalore, Gul playing for Uva....terrific.

  • Talha Irfan on October 12, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    Very nice article...I totally agree. The moment 4 IPL teams were automatically in the 8 (already) qualified team, it made the event unmeaningful. IPL 2.0 Hahaha...Good one. It seems as if BCCI is the artocrat captain we used to have in our childhood in street cricket who used to bring his bat and ball and used to open (was allowed two chances and fielders were advised to drop his catches) and used to do all the bowling till he got tired.

    CLT20 is an amazing idea but in practice, it will only be great when there will be no qualifiers and 2 teams each from India, Aus and SA (Now England will not play the CLT20 anymore, so it leaves 4 places to be filled, which can be filled by SLPL winner, Pakistani winner, HRV cup of New Zealand winner and West Indies competition winner

    Again, as far as fielding the foreign players is concerned, I think there must be a no agreed by all - say 3 and every team should then play accordingly.

  • davidtt on October 12, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    So no representative from the West Indies (WT20 Champions)in the Champions league, well done to the organisers of this tournament.#shame.

    What is the use of having a qualifying competition in the Caribbean for this, if the top side can't secure a berth? #No respect.

  • Hasan on October 12, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Well said Kidd. All champion domestic team from each country shall be playing instead of 4 team from a single country.

  • Deepak Kumar Singh on October 12, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    In even India also everybody thinks that this is not a good idea of playing 4 teams from India, there should be some better formats like there should be 2 teams from Aus, India ,and SA , and they should allow all the winners of T20 from each permanent Nations, like Pak, Eng,NZ,WI,SL,and Bangladesh. And there should an qualifying round in which other 2 teams of IPL and runner ups from other nations (pak,Eng,NZ,Bang,SL,WI) out of which 4 or 2 teams get qualified . So, there will be 14 or 16 teams and the tournament can be played on the worldcup format basis, that will create more interest in viewers also. and that will be a good platform to judge a club on International level

  • Selassie - I on October 12, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    So true!50% of the teams from the IPL!? maybe they could have 2 spots but you can't really call it competetive when a team from pak, WI, Eng, SL(or maybe SA/Aus) have to qualify. I understand the stake holder thing but do they really need 4 times as many teams as anyone else? It shoudl be the winner from eache league with the runners up going into qualifying then it could really become a worldwide club level tournament with a window for it.

  • toonmili on October 12, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    This tournament is turning out to be a predictable joke. The organisers just hated the way Trinidad dominated in the first edition and has since made it increasingly difficult for them to qualify. Also I believe the IPL managers are using strong arms tactics to get these players to play for them int he tournament...like maybe saying they will never get selected by an IPL team if they dont play for the IPL. I say England and Trinidad and other boards whose real champions are forced to qualify should just say "Thanks but No thanks." It is not difficult to have a bigger table that includes at least one champion from diffirent board then choose the top 2 from each table for the semis.

  • Tom Huelin on October 12, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Well put. Couple of things to add. firstly, players who sign up to IPL actually sign a clause that means should they reach the Champions League, they will have to represent the IPL franchise, rather than their local team, should they qualify too. I think the other important is the number of home-grown players, with only two allowed in england, versus 5 in the IPL. Them's the rules though, and as the BCCI are the major stake holders in the competition, they set the rules, rightly or wrongly. As you said it takes away from the idea of this being a domestic competition

  • doconcall on October 12, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    It makes sense to include 4 teams from IPL for couple reasons. First, is advertising revenue and second is the quality of international players in these 4 teams. Now a days, the major income for any tournament is advertising and the subcontinent (especially India) holds the key. If only two IPL teams play, advertising revenue will drop significantly. Also, IPL brings in the world's best players. These players opt to play for IPL because of the hugh income associated with IPL. What is wrong with that? Today's busy cricket schedule leaves a player to make money only for few years and I do not blame cricketers to opt for better playing franchises. IPL and CL are pure business models. If you try to attach emotions to it, it's going to cost the quality of cricket. Bottom line is, whosoever plays, single season of IPL and CL brings more revenue to great players like Gayle, than their boards can afford over a years time.