Cricket leagues June 16, 2013

Time is ripe for an ODI league

Rustom Deboo, India
Do away with bilaterals, and make every one-dayer meaningful
36

The ongoing Champions Trophy is the seventh and last edition of this tournament, which initially started off in 1998 as a promising knockout competition to help raise funds for the global development of cricket and ultimately became a liability in the cricket calendar. Usually held every two years, the 2013 edition has instead been played after almost four years, the last being in 2009. With the rise in meaningless, yet lucrative, Twenty20 leagues throughout the world, the ICC decided that something had to give, and the scapegoat turned out to be the Champions Trophy, and probably rightly so.

The time is ripe for a meaningful one-day international league. The World Cup remains the premier 50-overs tournament, and continues to do just fine. What is harming the format is the unnecessarily high number of bilateral series being played around the world. It might be bringing in the crowds, but from a cricketing point of view, there is no meaning attached to such contests, except for a few rating points on the rankings table. In the 2013-14 season, Australia will tour India for a mind-numbing seven ODIs in November, while India will also play the same number of games against South Africa on their tour of the country later this year.

Prior to these series, a tri-nation ODI tournament involving hosts West Indies, India and Sri Lanka will be played in the Caribbean. The series was disappointingly accommodated after scrapping a two-Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka. Similarly, two more potentially mouth-watering Test series this season (Pakistan in West Indies and South Africa in Sri Lanka) were scrapped, while the limited-overs legs were kept as per schedule.

I was of the opinion earlier that the 2019 World Cup was the last we would see of ODI cricket. But then I realised that without the 50-overs format, the progress of promising Associate nations would be thwarted, for it is this format, and not T20, which will provide a stepping stone for emerging nations who aim for Test status. Following Ireland's recent heart-warming performances in the short ODI series against Pakistan, I really felt the need for a league system in ODI cricket. The World Cup can remain as it is, but pointless bilateral series have to go. To be honest, watching an India v Sri Lanka ODI match is no longer a source of excitement, rather it is just a waste of time. Unfortunately, the cricketing powers that be think otherwise.

The league system that I am suggesting can consist of two divisions of eleven teams each, with Division 1 having the 10 Full Members and Ireland, while Division 2 can have 11 emerging Associate and Affiliate nations, based on their performances in the World Cricket League. The league can run from June to March every season, with each team playing every other team twice, once home and once away. In this way, each team will play 20 ODIs each season, and there will be no issue of one team playing more games than others. Also, with the meaning of a league standing attached to every game, fans can be expected to be hooked onto the games, which can be played on any day of the week.

It means a total of 110 matches, with 4-5 games every week, of course whenever the teams are not involved in Test cricket. Logistics can also easily be taken care of, for teams will get enough time to play Test series without the pressures of bilateral series; and, at the same time, the ODI league matches can be scheduled in the respective home seasons.

In a World Cup year, the league can be shortened or tweaked in order to maintain the relevance of the tournament. Otherwise, every March will see the table-topper of the league be crowned as the champions for that season. The format will be similar to football's highly successful English Premier League, where there is a champion every year and it keeps the audiences interested for the full length of the competition.

Every season, two teams from Division 1 will be relegated while two from Division 2 will be promoted. This will add to the excitement and also give the weaker nations a chance to play a substantial number of games against top opposition. To give an example, England can finish their ten home internationals during the four-month period between June and September, leaving enough room for them to play their ten away games any time till March. Similarly, a team like India can play in countries such as England, Ireland and Sri Lanka early in the season before moving on to their home leg.

In this manner, a team will play twenty ODIs every season - nothing more and nothing less - since bilateral series for each of the teams will only be restricted to Test cricket, and at the most five Twenty20 internationals every year. Thus, a team can easily play around a minimum of 12 to 14 Test matches in a season without any overlap with the ODI League. Having said that, the scheduling must be done meticulously by the ICC with the cooperation of and in coordination with all the boards, not like the current Future Tours Programme, which appears to only fill the coffers of the top cricketing nations.

The league divisions can also double up as the World Cup qualifiers - with ample scope for the Associates to qualify for the quadrennial event - which will further raise the relevance of the tournament. A well-contested country v country championship with a points table is what ODI cricket needs at the moment. Consequently, 50-overs cricket will be back in the public consciousness and hopefully in better health.

What will really be needed is public support and a genuine keenness of the administrators to ensure the sustainability of the competition. If that is sorted, there is no reason why an ODI league cannot be a success.

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  • on June 20, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    The idea seems to be good but then the cost of travelling for just a single match to other country might add to the costs of ICC....and then it will be very difficult for players to accommodate given the huge numbers of T20 leagues and cricket being played all around....this might work in the short term and then this idea does not ensure a foolproof success, and if it doesnt clicks, ODI's will lose their existence..........

  • SidLovesIndia on June 22, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    As many of you have said, the idea is good on paper but not so practically given the costs involved of travel, hotel bookings and so on. Can you also imagine someone like Bangladesh playing in the swinging conditions of the Oval, then travelling to hot and humid SL, then to the bounce of Perth and then swing and seam again in Durban, with no time to adjust to the conditions! I propose a change to this in that play the league over 3 years, with a 3 ODI "series" each time home and away...keeps the series short and allows time to get adjusted to conditions.The 4th year would be the one of the WC. No need for Champions Trophy.

  • on June 22, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    Seems like a good idea on paper. But It would make the world cup kinda meaningless. we cant have a league style cricket & a world cup for the same format. it will be conflicting. who will be the real odi champions then/ the country winning the league or the one that wins the world cup?

  • Viv-Viru on June 22, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    Cricket will evolve into the way of Golf is today- multiple professional tours around the world but with countries still competing (in Ryder Cup and President's Cup). Just like US is has the biggest tour in terms of audience and prize money, India will have the biggest cricket tour.

  • Rajit on June 21, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    Travelling for a single game will be a huge night mare & involve lot of cost...take for instance NZ travelling to WI for one ODI...ofcourse there would be an argument that WI-NZ can plan a test series during such period but that holds good for only one year...not every year..It's certainly an out of the box suggestion but might not be lucrative financially.

  • Un_Citoyen_Indien on June 21, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    Long live ODI cricket! Nice article by the way. An EPL styled format sounds tempting but strong administrative will is required to make it feasible. I have always supported the notion of a fixed number of matches per side per year.

    20 is an ideal number of ODIs. Might I add that we need a fixed number of test matches as well? Say, 9 (5 at home and 4 away). Do away with the numerous T20 Internationals, we see plenty of exciting T20 action in leagues like the IPL and don't need international T20s as well (other than the T20 World Cup, which is fine).

  • on June 21, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    ODIs should be revamped with 2 innings of 25 overs each but with only 10 wickets to fall. This will make certain that pitch and atmosphere conditions will not be a major cause of a win like yesterdays semi final where ball stopped swinging after 40 or so overs.

  • avis1001 on June 21, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    NOOOOOO !!! No more ODIs - Instead - ICC should start T-20 tests with 2 innings - just like a test match but will be done in a day - then it will definitely clicked. At least for the next 5 years, we all will enjoy this new T-C-20 matches !!!

  • couchcoach on June 21, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    As most of you have said, not a bad idea, but a logistical nightmare. Definately also need Less meaningless international matches. Every series between 2 nations should be 3 tests, 3 odi's and 3 T20's. (Except for significant series like ashes where you keep the 5 test). And overall have less series.... perhaps only 3 per year for each country. The rest of the time domestic leagues would be bolstered which in turn would help development of younger players as they would learn from the pros and have better competition.

  • Jeppo on June 20, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Having a One-Day league is a good idea in theory, but getting each side to travel to each country to just to play a single one-day match every year is not cost-effective and there simply isn't any time in the schedule to do so.

    I propose a slight amendment to your idea - have the league every five years instead of one year, and have a fixed series of three ODI's for each team in each league - one home and one away. Most countries play two sides at home per year anyway, and they can also play a test series while they are at it. This also adds a lot more relevance to the one-day series, and it will be so much simpler than the current ranking system we have at the moment.

  • on June 20, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    The idea seems to be good but then the cost of travelling for just a single match to other country might add to the costs of ICC....and then it will be very difficult for players to accommodate given the huge numbers of T20 leagues and cricket being played all around....this might work in the short term and then this idea does not ensure a foolproof success, and if it doesnt clicks, ODI's will lose their existence..........

  • SidLovesIndia on June 22, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    As many of you have said, the idea is good on paper but not so practically given the costs involved of travel, hotel bookings and so on. Can you also imagine someone like Bangladesh playing in the swinging conditions of the Oval, then travelling to hot and humid SL, then to the bounce of Perth and then swing and seam again in Durban, with no time to adjust to the conditions! I propose a change to this in that play the league over 3 years, with a 3 ODI "series" each time home and away...keeps the series short and allows time to get adjusted to conditions.The 4th year would be the one of the WC. No need for Champions Trophy.

  • on June 22, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    Seems like a good idea on paper. But It would make the world cup kinda meaningless. we cant have a league style cricket & a world cup for the same format. it will be conflicting. who will be the real odi champions then/ the country winning the league or the one that wins the world cup?

  • Viv-Viru on June 22, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    Cricket will evolve into the way of Golf is today- multiple professional tours around the world but with countries still competing (in Ryder Cup and President's Cup). Just like US is has the biggest tour in terms of audience and prize money, India will have the biggest cricket tour.

  • Rajit on June 21, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    Travelling for a single game will be a huge night mare & involve lot of cost...take for instance NZ travelling to WI for one ODI...ofcourse there would be an argument that WI-NZ can plan a test series during such period but that holds good for only one year...not every year..It's certainly an out of the box suggestion but might not be lucrative financially.

  • Un_Citoyen_Indien on June 21, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    Long live ODI cricket! Nice article by the way. An EPL styled format sounds tempting but strong administrative will is required to make it feasible. I have always supported the notion of a fixed number of matches per side per year.

    20 is an ideal number of ODIs. Might I add that we need a fixed number of test matches as well? Say, 9 (5 at home and 4 away). Do away with the numerous T20 Internationals, we see plenty of exciting T20 action in leagues like the IPL and don't need international T20s as well (other than the T20 World Cup, which is fine).

  • on June 21, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    ODIs should be revamped with 2 innings of 25 overs each but with only 10 wickets to fall. This will make certain that pitch and atmosphere conditions will not be a major cause of a win like yesterdays semi final where ball stopped swinging after 40 or so overs.

  • avis1001 on June 21, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    NOOOOOO !!! No more ODIs - Instead - ICC should start T-20 tests with 2 innings - just like a test match but will be done in a day - then it will definitely clicked. At least for the next 5 years, we all will enjoy this new T-C-20 matches !!!

  • couchcoach on June 21, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    As most of you have said, not a bad idea, but a logistical nightmare. Definately also need Less meaningless international matches. Every series between 2 nations should be 3 tests, 3 odi's and 3 T20's. (Except for significant series like ashes where you keep the 5 test). And overall have less series.... perhaps only 3 per year for each country. The rest of the time domestic leagues would be bolstered which in turn would help development of younger players as they would learn from the pros and have better competition.

  • Jeppo on June 20, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Having a One-Day league is a good idea in theory, but getting each side to travel to each country to just to play a single one-day match every year is not cost-effective and there simply isn't any time in the schedule to do so.

    I propose a slight amendment to your idea - have the league every five years instead of one year, and have a fixed series of three ODI's for each team in each league - one home and one away. Most countries play two sides at home per year anyway, and they can also play a test series while they are at it. This also adds a lot more relevance to the one-day series, and it will be so much simpler than the current ranking system we have at the moment.

  • Sukruti on June 20, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    The bilateral series could be scrapped. Play world cup every 2 or 3 years and Champions trophy could even be scrapped. Let T20s be like it is now with each country's domestic leagues. Test matches should be played quite often. Every team should play at least 6-8 tests per year.

  • DingDong420 on June 20, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    The champions trophy should stay. All games have meant something and its a short tournament.

  • on June 20, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    Initially the travel needs seem exorbitant. But the major rugby contests (usually involving NZ, Aus, and SA) in the southern hemisphere have been arranged to some extent like this. The Tri-Nations (now Rugby Championship) has functioned with home and away games for over a decade; in it's current form it involves travel between SA, Aus, NZ and Argentina usually for one or two games at a time. Super Rugby ("premier league" teams from SA, NZ, Aus) now involves 15 teams in such away-and-home games every year. Granted, the teams are more evenly matched than the top 15 in world cricket but with some economical scheduling it can be done.

  • KaMJ on June 20, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    where is the time? the plan is possible only if we have something like football... abolish all bilateral tournaments apart from TEST, ODI and T20 world cups... rest should all be league or club matches... then this might be possible...

  • inswing on June 20, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    The idea of one home and one away game works only when teams are located in a compact geographical space, like soccer teams of Europe. There, you can reach anywhere in 2-3 hrs by bus or plane. But India cannot go to Australia to play one ODI, and Aus cannot go to England to do the same. It is completely unworkable. An alternative might be to divide the top 10 teams into two groups of 5. Each plays the other 4 three times away and three times at home, making it 24 matches. Then you have the top 2 teams of each group in 3-match semis, and then a 3-match finals. A further alternative is that each of the 10 teams plays the other 9 three times, but home/away is decided by draw. You play some countries only at home and others only away. Making a 10-15 day trip to play 3 ODIs (plus one practice game against a local side) is conceivable.

  • zohair00 on June 20, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    No more ODIs please - we don't have time to watch a game that lasts a whole day. I end up watching just the last 5-10 overs of each innings if possible. And most ODIs are boring specially if they are one-sided like the two semis in the Champions Trophy. One T20 game packs in more excitement than 2 ODIs. I'd rather have IPL and BigBash type T20 leagues all year round in favor of scrapping ODIs altogether.

  • on June 20, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Who has time to sit through 8 hours? Com'n seriously?!

  • on June 20, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    It's an unsustainable idea. I am not a fan of bi-lateral series either, but having teams travel for one ODI to ten different countries is ridiculous!

    They need to bring back tri-series or better yet quadrangulars (and not long ones, like in Aus..but short and sweet....two matches against each team and then a final). Each country has at least two touring sides in its home season. Instead of playing separate lame ODI series with them, they should only have multi-team ODI series sandwiched between the two Test tours. And can invite one extra side to make it into quadrangular tournaments. Points should be awarded according to how many of these tournaments are won...with finals getting extra weightage. Each country will then have only one big home ODI series per year (thank god)...and we will only have a total of eight ODI series in the whole year. The WC year this goes down to six with the hosts losing out

    The relegation system needs to be introduced into the WC which should be a 10 tea

  • on June 20, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    This idea is good but the problem is keeping the enthusiasm levels of the audience to watch the matches which are played between low quality teams. This would make loose out the interest in 50 over game. And also from the cost factor, playing for one match, the entire team along with support staff travel cost, would be a burden on ICC.

  • shillingsworth on June 20, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    The gulf between the full members and the rest (Ireland excepted) is huge. The two teams promoted from D2 would go straight back down. Meanwhile, the relegated teams would return to the top division, having wasted a year travelling the world for a series of mismatches. Most of the league fixtures would be no more meaningful than the current endless bilateral and triangular series.

    Associates will only become competitive through proper domestic structures and increased participation at grass roots level, not by throwing them in at the deep end and hoping they will somehow prosper.

  • on June 20, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    The ODI league is a good idea to consider. However there are not 10 cricket playing nations in the world of a level that can keep this serious for the audience. Maybe a league of 7 teams with one team relegated each year and the top team in league 2 promoted. The issue is going to be the TV revenue split which the BCCI and the other boards are not going to agree to lose in any case. The better solution will be the ICC showing spine and regulating the following: 1) Limit ODI series to max of 5 matches 2) Limit the number of ODIs any two teams can play in a 3 year period. 3) Stipulate the minimum number of ODIs that each team has to play against each other in a 3 year period. (including in world cups and other events) There must be point and financial penalties for non compliance This will provide flexibility to the boards but not allow them to always pick and choose. Once we start small, this can always be tightened to bring in the relevant balance.

  • Provost on June 20, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    T20 and test games are good enough... one dayers are neither classic nor fast pace.....kind of dull....otherwise replace 50 overs with two t20s on a single day (double header) and see the aggregate score a the end of the day...(or NRR at the end of the second game).

  • Wannabekenobi on June 20, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    A proper league like in soccer and rugby. And PLEASE DO NOT LET A PLAYER REPRESENT LEAGUES OF ANY COUNTRY! Each country have its own league, players can improve their games, get exposure. B and C divisions can be introduced. With international duties for A-list players it would give the others a chance as well. Good for cricket in the long run. One of my dreams to see such a league. Also have a Champions trophy like the UEFA league. Would be great.

  • on June 20, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    The Idea is good and certainly supports overall development of cricket ,specially for countries like Ireland,Netherlands,Afghanistan,Kenya etc.As a result of which the T20 leagues around the world & the ODI's can be perfectly balanced along with the Tests.The Associate nations will gain experience and can push for TEST status.The idea is most like EPL style but i support the Promotion and Relegation as a result of which the teams can improve themselves and spread this gentleman's game of cricket to the other parts of the world.

  • daniel_fishman on June 20, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    What a daft idea. So every year, every international team is going to fly to the West Indies, play one match, then fly home again? National football (and indeed any other sport) leagues only work because the travel times are small. Let alone the issue of adjusting to conditions (which matters far more in cricket than any other sport bar tennis).

  • yorkshirematt on June 20, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    The English premier league isn't the only one of its kind you know. Practically every country has a similar football league "where a champion is crowned every year". Nor is it a new innovative idea. These leagues have been going on for over a hundred years!

  • on June 20, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    What we can have is to have two groups of 8 teams that will play each other over a three year period with 3 home games and three away games against the same team. that gives 42 games in 3 years. the fourth year will be of the world cup where top 5 teams from each group will qualify. Also we can have a secondary tournament where other associate teams can participate and the top four from that will make it to the main league.

  • Amit_13 on June 20, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Sent it to the wrong website buddy... this needs to be on the ICC website. Your idea could be the only tournament that gets played in a different country every year???

  • naresh.partani on June 20, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    Kudos on coming up with an "utopian" idea. But I don't think this proposal has enough legs to reach the ICC. Even if we assume ICC has enough money to take care of finances, there will be other roadblocks for a league like this. For starters, this tournament is going to have scheduling and logistics nightmares for ICC. And then there is an added element of international teams not wanting to visit Pakistan for cricket, which will mean Pakistan plays home games in another country and if this happens then the whole league concept becomes moot. I agree EPL is very successful and it is based on a league format but cricket can not be compared to other sports, unlike any other sport cricket supports 3 formats. I would rather like ICC to invest its resources and time in trying to find a window in the international calendar to accomodate the Champions Trophy. I think it is a great tournament, involves all teams, is compact and complete value for money. As a cricket fan, I hope this happens!

  • BozoSri on June 20, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Atleast they are not playing 5 T20i and 2 ODI on every tour, apart from tests.

  • on June 20, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    bilateral series are a must. you cant have icc event every year as its difficult to manage. what we need is a balance between all. at moment too many t20 leagues are going on and for longer. Ipl alone has more games than any of other. and t20 internationals are very less. even in bilateral series teams play hardly 1 or 2 t20i. If everything is balanced, the number of odis and tests & t20 and even number of games in t20 leagues, it will be better.

    number of matches in bilateral series should also be considered.

  • Harlequin. on June 20, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    @vswami - he never said that the T20 leagues were a waste of time (he even pointed out that they were lucrative which is one use) however most fans will admit that whilst they can be fairly entertaining games, they are meaningless.

    Great idea with the leagues, although I don't think the logistics are as easy as you make out, as mentioned by MmpRubel. It would probably be easier to have more smaller leagues, eg. 4 leagues of 5 teams, with promotion/relegation of course.

  • TATTUs on June 20, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    If you start this sort of a league, then whats the relevance of the world cup? Better cut meaningless ODIs like this tri series in West indies and 7 match ODI series. Make the matches rare. Infact for many, after a horrendous IPL, this champions trophy is like water in drought. Good cricket, less glam sham. Top teams should play test cricket series of 5 matches and lower teams should play 3 match series. Remove all the tri series and all those sort of irrelevant matches.

  • vswami on June 20, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    On what basis do you say a T20 league is a waste of time and meaningless. Its utterly disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of people who pay to turn up and millions who watch on TV who support the game. They seem to care about the league.

  • MmpRubel on June 20, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    good idea, but cricket has its own idiology, so why should copy? besides, there are numarous t20 legues accross the globe, how will that be accomodated? for example, IPL 2 months, BPL 1 month, SLPL 1 month, CPL 20 days and domestic seasons of each country.I dont think its applicable right now, besides why should one team, for ex. BD travel WINDIES to play only 2 matches?

  • rohiitian on June 20, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Good idea! I would propose a slight modification to the rules that might have a higher chance of gaining acceptance from the powers that be. This could even be transitional, maybe move to your rules in a few years - 2 leagues of 8 teams (the top 8 and the next 8) - Bottom 2 of league A play with top 2 of league B in a showdown and the top 2 in that remain / advance to league A - Each team plays the other twice H&A, giving 28 matches per year per team (at some level the tournament would need to be economical for the boards) - World cups played with all 16 teams in the manner of today, but with fewer meaningless matches (not in scope of this comment) - Perhaps marquee bilateral series can be scheduled in the year of the world cup instead of the league (ex. Eng Aus, Inda Pak etc...)

  • rohiitian on June 20, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Good idea! I would propose a slight modification to the rules that might have a higher chance of gaining acceptance from the powers that be. This could even be transitional, maybe move to your rules in a few years - 2 leagues of 8 teams (the top 8 and the next 8) - Bottom 2 of league A play with top 2 of league B in a showdown and the top 2 in that remain / advance to league A - Each team plays the other twice H&A, giving 28 matches per year per team (at some level the tournament would need to be economical for the boards) - World cups played with all 16 teams in the manner of today, but with fewer meaningless matches (not in scope of this comment) - Perhaps marquee bilateral series can be scheduled in the year of the world cup instead of the league (ex. Eng Aus, Inda Pak etc...)

  • MmpRubel on June 20, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    good idea, but cricket has its own idiology, so why should copy? besides, there are numarous t20 legues accross the globe, how will that be accomodated? for example, IPL 2 months, BPL 1 month, SLPL 1 month, CPL 20 days and domestic seasons of each country.I dont think its applicable right now, besides why should one team, for ex. BD travel WINDIES to play only 2 matches?

  • vswami on June 20, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    On what basis do you say a T20 league is a waste of time and meaningless. Its utterly disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of people who pay to turn up and millions who watch on TV who support the game. They seem to care about the league.

  • TATTUs on June 20, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    If you start this sort of a league, then whats the relevance of the world cup? Better cut meaningless ODIs like this tri series in West indies and 7 match ODI series. Make the matches rare. Infact for many, after a horrendous IPL, this champions trophy is like water in drought. Good cricket, less glam sham. Top teams should play test cricket series of 5 matches and lower teams should play 3 match series. Remove all the tri series and all those sort of irrelevant matches.

  • Harlequin. on June 20, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    @vswami - he never said that the T20 leagues were a waste of time (he even pointed out that they were lucrative which is one use) however most fans will admit that whilst they can be fairly entertaining games, they are meaningless.

    Great idea with the leagues, although I don't think the logistics are as easy as you make out, as mentioned by MmpRubel. It would probably be easier to have more smaller leagues, eg. 4 leagues of 5 teams, with promotion/relegation of course.

  • on June 20, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    bilateral series are a must. you cant have icc event every year as its difficult to manage. what we need is a balance between all. at moment too many t20 leagues are going on and for longer. Ipl alone has more games than any of other. and t20 internationals are very less. even in bilateral series teams play hardly 1 or 2 t20i. If everything is balanced, the number of odis and tests & t20 and even number of games in t20 leagues, it will be better.

    number of matches in bilateral series should also be considered.

  • BozoSri on June 20, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Atleast they are not playing 5 T20i and 2 ODI on every tour, apart from tests.

  • naresh.partani on June 20, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    Kudos on coming up with an "utopian" idea. But I don't think this proposal has enough legs to reach the ICC. Even if we assume ICC has enough money to take care of finances, there will be other roadblocks for a league like this. For starters, this tournament is going to have scheduling and logistics nightmares for ICC. And then there is an added element of international teams not wanting to visit Pakistan for cricket, which will mean Pakistan plays home games in another country and if this happens then the whole league concept becomes moot. I agree EPL is very successful and it is based on a league format but cricket can not be compared to other sports, unlike any other sport cricket supports 3 formats. I would rather like ICC to invest its resources and time in trying to find a window in the international calendar to accomodate the Champions Trophy. I think it is a great tournament, involves all teams, is compact and complete value for money. As a cricket fan, I hope this happens!

  • Amit_13 on June 20, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Sent it to the wrong website buddy... this needs to be on the ICC website. Your idea could be the only tournament that gets played in a different country every year???

  • on June 20, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    What we can have is to have two groups of 8 teams that will play each other over a three year period with 3 home games and three away games against the same team. that gives 42 games in 3 years. the fourth year will be of the world cup where top 5 teams from each group will qualify. Also we can have a secondary tournament where other associate teams can participate and the top four from that will make it to the main league.