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Cork frustrated by Champions League absence

Andrew McGlashan

August 16, 2010

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Dominic Cork has a word with Chris Wood, Hampshire v Essex, 1st semi-final, Friends Provident t20, Rose Bowl, August 14, 2010
Dominic Cork is frustrated that youngsters like Chris Wood will miss out the chance to play in the Champions League this year © Getty Images

Dominic Cork has expressed his disappointment at not being able to take Hampshire to the Champions League in South Africa after leading them to the Friends Provident t20 title. They clinched the trophy by losing fewer wickets as scores finished level against Somerset but, unlike last year when Somerset and Sussex headed to India in October this season, there are no places for English counties due to a fixture clash.

The Champions League runs from September 10-26 which coincides with the closing two weeks of the domestic season, including the conclusion of the County Championship and CB40, and also England's one-day series against Pakistan. The ECB had brought the end of the season forward by a week under the belief the tournament would be held in late September but it was shifted so that India could play Australia.

It left the ECB with no choice but to say to counties couldn't take part because of the extensive changes that would have been required to the domestic fixtures. There is a certain irony, then, that Hampshire with their strong IPL links to Rajasthan Royals are one of the teams that would have qualified for the Champions League and Cork said it was a major loss for the club as well as English cricket.

"It's a disappointment for me as a player because I'd have loved to have gone but also for the guys who have performed so well, the younger players who would have benefited from playing against top international cricketers," he told Cricinfo Switch Hit podcast. "It's just a shame we won't be able to go and I hope the ECB are looking at that to make sure counties are represented in the biggest competitions in the future.

"We've seen how when the England players were first refused a chance to go to the IPL England's Twenty20 campaign was disastrous and when they were allowed to go all of a sudden we win a World Cup in West Indies," he added. "That's no coincidence, that's the fact that players are able to perform in the biggest competitions. Hopefully now the ECB can look at the Champions League, put all these rows to bed with India and sort it out because English cricket will suffer if we don't have clubs represented."

It is hoped that from next year there will be a clear window after the English season which will allow counties to rejoin the tournament although there remains a feeling that the ECB have been left behind in the global development of Twenty20 despite inventing the format back in 2003. Discussions remain ongoing about the structure for domestic cricket from next season with serious movements being made towards a franchise-style structure based around the Test grounds.

Cork believes the biggest change that needs to be made is a reduction in the number of matches after an explosion in fixtures meant 151 games in this year's Friends Provident t20. But he thinks that county teams would be able to hold their own against IPL franchises.

"The English Twenty20 is a very strong tournament," he said. "It was too long with 16 qualifying games and the ECB need to look at that because we don't want to reach overkill, but the fact we can attract some very good Twenty20 players, and the fact there are some good domestic players, means we can be very proud in having a strong competition. Hopefully we can keep it as strong as possible and I'm sure if we were able to play IPL teams all counties would put up a good performance."

For a full interview with Dominic Cork listen to Tuesday's edition of the Switch Hit Cricket Show

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by   on (August 19, 2010, 12:59 GMT)

Let's stop calling this the Champions League because it isn't a real Champions League. One of Hampshire's key players, Neil McKenzie, would not be eligible to play for them as he's already committed to his South African side in the tournament. Nor is this the only example, Mike Hussey is one of several players who've already been in this position. This is a "Mickey Mouse" tournament, albeit a wealthy one, but bears no resemblance to the real Champions League where once a player commits to one club, he's then cup-tied and can't play for any other. Also, what happens if the tournament gets moved to August? End the English season in the middle of the summer? Well done on winning the T20 Cork, but now concentrate on making sure Hampshire stay in Division 1 of the County Championship. That's far more important.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2010, 18:19 GMT)

I think its better if they dont call it Champions Leageue anymore and starting thinking about new name because of lack of Champions Team in the League, Last there was no Pakistan (World Champion a that time) and now Current Champions England are not Participating in the league.........................

Posted by rko_rules on (August 17, 2010, 17:05 GMT)

I'd like to say also about Pakistani teams which are not playing in this CLT20, which is very unfortunate. Even last year, Pakistan the world champions of T20 didn't participate in CLT20 and this year as well, England world T20 champs are not participating, which is very unfortunate. It really disappoints me when we have only 10-12 nations playing Cricket, why cant we move forward together. Why we have so conflicts in between us and cant have same opinion?? I hope next year, in this prestigious Clt20 tournament, teams from the world champion country will be participating.....

Posted by rko_rules on (August 17, 2010, 16:54 GMT)

I think Dominic was in very good form and was feeling good about his bowling and body fitness as well. As he is coming to the end of his career, any player would thought in that way. There's nothing wrong in that. Bcoz Cricket is changing and expanding pretty fast, first national leagues like IPL, BIG BASH, Friends Provident t20 and South African league, which are very popular and now Champions League T20 is gaining popularity as well, so any player would like to be the part of this era and experience all this. Bad luck this time but Good luck to Dominic Cork for the next yr as I hope next yr CLT20 will be held in Australia and atleast two county teams will be representing next yr.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2010, 15:42 GMT)

@ Zahidsaltin

The answer to your question is: because India invented

Posted by military-medium on (August 17, 2010, 13:11 GMT)

rovar, if you actually read the article then you'd have seen the quote that ShahidAfridiFan used. It's a fair comment too, by Cork.

on_the_level I think we all felt the same way, just that we didn't know which teams it would be that would miss out. These handbags from Giles Clarke and Modi are selfish and detrimental to the games in both countries. As Cork said it is the younger home grown players that will suffer in the long term as they don't get to compete against the best. It also doesn't help when half of the best clubs in the world aren't invited.

Posted by kpisthebest on (August 17, 2010, 12:43 GMT)


You must have seen a different IPL as I do remember Colly, Lumb and KP doing well in the IPL. In fact KP averaged over 50 in IPL 2010.

Posted by Rohan0309 on (August 17, 2010, 11:56 GMT)

Zahidsaltin: You need to check your facts, buddy! India doesn't organise Champions League T20. It's a combined effort of the BCCI, CSA and CA. Though the initiative was started by the BCCI. And CLT20 will not be an ICC event, not till we have a T20 WC. And definitely not when it involves domestic teams from different countries. Because ICC doesn't govern domestic cricket.

Posted by Gizza on (August 17, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

@Zahidsaltin, it is NOT organised by India! The Champions is jointly and equally organised by Australia, South Africa and India. They were the founding members. In fact Australia and South Africa thought about this first and then India joined later.

If there was no IPL and no T20, the first Champions League would have been an inter-club/state/county/region One-Day 50 over competition. Also note that the second Champions League is being held in South Africa but not due to any security threat in India this time around.

In fact I'm expecting the third Champions League to be held in Australia. Maybe they might even consider New Zealand co-hosting the event (even though they weren't a founding member) because then there will be three (perhaps four by that time) host teams and more home support which will mean larger crowds.

Posted by lucyferr on (August 17, 2010, 10:00 GMT)

England needs to wake up and smell the tea. They aren't in control of international cricket any more. India is. Global tournaments will be moved for India, not England. England should make more flexible domestic fixtures that can be moved two, three, four, or more times for every change the Board for the Control of Cricket by India might make. Money talks, and England doesn't have any any more. Le Raj est mort, Vive le Raj!

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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