Champions League T20 news

Will CLT20 be hit by Twenty20 overload?

Firdose Moonda

October 3, 2012

Comments: 43 | Text size: A | A

A good Sunday crowd for the World Cup final, Australia v India, ICC U-19 World Cup, final, Townsville, August 26, 2012
Will audiences warm to a T20 tournament that starts only two days after the World T20 © ICC/Getty

On Sunday the World T20, an event that lasted three and a half weeks, will end. On Tuesday the Champions League T20, a tournament that will go on for two and half weeks, will start. The 48 hours in between may offer a chance for some perspective.

If Sundar Raman, IPL chief executive who is also a member of the CLT20 technical committee, is correct, that time enough will create a "continuum," of the format. Many fear the opposite: that it will be a time when overload is reached.

Since September 8, the only international cricket that has been played is T20 cricket. South Africa and England played three matches, India and New Zealand played two (one was abandoned), teams warmed up for the World T20, played a group stage, a Super Eight round and a knockout stage. A total of 43 T20 matches will have been played by Sunday and by the end of October, that number will sit at 72 over seven weeks.

But Raman does not fear spectator fatigue and is confident the tournament has a place in the calendar despite the challenges it faces. "This was the window of time that was available currently. All the countries have their international seasons after this and there was an opportunity that was available here," he said in Johannesburg. "We hope the World T20 has created enough of an appetite. The timing of the broadcasts are also pretty good and the schedules are done in a manner that will provide the opportunity for every country to watch their teams."

Reaching out to fans in different countries is what the CLT20 claims to be about. They hope that process will start in South Africa, which is the reason Raman gave for moving the event here from India. "We thought it is only fair to come back to South Africa; to reach out to new markets," he said. The tournament was last previously hosted in South Africa in 2010 and crowd turnout was better than at both events held in India.

More of the same is expected by Jacques Faul, CSA acting CEO. He said even though the CLT20 clashes with South Africa's domestic rugby competition, the Currie Cup, he expects seats to be occupied. "Rugby is a serious contender when it comes to crowds," Faul said. "We did take it into account but we did as much as we could to make sure we will have crowds."

The thinking may well be that the cricket and rugby market are different and in some ways, they are. The CLT20 has also brought in spectators who may not attend other forms of the game, or sport at all, and Faul hopes those types of people will grow in number. So far, it does not look like it. There are a maximum of 380,000 tickets available for sale and only 18% have been bought - around 70,000.

Nassei Appiah, the tournament director who is also CSA CFO, said the numbers should pick up this week. "We know that most of the tickets will be sold a few days before the event or when people know the actual teams playing," he said, referring to the three-day qualifying event which will take place before the tournament proper. "But 30% of tickets for the final have already been sold."

CLT20 has re-energised domestic twenty-over cricket. Players like Sunil Narine have come through CLT20. It gives players the confidence and the ability to believe in themselves Sundar Raman, IPL chief executive and member of CLT20 technical committee

The sales figures did not dampen Raman's confidence in South Africa delivering an event that meets expectations. "It's a great country with a sport loving public," he said. "All the infrastructure is here, 14 teams can be put up in a city like Johannesburg and the stadium atmosphere is also good. The stadium sizes are also smaller than places like India or Australia."

Australia are the third shareholders of the CLT20 and have not yet hosted the competition. Raman said it is unlikely they will be do so in the near future, primarily because their time-zone is unsuitable. "Obviously that is a problem," he said. He did leave the door open to other countries to host the event, saying anyone from England to Sri Lanka to Bangladesh could come into contention in the future.

"As a tournament we are evolving," Raman said. "In 2008, we had an eight-team format. We've evolved from there to be able to accommodate more teams and now we have 14 teams from around the world."

Despite that, the 2012 edition will take place without representatives from either Zimbabwe or Bangladesh, both of whom hold their own domestic twenty-over tournaments. That too, could be revised looked at in future. "As we go forward to future editions, we will try and be as inclusive as we can," Raman said.

It may mean an even longer qualifying phase since only the shareholders' teams gain automatic entry. India, as the largest shareholder, has four teams while South Africa and Australia have two each. This unbalanced nature of the tournament has also caused it to be criticised. England have indicated they will not take part in next year's event because of the large impact CLT20 has on their domestic season which is cut three weeks short even though the teams that qualify for the qualifiers could end up playing only two matches.

Raman is bullish that issues like those do not detract from the CLT20's success and the standing it has among participating countries. "There is a significant interest because people are looking forward to playing in another tournament because of their domestic success," Raman said. "CLT20 has re-energised domestic twenty-over cricket. Players like Sunil Narine have come through CLT20. It gives players the confidence and the ability to believe in themselves and that for me is very heartening. "

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by boxer44 on (October 4, 2012, 23:29 GMT)

@lakC whats ur point? for those that need to know the Trinidad players are playing for T&T not ipl team.

Posted by LakC on (October 4, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

When was the last time that WI Aus SA Eng teams toured SL after the Carribean WC

Posted by Hamzaad on (October 4, 2012, 9:45 GMT)


I appreciate your concern dear but Sialkot doesn't depend on foreign players at least as compared to your mighty Indian teams. Your teams will fall like house of sand if they play without foreign players. any ways, I hope Sialkot gives it's 100 percent and knock some Indian teams out of the tournament.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (October 4, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

Cant wait for this T20 circus to end so we can get on with some real cricket - TEST MATCH cricket. SA vs OZ in November - cant wait!!! If steyn or morkey gets injured in these mickey mouse T20 competitions i will be furious

Posted by roversgate on (October 4, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

Why can't the administrators just use the IPL window for the Champions League too? One year IPL, next year Champions League. That way people wont complain about IPL taking too much time and it will actually be an interesting competitions instead of that annoying thing that comes directly after important events like world cups.

Posted by Htc-Baseball on (October 4, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

Could have scheduled better. CLT is not as bad as many here post.But it is rubbish to have four Indian teams.Though beeing Indian am not able to accept this.A team from bangladesh shd have been added.They love the game and they deserve it.3 IPL teams wud have been better..But this is seriously rubbish.

Posted by SureshBravo on (October 4, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

@ Hamzaad : I tell you sailkot will not even make to the semis

Posted by abhay8157 on (October 4, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

This is getting to be Boring ........

Posted by yorkshirematt on (October 3, 2012, 22:59 GMT)

It's a strange concept in cricket really. Players play for many different teams around the world, whether they're freelance t20 players or play abroad out of their home country's season, and clashes are inevitable in this sort of competition. Starc could have played for yorks, but understandably chose to play for his aussie side, the T&T players are playing for their IPL sides and there are probably many other cases I don't know about.

Posted by Kapil_Choudhary on (October 3, 2012, 20:48 GMT)

The only countries that will be watching the CLT20 are Pak and may be WI - and that too only if their teams manage to qualify. Everyone else doesn't care. Aus have never cared about T20, SA will be distracted by Rugby, Eng has neways declared this is their last CLT20 and SL/NZ are unlikely to qualify. Even WI are angry that the big Trinidadian players are playing for IPL teams. As far as India goes - even we Indians are not that stupid - we understand that 4 Indian teams in the main draw is HIGHLY UNFAIR. The way I see it - this is a tournament where as an Indian fan - there is nothing to gain and everything to lose. If an Indian team wins, its not really an achievement as we had 4 teams and if we dont - then its a disgrace as we couldn't win despite having 40% of the teams with the best intn'l players. Plus the tournament has been ridiculously advertised in India - calling CLT20 THE REAL BIG GLOBAL EVENT when the World T20 is currently on is just plain blasphemous...

Posted by Hamzaad on (October 3, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

Even with four teams, India will lose this. Sialkot Stallions with Imran NAzir , Shoaib Malik and Raza HAssan has a good chance. and by the way, Firdous Moonda should mention Pakistan team in the article!

Posted by rock.rockyin on (October 3, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

Being an Indian I don't watch IPL, CL etc . When u don't win as a nation there is no question of watching these commercial leagues.

Posted by Kronicle1860 on (October 3, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

Hey guys. I think that CLT20 will be a hit. South African crowds love cricket. I don't think its to much of cricket. By the way Firdose Moonda is female

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

Exciting times ahead for experienced cricketing professionals. Except for the injured, they should all be fit for CL20, most having batted only briefly and having bowled a maximum of only four overs per match. Bring it on - great entertainment always and great test cricket too!

Posted by Tigg on (October 3, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

CLT20 is a joke and always has been. It may have had a drop of credibility if it had one, or maybe two teams from each country as an elite competition of the best club side form each nation. As it is, with different rules for different sides, and so close to a WT20 that has actually been quite good (two ties, a 1 run win, a century, a 99* and a couple of 5-fers) it is a nothing competition.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 3, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

I am a strong HATER of test cricket. But even for me.. I feel the ICC World T20 is an IRRELEVANT tournament. Countries should be pitted against each other in test cricket and the 50 over world cup. The CLT20 is a SUPERB tournament IMO. I suggest the ICC ban the ICC World T20 forever. The ONLY international formats should be boring test cricket and ODIs. International T20s are funny and ridiculous. T20 is made for the domestic competitions. So I say BRING ON the CLT20 and let's have some fun in a true and genuine way. After all through this tournament, we get to see many new players whom we would have probably never heard of before, like Sunil Narine, Richard Levi etc.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (October 3, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

Packed cricketing schedule will affect the popularity of Cricket....But i will support sailkot stations....I will watch each n every single match bcoz i m cricket crazy............

Posted by kazimreza on (October 3, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

is Pietersen playing CLt20?

Posted by dvln on (October 3, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

the TRP ratings for the tournaments like IPL and CLT20 are gradually decreasing. i don't think people will watch the upcoming CLT20 with much interest.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

will tune out and be back for England series :)

Posted by jonesy2 on (October 3, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

for a start, their are not as many players crossing tournaments as you would think the worst hit would be the indians and south africans and they are out anyway (thats not a shot at them by the way i promise haha). as far as australia go i would just say rest the players for at least the first game. but the other thing, its only twenty20, while their is much more running and sprinting involved, the bowlers have only bowled 25 overs in the last week or so and the batsmen for example shane watson has probably faced about 200 balls give or take which is pretty standard for a couple weeks of cricket in the nets or whatever

Posted by frankzzzster on (October 3, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

Ofcourse it will be an overload of T20 cricket. It will be boring too! As an Indian, I feel so bad to see 4 IPL teams in CLT20. I was eagerly expecting teams from other countries to play. It would be better, if 2 teams from each shareholder (Aus, SA, Ind) and 1 team from each non-shareholder (SL, WI, Eng, Ban, NZ, Pak) are brought together for this tournament without any qualifiers. That would make this more interesting and fun! Hope the money minded organisers in CLT20 make this change one day!!!

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

I need cheerleaders of the CLT10 just as the cheer squads of the first ipl. Do not change a bit.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Typical of Mr Firdose Moonda not to mention Pakistan (sialkot), as this is their first CL tournament. He is keen to talk about future teams from Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, but why not mention Pakistan in the entire article.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (October 3, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Was looking forward to this until I saw the format. We may well only last two days before we're back on the plane to Leeds/Bradford.

Posted by prabhukt429 on (October 3, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Get ready for mini ipl.Over kill of t20 surely another two weeks of circus .where is test cricket.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

CLT20 tournament is badly organised

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

thank god too much t20 indian players need rest they r asking too much from 34 years old shewag i was delighted he will be fresh for england test series

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

All these unofficial T20 leagues have clearly misguided players and upcoming players. The real essence of cricket is lost. Cricket has become commercial rather than being game. Many players are been thought as bigger than the game. For example Sachin Tendulkar can play IPL and Champions league but he will pick and choose the series he plays for India. Wonderful. ICC has to have a lookin otherwise in future the young kids will not know what is exactly the game "Cricket" is all about.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

Zzzzzz. Even international teams playing Twenty20 has become a dull spectacle to my eyes, other than getting a glimpse of newboys Afghanistan and the perennially under-exposed Irish. There is a definite case of Twenty20 overload, meanwhile Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan are crying out for more matches. I'd much rather watch a mini 50 over tournament featuring those four than any competition which automatically puts in 4 Indian teams, and only 1 from some countries and 0 from others!

Posted by Nkhandhar on (October 3, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

Ya good platform for some young gun like Sunil [Sunil Narine], but just after world T20 it is difficult to attract audience. Hoping some big drama at starting with tie and super over...

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (October 3, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

The tournament is indeed unbalanced. Non shareholders are considered as second class and are made to play qualifying round. All teams should be treated equally like in world T20. No wonder England is reluctant to send their teams.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 3, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Oh wow talk about a disaster!

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

But money talks and who cares about the players?

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (October 3, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

CLT20 organisers will be praying that another English side doesn't get through to the semi finals ruining their IPL party on the way. Perhaps they could introduce 2 qualification rounds for English teams rather than just the one. Hampshire are (unfortunately for us) an extremely adept side and Yorkshire will be well up for this. All the best.

Posted by TharinduChat on (October 3, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

A rubbish tournament! If it has to be a real Champions League, teams other than shareholders' countries should get an automatic entry and teams from India should be reduced to same number as other countries. Currently, It's just an another IPL with other teams just making up the numbers.

Posted by Robster1 on (October 3, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Too much 20/20 cricket..........zzzzz. The country based World Cup should only be held every four years.

Posted by sohaibahmad on (October 3, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

if it was test series involving india, dhoni wouldve been the first one to cry off

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

we will surely follow the clt20 2012.This is the place were players like sunil naraine,kieron pollard and many more hav emerged......


Posted by Biggus on (October 3, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

Ridiculous event, why bother?

Posted by Abrars on (October 3, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

The best player in T20 is Pietersen.

Posted by Uppercut07 on (October 3, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

yess, nobody s gonna be interested in more T20s, just after a World T20. Same thing happened to IPL after the ODI WC2011

Posted by Narbavi on (October 3, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Surely yes!! Too much of anything is boring honestly!! Personally i am not at all interested to watch cl t20, i would just follow them here in cricinfo next day after each game!!

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