English Premier League April 29, 2008

Franchises won't work in England - Clarke

Cricinfo staff
55


Giles Clarke: 'Can you, I was asked by a leading television executive, imagine cricket lovers rushing down St Johns Wood Road to see a franchise called Vodafone Team London owned by an ageing rock star?' © Getty Images
 

Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, has forthrightly dismissed the notion that the future of an English Premier League - a potential challenger to the Indian counterpart - lies in a city-based franchise system.

"Franchise sport has simply never worked in the UK," Clarke told ECB members at the AGM held at Lord's. "Tradition and history rather than Bollywood stars and glitz are the binding which persuade supporters to return week in week out to our grounds - whether it is rugby, football or cricket. And some of the ideas spouted in the media have been frankly ludicrous. Can you, I was asked by a leading television executive, imagine cricket lovers rushing down St John's Wood Road to see a franchise called Vodafone Team London owned by an ageing rock star?

"There has never yet been a successful Team London in any sport and nor is there likely to be any support for a Team Manchester or Team Leeds from traditional areas of rivalry such as Liverpool or Sheffield. When ECB launched their own Twenty20 Cup it was on the back of extensive spectator research and financial analysis. This is an exercise we will repeat before launching any new competition because we have said this tournament must be robust, spectator friendly and economically sustainable."

Nevertheless, Clarke was gushing in his praise for the Indian Premier League, though he insisted "much of the look and feel of the tournament was taken from the ECB template".

"It was, as the Indians say, a great tamasha. There was light, glitz, glamour and music," Clarke said. "We must congratulate them on creating an opening ceremony and establishing a tournament which has a scope and scale which can be compared to the Rugby World Cup. Those who were in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Mohali and Mumbai will talk of a great spectacle and a great show. It was described so admirably by Alan Lee in The Times as the ECB Twenty20 with more money thrown at it."

Clarke also spoke gratifyingly about Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire who has proposed a $20million winner-takes-all contest between England and a West Indies XI. In addition, Stanford - the 239th richest man in the world - could yet bankroll the EPL, so long as he can ensure a worthwhile return on his investment.

"I know that he has been extremely impressed by the facilities in England and Wales and also by the scope of the work of the ECB and the excellence of the course plotted by its chief executive and board," Clarke said. "I hope to give more details in the days and weeks ahead but I can guarantee that everyone in the game - from playground to Test arena - will benefit from this deal."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jgupte on April 30, 2008, 23:14 GMT

    I wonder which world Clarke lives in? never heard of a sports franchise from Manchester?! ManU? Man city? Does he not know the kind of business interests which own football teams? Can he be that daft?

    I wonder if Clarke has actually bought the IPL package on Setanta sports (the cable network broadcasting IPL games in the UK) & watched IPL live - if he has not, then its a shame that he is making comments about the league without having watched the games live - the stadiums are packed, the crowd cheers for their favourite players, even the toss! I was visiting Dhaka, Bangladesh recently where restaurants have set up separate IPL viewing rooms which are packed on game nights; the worlds best players are in India, except of course the traditions and stiff upper lips of the English players

    If Clarke has bought Setanta sports or watched the IPL, then isnt it a bit rich and ironic for him to say the league is not a success?! Its people like Clarke who r keeping cricket an upper class sport

  • cooldude0503 on April 30, 2008, 16:38 GMT

    Just like Ignorance is a Bliss, too much knowledge makes you a Fearful. ECB does too much analysis, spectator research rather than banking on a product. Imagine if all the products in world were invented after that much analysis. Human has always tendency to change. People whom them analyses can have a changed opinion just 2 seconds after they gave an answer and probably dont even know what they want or what they like till see you the product. ECB should believe like Allen Stanford has a belief.

    BTW, I am loving IPL. I just hope they make grounds bigger so that SIX, FOUR are little hard to come by. I am right now getting too much dose of fours and sixes.

  • captainnick on April 30, 2008, 15:38 GMT

    Why the hostile reaction from fellow posters? Mr Clarke clearly likes the IPL and hasn't got sour grapes. Read his comments, instead of projecting. All he said was that franchising doesn't work in English sport in the same way it has done so well in India. England's sporting palate is more sophisticated than India's.

    "are the EPL football clubs not franchises and have they not been successful?" There is a blurry line where a franchise becomes a club, but there are clear characteristics that clubs such as EPL teams have and franchises don't: Promotion and relegation, limited revenue sharing, power rests with them rather than the league itself, cannot be dipanded except by their owners, hardly ever move location, originated as community clubs and became businesses, as opposed to the other way round for franchises.

  • Night_Rider on April 30, 2008, 15:05 GMT

    The ECB has been caught napping and they are scrambling to pull together something to compete, or else they would lose their players to the IPL or the ICL. What they dont get, is the fundamental economics around the IPL. It is the power of a billion people watching the games on TV with corporate India fighting to pour money into the game. Where would they get this kind of support in England? The celebrity? The entertainment? It doesnt even compare. Further, remember that the ICC's FTP is already too crammed and world class players cannot play in both.

    As someone has rightly pointed out, they are poor in all forms of the game - it was shocking to see how the England team played in the T20 World Cup, after having started this format and claiming to have many T20 "specialists". They were proved to be no more than a bunch of mediocre players with Stuart Broad taken for 6 sixers in one over.

    Now that IPL has put on such a big show, they are crying sour grapes.

  • kingdak on April 30, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    Giles Clarke does not have a clue, anybody who listened to his interview on the radio a few weeks ago will know the man is not in touch with what is really going on.

    As soon as he made his comments a number of England players came out and openly said they wanted to play for the IPL. He needs to wake up and smell the coffee and stop living in another age, he should be driving this forward not constantly putting up road blocks!

  • Vijubaba on April 30, 2008, 13:41 GMT

    I to aggree with most of above comments, it definitely a different story having EPL in UK because in India the cricket is religion to them while people are as crazy for cricket as people in UK for football, and the bollywood thing I think its not bollywood thats giving blitz to IPL but its IPL thats giving them an opurtunity to have a good investment of their funds in it. One thing is sure if you launch EPL here ti wont be as hit as IPL.

  • Flymogram on April 30, 2008, 12:51 GMT

    What about the tradition and history of Test cricket being broadcast on free-to-air television? He was the one in charge of the deal with Sky that took that away so to hear him talk about tradition and history us utter nonsense. As for twenty20, I do think caution should be exercised before going for the big money. As for the idea of merging, I think that players are proud of playing for their counties and that it would not necessarily work well.

  • rorydavis on April 30, 2008, 12:05 GMT

    Once again a simplistic, even childish solution, is sought to answer a crisis in English cricket. Formerly the answer to competing with Australia was to have just six domestic sides. That huge country has six distinct population bases which forms the logic to their system and has nothing to do with their success. India is a booming nation with over a billion people whose sporting/pastime interests are almost solely aimed at cricket. Any attempt to copy their business model would be a shambles. English domestic cricket would be far better served by installing a simple, consistent programme of one first class competition and one limited overs competition. Preferably a programme that could be explained on the back of a beer mat, rather than the confused muddle which presently leaves even the fanatics perplexed.

  • arvie on April 30, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    I see this has triggered a host of opinions and I would like to comment on a couple of things. First - it is not staggering that the IPL is compared with the Rugby World Cup. The IPL is meant for an Indian audience and every single penny it earns is generated in India. For India and Indians, this sort of spectacle is much more attractive and interesting than the rugby world cup. In fact they would be insulted even if comparisons were made with the football world cup or the olympics. Second - Franchise is only a term. Is not the ECB negotiating a one-man franchise deal with Allen Stanford ? The only way a domestic 20-20 would succeed financially in England is by way of awarding it to corporates and asking them to bankroll a team of their choice. You don't need to name the teams after counties or cities. Let the team sponsors or franchisees decide what they want to name the team. Just pick 8 or 12 corporate sponsors and ask them to pick their team and pay them.

  • Billall on April 30, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    Although i am not a Rugby fan, but i dont think they have introduced a new format to it, whereas 2020 is all new, and to have that many international players coming there and participating in that league for me is very impressive.

    I do not agree with Mr.Clarke at all. No matter how many billionaires come together, they cant compete with a billion+ population, all mad about cricket.

    Secondly, Mr. Clarke is banking on Allen Stanford to finance the event (EPL), well there are more billionaires participating in IPL, two of which own franchises, and one of them (Mukesh Ambani) is the third richest in the list of billionaires.

    2020 is here to stay, and in the future 2020 will always be played on the format of franchises, its something all the cricket boards around the world will conform to in times to come.

  • jgupte on April 30, 2008, 23:14 GMT

    I wonder which world Clarke lives in? never heard of a sports franchise from Manchester?! ManU? Man city? Does he not know the kind of business interests which own football teams? Can he be that daft?

    I wonder if Clarke has actually bought the IPL package on Setanta sports (the cable network broadcasting IPL games in the UK) & watched IPL live - if he has not, then its a shame that he is making comments about the league without having watched the games live - the stadiums are packed, the crowd cheers for their favourite players, even the toss! I was visiting Dhaka, Bangladesh recently where restaurants have set up separate IPL viewing rooms which are packed on game nights; the worlds best players are in India, except of course the traditions and stiff upper lips of the English players

    If Clarke has bought Setanta sports or watched the IPL, then isnt it a bit rich and ironic for him to say the league is not a success?! Its people like Clarke who r keeping cricket an upper class sport

  • cooldude0503 on April 30, 2008, 16:38 GMT

    Just like Ignorance is a Bliss, too much knowledge makes you a Fearful. ECB does too much analysis, spectator research rather than banking on a product. Imagine if all the products in world were invented after that much analysis. Human has always tendency to change. People whom them analyses can have a changed opinion just 2 seconds after they gave an answer and probably dont even know what they want or what they like till see you the product. ECB should believe like Allen Stanford has a belief.

    BTW, I am loving IPL. I just hope they make grounds bigger so that SIX, FOUR are little hard to come by. I am right now getting too much dose of fours and sixes.

  • captainnick on April 30, 2008, 15:38 GMT

    Why the hostile reaction from fellow posters? Mr Clarke clearly likes the IPL and hasn't got sour grapes. Read his comments, instead of projecting. All he said was that franchising doesn't work in English sport in the same way it has done so well in India. England's sporting palate is more sophisticated than India's.

    "are the EPL football clubs not franchises and have they not been successful?" There is a blurry line where a franchise becomes a club, but there are clear characteristics that clubs such as EPL teams have and franchises don't: Promotion and relegation, limited revenue sharing, power rests with them rather than the league itself, cannot be dipanded except by their owners, hardly ever move location, originated as community clubs and became businesses, as opposed to the other way round for franchises.

  • Night_Rider on April 30, 2008, 15:05 GMT

    The ECB has been caught napping and they are scrambling to pull together something to compete, or else they would lose their players to the IPL or the ICL. What they dont get, is the fundamental economics around the IPL. It is the power of a billion people watching the games on TV with corporate India fighting to pour money into the game. Where would they get this kind of support in England? The celebrity? The entertainment? It doesnt even compare. Further, remember that the ICC's FTP is already too crammed and world class players cannot play in both.

    As someone has rightly pointed out, they are poor in all forms of the game - it was shocking to see how the England team played in the T20 World Cup, after having started this format and claiming to have many T20 "specialists". They were proved to be no more than a bunch of mediocre players with Stuart Broad taken for 6 sixers in one over.

    Now that IPL has put on such a big show, they are crying sour grapes.

  • kingdak on April 30, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    Giles Clarke does not have a clue, anybody who listened to his interview on the radio a few weeks ago will know the man is not in touch with what is really going on.

    As soon as he made his comments a number of England players came out and openly said they wanted to play for the IPL. He needs to wake up and smell the coffee and stop living in another age, he should be driving this forward not constantly putting up road blocks!

  • Vijubaba on April 30, 2008, 13:41 GMT

    I to aggree with most of above comments, it definitely a different story having EPL in UK because in India the cricket is religion to them while people are as crazy for cricket as people in UK for football, and the bollywood thing I think its not bollywood thats giving blitz to IPL but its IPL thats giving them an opurtunity to have a good investment of their funds in it. One thing is sure if you launch EPL here ti wont be as hit as IPL.

  • Flymogram on April 30, 2008, 12:51 GMT

    What about the tradition and history of Test cricket being broadcast on free-to-air television? He was the one in charge of the deal with Sky that took that away so to hear him talk about tradition and history us utter nonsense. As for twenty20, I do think caution should be exercised before going for the big money. As for the idea of merging, I think that players are proud of playing for their counties and that it would not necessarily work well.

  • rorydavis on April 30, 2008, 12:05 GMT

    Once again a simplistic, even childish solution, is sought to answer a crisis in English cricket. Formerly the answer to competing with Australia was to have just six domestic sides. That huge country has six distinct population bases which forms the logic to their system and has nothing to do with their success. India is a booming nation with over a billion people whose sporting/pastime interests are almost solely aimed at cricket. Any attempt to copy their business model would be a shambles. English domestic cricket would be far better served by installing a simple, consistent programme of one first class competition and one limited overs competition. Preferably a programme that could be explained on the back of a beer mat, rather than the confused muddle which presently leaves even the fanatics perplexed.

  • arvie on April 30, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    I see this has triggered a host of opinions and I would like to comment on a couple of things. First - it is not staggering that the IPL is compared with the Rugby World Cup. The IPL is meant for an Indian audience and every single penny it earns is generated in India. For India and Indians, this sort of spectacle is much more attractive and interesting than the rugby world cup. In fact they would be insulted even if comparisons were made with the football world cup or the olympics. Second - Franchise is only a term. Is not the ECB negotiating a one-man franchise deal with Allen Stanford ? The only way a domestic 20-20 would succeed financially in England is by way of awarding it to corporates and asking them to bankroll a team of their choice. You don't need to name the teams after counties or cities. Let the team sponsors or franchisees decide what they want to name the team. Just pick 8 or 12 corporate sponsors and ask them to pick their team and pay them.

  • Billall on April 30, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    Although i am not a Rugby fan, but i dont think they have introduced a new format to it, whereas 2020 is all new, and to have that many international players coming there and participating in that league for me is very impressive.

    I do not agree with Mr.Clarke at all. No matter how many billionaires come together, they cant compete with a billion+ population, all mad about cricket.

    Secondly, Mr. Clarke is banking on Allen Stanford to finance the event (EPL), well there are more billionaires participating in IPL, two of which own franchises, and one of them (Mukesh Ambani) is the third richest in the list of billionaires.

    2020 is here to stay, and in the future 2020 will always be played on the format of franchises, its something all the cricket boards around the world will conform to in times to come.

  • sherwini on April 30, 2008, 9:16 GMT

    I agree that the competing teams should be county rather than city based. When they formed the football premier league they didn't need to merge Everton and Liverpool did they? I would however envisage a different structure to the current T20 with two divisions, as is the case with the CC and Pro40 (which should be scrapped anyway). My only concern is that if the ECB procrastinate the chance will be lost.

  • azz1 on April 30, 2008, 9:11 GMT

    Why are the English cricket board crying like a baby . They are not providing their players with franchise tournaments nor they are allowing their players to participate in IPL . Some English players are very talented and they deserve the money which they could get from IPL..But this has been stopped by ECB. WHY are these players being punished because of some stubborn board members...Try to act smart and develop the cricket standards in England. Don't give reasons like a loser.

  • The_Orebon on April 30, 2008, 9:02 GMT

    "Tradition and history rather than Bollywood stars and glitz are the binding which persuade supporters to return week in week out to our grounds"

    Since when did a Rock concert bang in the middle of the Twenty20 finals become part of English cricket Tradition & History???

    The IPL has made this guy lose his marbles...

  • Vijay-Chakravarthy on April 30, 2008, 8:55 GMT

    Cricket is a dying soprt in England,The ashes series win of 2005 did wonders to revive the spirit but it is a game largely followed by the baby boomer generation in this country.Thanks to the myopia of the officials like Giles Clarke the game has little chance of a resurrection.Of course St Johns wood will not be teeming with people for Franchise cricket but thats not because the idea is rubbish.Its because interest in the sport among youth is totally absent in this country and nothing has been done about it for the past 3 decades.

  • sachindon on April 30, 2008, 8:19 GMT

    Clarke Clarke Clarke. Everyday he gives one statement and changes the other day. He first said no to IPL participation and then when Stanford made to convince the ECB, then he had no other way to open the gate for English players for IPL too. Now, he says look and feel of the IPL is same as that of EPL. Every sport should have league, semis, finals and in what they can differ I really do not understand. Secondly, when he says IPL in comparison to the Rugby world cup, I would rather take it in a positive manner, thinking he has been overly surprised with the big success of IPL with stadium full for all the matches and audience bringing electrifying atmosphere as like in world cup. concluding it, if at all ECB wants to still force in with their EPL, I think they should try to rope in some indian players if they need some people to watch these matches. Clarke, Do welcome the changes and allow things to change to ripen and to grow the England players talent.

  • RoyEire on April 30, 2008, 8:12 GMT

    I think ECB and Mr Clarke are taking a more pessimistic view of things and will worsen the cricket by starting the English T20. I can see a scramble for players to decide to sign up for IPL , ICL or EPL. I guarantee you that ECB will never be able to match the money that BCCI can because the people involved in IPL, for eg the owner of Mumbai team Mr. Ambani is the third richest person on the plannet and owns this team for a more marketing point of view than making money out of it. Same goes for Bangalore team of Mr. Mallya. I mean that even one man Mr. Allen Stanford will not be able to compete with the IPL- in a country that is obsessed with cricket just like the British are with football.

    To be honest I see the ECB's plan a big failure just as the their previous tournament was, otherwise if IPL copied their format then why did theirs not create so much hype and ratings in the first place.

  • HermY on April 30, 2008, 7:52 GMT

    Mr Clarke uses the only example that would probably work. Londoners have never had teams called London, so who can say what they will or won't support. To see Yorkshire and Lancashire supporting a single team might be more of a problem, but if the team is composed of Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Hershelle Gibbs and Shoaib Akhtar, who cares what colour the rose is? I think one should think outside the boxes!

  • mirajvora on April 30, 2008, 7:46 GMT

    What I don't understand is why do these Englishmen always have to compare something succcessful around the world to what can happen in England. Take a Bow, the IPL i.e the INDIAN premier League is a success and if it has been taken from the ECB template thn sue them if you can..I mean stop telling it won't work in England and all that. Have a look at the two richest people in britain right now..

    #1 Lakshmi Niwas Mittal , who owns Queens Park Rangers #2 Roman Abramovich, who bviously owns Chelski oops Chelsea..

    So try something new..and we'll see if anyone in INdia will bicker about that.

  • Big_Chikka on April 30, 2008, 7:20 GMT

    Do you want proof of a lack of imagination and vision? 'Can you, I was asked by a leading television executive, imagine cricket lovers rushing down St Johns Wood Road to see a franchise called Vodafone Team London owned by an ageing rock star?" Move over mate and let someone else lead!!!!!!

  • Nathan_a on April 30, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    Oh ! Manchester United and Liverpool are owned by Americans, Chelsea,Portsmouth by Russian, Man city by Thai - Come on ECB - stop bashing BCCI. Please realise BCCI has enhanced your idea and succesfully implemented it. If possible ask BCCI for guidance there is nothing wrong in it.After all your primary job is to promote cricket within UK; hardly a handful of people watch county cricket ( 7 was the figure for the first county match). But dont give insulting statements like this

  • chandrapunth on April 30, 2008, 7:02 GMT

    "Franchises will not work?" May be what Clarke is trying to say is that the public school/oxbridge crowd will not let it happen. It may be true that most of the English team is composed of hoi-poloi, the management is still firmly in the grips of the stiff-upper-lip crowd. Let's get real and call a spade a spade.

    For all the consternation about India's way of doing things, when have you seen white, black, brown, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, lower class, upper class athletes competing with heart, passion, intellect and fun on the same team with comradarie and vigor? The IPL, whether it succeeds or not, has proven that India is the new melting pot for the cricket player and fan alike.

  • Ajay42 on April 30, 2008, 6:30 GMT

    why is every opinion by someone in England or Australia considered to be "sour grapes" or "whingeing"? Surely,Mr Clarke is entitled to his opinion and is probably right. The IPL is a huge hit this year but the jury is still out on it's long term viability.

  • masterblaster666 on April 30, 2008, 6:15 GMT

    Horses for courses is the way to go, so I largely agree with Clarke. Would English fans turn up to watch foreign stars? The English cricket fan is probably also not as crazy about ageing rock stars as Indians are about SRK - er, getting Metallica to play a small set before matches would do the trick but knowing Metallica, would be prohibitively expensive. Most importantly, England, the birthplace of cricket, is not nearly as passionate about cricket as India so whatever the system, franchise based or not, cannot be as big as the IPL. Leave that to the EPL, er the football one that is.

  • raznisha on April 30, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    no he is not correct,why people start to play cricket old days ?for an entertainment .why now people going to watch cricket to entertain their selves .those days people played cricket to entertain their selves but these days people play cricket for pride for money .nowadays loves to watch cricket not because it's a sport because it is a entertaining thing.He is saying like that because of the all overseas players like to join ipl not england domestic because of financial commitment.

    like he says, there is no tradition in cricket these to follow only entertainment that' why people like 20-20 format.people like some fast action because it's a fast world.

  • RogerC on April 30, 2008, 5:52 GMT

    Mr. Clarke finds IPL as a tamasha but in the same breath he finds the Stanford $20 million winner-takes-all match as logical. What a shameful double standard?

    Does it make sense to pay 20 million for a 20-20 match between two weak teams? Is it financially sustainable to do it on a regular basis? If this match gets washed out or rain-curtailed, or if some key players are injured before this one match, what will be the value to the fans?

    Anyway, its England-WI match (two pathetic teams) and what kind of cricket standard is expected out of this match?

    Its better to watch a franchise of best international players like IPL than the Stanford tamasha.

  • LKKingmaker on April 30, 2008, 5:23 GMT

    Mr Roland

    Did u saw the matches.. some of the matches were very close and i also watched the English Domestic 20-20 which was boring compared to IPL..its huge success man.. i think it was wathced by more ppl than the rugby wolrd cup

  • fruitypastille on April 30, 2008, 4:43 GMT

    If franchises can work in India it should work in England. If you want to involve all 18 counties you have to split it into Premier Division and First Division with a promotion/relegation system like you already have for your domestic County League. The franchise system means they each pay the ECB a lump sum, similar to your income from selling TV rights to SkyTV, which can be used to put into your grassroot system and the franchisees will see how to recover their investments. Now with the lump sums generated from the franchises whether the BCCI or ECB does put it into grassroots or to line their own pockets is a different question altogether and should not concern us at the moment. What is important is that the Cricket Boards which perennially were short of funds now will have a 'war chest' to work with.

  • rightarmover on April 30, 2008, 4:38 GMT

    I agree with Giles Clarke on this one, a razzamtaz twenty 20 tournament would always work in India, they love the glitz and glamour of the whole tournament which provides thrill a minute cricket by basically, "made up" teams. I cant see the English people taking a franchise team to their hearts, english cricket supporters have a 20/20 competitioin with their respective clubs competing, why would they want a tournament with Franchise teams created to provide games of cricket?

  • soorajiyer on April 30, 2008, 4:24 GMT

    How is Rugby world cup relate to IPL!!! In the end purpose of a sport is to entertain the crowd and attract people! Which IPL and to an extent ICL does... "Tradition and history rather than Bollywood stars and glitz are the binding" --- I think you tasted sour grapes Mr.Clarke! And I dont understand why people are worried abt fat pay check of somebody! We all work; and 99.99% of us do it; to make MONEY unless you are some Mahatma Gandhi or Swami Vivekananda. (There would be examples from UK/US too, I am not too learned to name them here!!) Also look at how many poor people get employment because of this tourney - pls dont have a narrow mind Mr.Clarke!!!!

  • kiwi_boy75 on April 30, 2008, 4:16 GMT

    Even though it is a domestic league, I think it is bigger than Rugby world cup,in terms of the viewreship.Mind you not a few overseas players.Captains and vice captains of 7 national teams except England and Zimbabwe, and more than 60 major international players.

  • sinfuldips on April 30, 2008, 3:28 GMT

    I think club London with a retired old rock star is just what English Cricket needs. I have heard after ECB knocked back BCCI's offer to push back the county season to accomodate English players in IPL, a lot of english cricketers, like Pietersen are crying to go into IPL because they never get that amount of cash or attention when playing for England or their counties. Only time will tell next year whether ECB or BCCI has got a better tournament but at this point of time it looks like only the rejects from IPL will play in ECB's cup. Best of luck to Stanford who wants to invest money with the thought that ECB will part with its age-old views. People will come to watch big names play cricket. If there are no big names, I don't think it would create a world wide buzz. So Best of luck Mr. Clarke.

  • rascally on April 30, 2008, 2:35 GMT

    Did you not even read the article h_kap and spintl? Nothing in the article suggested any kind of sour grapes on the part of Clarke with regards to the IPL, he's just explaining how it wouldn't work in England. The current format that they have works, and well.

    tandoori - please undestand that in England, cricket is so far below football in the popularity stakes that comparing the two is like comparing apples with oranges. They're both sports, that where the similarities end.

    Hopefully T20 will bring new viewers and encourage more people to be interested in all cricket formats.

  • vaidy on April 30, 2008, 2:27 GMT

    Mr Clarke needs to get his ideas right about IPL. Being on annual leave, I had the luxury of watching a few matches on TV. The crowds are staggering - unbelivable gate collections on week nights, leave alone weekends! This can never happen in UK or down under - you just cant get people out in great numbers on a week night. The grapes are indeed sour, Mr Clarke. I accept that you have to run horses for courses, but to demean the Indian public's cricket sense by suggesting that Bollywood is responsible for the success of IPL, go figure.

  • AjaySridharan on April 30, 2008, 2:19 GMT

    T20 is the only hope Cricket has to become a truly global sport...even then it only has a slender hope. I'm talking from first-hand experience. I'm a student of Sports Marketing in one of the ivy league schools in the US. Recently my professor posed a question to the class - "When I say Cricket, what comes to your mind?". And here are the initial reactions from a class predominantly made up of 25-35 yr old American males (sweet spot) - "Englishman, aristrocratic, very long, pre-historic, complicated, white sweaters". You get my point? As a diehard cricket fan I did my bit to dispel the impressions by showing them clippings of the '05 Ashes Edgbastan match and contrasted it with the T20 India vs England worldcup match. Take a cue cricket boards of all the countries - bury your differences and work together to promote the wonderful sport that we all love so much. You can still make money and be profitable. Give the customer what he wants - that's Marketing 101.

  • ohitz on April 30, 2008, 2:13 GMT

    Hey Mr. RolandJ,

    It is not a "few overseas players" supplemented to the tournament. It is more or less the most significant players from the cricketing world! The IPL is also a little richer than the rugby world cup in terms of preparations and money!

    For Mr. Clarke, I think he should research on the EPL Football clubs! Those are actually pretty much all franchises!

    Congratulations to the Indians for their success! IPL = Absolute Entertainment!

  • mani_8005 on April 30, 2008, 0:56 GMT

    I feel that the English Cricket Board is behaving like an Ostrich and not understanding the uniqueness of the format. Obviously they don't think much about Indian intelligence but that is their problem.

  • kaustav11 on April 29, 2008, 21:13 GMT

    It must be a hard skill to be condescending to the BCCI which is simply better and more succesfull doing the same thing that the ECB started.And Mr. Clarke manages seems to have oodles of that skill.

    Lets not forget, 20-20 itself is a big "tamasha", which the ECB proudly "invented".If it had any sense, it would try to be better at marketing the game, like the BCCI has done.Maybe iviting a rockstar or two (aging or not), won't be such a bad idea for starters.

  • uknsaunders on April 29, 2008, 21:10 GMT

    Clarke clearly is looking after his own corner. He's the ex-somerset chairman after all! Consider this, if no first class cricket existed in the UK then any drawing up of boundaries wouldn't be anything like the existing county structure. For example, we have millions of people in the thames valley (ie. bucks/oxon/berks), a fair proportion of the UK's richest companies and no cricket team within 50 miles if not further. So instead most small counties survive on ECB TV handouts generated by the national side. Just because of a fluke of history, why should clarke and his county cronies hold back english cricket? Does it not say it all when the lancashire chairman wants a review and the leicestershire/somerset chairmans want the status quo? Lancashire - read big area with manchester and millions of people. Lecestershire/somerset are a fraction of the size!

    Of course if somebody (stanford/sky) wave enough money they'll do anything there told!

  • amsof on April 29, 2008, 21:01 GMT

    Most of the things said by spintl is true which haunts the English team to date. Neways I would like to inform that 20-20 was not invented in England. This 20-20 cup started in Karachi way back in 1970's which was played in Holy month of Ramadhan. This form of game got popular and became a national tournament in Pakistan where similar tournaments got organized in big cities. As far as comment by Mr. Clarke is concerned I would like to differ on his suggestion that tradition is not what is attracting people to IPL grounds. I must say that each and every person coming to watch these matches is not concerned if the team belongs to Shahrukh or Ambani. They are coming to watch big criketing stars playing together and putting together a show which is extremey exciting and extremely competitive. That is the essence of these games. Stars are just adding color to it, not attracting crowds. Cinema is a place where they do this job>>>

  • gung-ho on April 29, 2008, 20:46 GMT

    goes well with what KP said initially about IPL - he said something like he was not interested in the millions and that playing for England was his ultimate goal, blah, blah, blah and then came back and said something about having kids and giving them decent education, blah, blah, blah... If IPL offers contracts to some of these players, they will stop playing for England altogether... but then who cares... English cricket team is the English cricket team - period -- a bunch of losers who never excel in anything but English language....

  • I.F.Butt on April 29, 2008, 20:10 GMT

    Mr. Clarke, Why Hate?! The IPL is the best thing that ever could happen in cricket. I mean you don't want the sport Cricket to die do you? If the IPL is making Cricket more succesfull, then what is the problem?! A lot my friends which are football lovers, even they watch the IPL. Mr.Clarke, just say IPL for ever!:D

  • I.F.Butt on April 29, 2008, 19:59 GMT

    Mr.Clarke Why Hate?! The IPL is the best thing ever what could happen in cricket! I mean you don't want the sport cricket to die do you? If the IPL is making cricket more succesfull, then what is the problem?! A lot of my friends which are football lovers, even they watch the IPL. Mr.Clarke just say IPL for life!:D

  • wewillhaveabat on April 29, 2008, 19:49 GMT

    what is ridiculous about the IPL is the way the 'fans' salivate that their 'home' team to the exclusion of being able to find anything redeeming in the 'visiting' team...watching Rahul Dravid the other night spank the ball about to stoney silence in an Indian arena was too surreal...are these crowds, that for the most part are being admitted for free, just part of the scripted entertainment that 20/20 is anyway?? what is real about that? how long can such a T20 format last on such baseless foundations??

  • wewillhaveabat on April 29, 2008, 19:44 GMT

    yule misses the point: the EPL sides are indeed franchises, but not created from nothing. Man U is the franchise of what was also the Man U FC...despite this, this can work - few of you commenters will be familiar with the Port Power in the aussie rules' AFL. this was a club created to join the national comp whilst the traditional Port Adelaide still exists in the local SANFL. the people do support the new team, though there are die hards that won't; but these are in the minority. Personally, I don't want this sort of franchise based sport in the UK. And those that think that Giles is full of sour grapes...none of the sort. The English did create these sports yes, and they HAVE been VERY successful, just not recently...people need longer memories...

  • MSH001 on April 29, 2008, 19:19 GMT

    EPL is not going to work at least for 3 years as most of the cricketers are bound by the 3 year contract in IPL. Same with ICL, although I am not sure about the contract term. So simply there are no players to pull in the crowds. Now crying over who came up with the T20 idea, and who made it into glitz and glamorous etc. is not going to help Mr.Clarke or ECB.

  • Yule on April 29, 2008, 19:02 GMT

    Another point, can Cricinfo do the English game a favour please... Please give the traffic statistics of your website during the IPL matches to Mr. Giles "Franchise sport has simply never worked in the UK" Clarke. Even better if you compare it with the county matches.

  • karthiek on April 29, 2008, 18:36 GMT

    Well i understand that the heads of ECB and CA are now having fires in their stomachs with IPL going great guns. Though there is nothing wrong in trying to imitate IPL, they have got to think more than twice. Why is IPL going great? Because India is a country with population of more than a billion and out of which there are atleast 700 million cricket crazy people (including me). Its that amount of audience that has made the IPL organizers to dare to do such a big thing and its the same thing that has given the franchisees the confidence to throw such huge amounts of money into this. Neither U.K nor Australia has even one-tenth of that amount as their "total" population. Stanford wouldn't have asked a word if he had to invest his money in India. Football (in U.K) or rugby (in Aus.) are a separate phenomenon, but as far as cricket, other countries have to be careful to attempt such a thing as imitating IPL.

  • spintl on April 29, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    I agree that it will NOT work in England, but IPL has been a huge success, so was ICL!! It is typical British.. they invent lot of games and never win in anything and then they cry sour grapes.. They invented the now Limited Overs tournament in 1975 and they are yet to win the World Cup... They invented 20-20 and yet to win the cup... They invented Wimbledon Tennis and I haven't heard anybody from UK win one!!!So Mr.Clarke, stop bickering and stop crying sour grapes and apprecaiate what IPL has done!!!

  • Yule on April 29, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    I beg to differ, what about all the big football clubs? Although they started as tradition they are more or less franchises today. There is no harm in changing with times. Having a T20 competition with all 18 counties??? Just check with the TV broadcasters if they are willing to pay a billion dollers for the rights for a competition with 18 counties. If Im not wrong, the English players can wait only until the next year, if something is not done be prepared to see all of our players playing at IPL next year.

  • h_kap on April 29, 2008, 18:15 GMT

    Did you hear about a story of "Fox and the Grapes", where the fox would say grapes are sour when he could not get it? I know about this story when i was in school. That saying goes good right here.

  • ArifAttar on April 29, 2008, 18:04 GMT

    Mr. Clarke seems to be suggesting that the Indian Premier League is more entertainment than cricket and the Twenty20 Cup is purely cricket. I would like to disagree. If the Indian Premier League were to be successful, and there is every indication of it being just that and more, it would be because of the cricket. A Bollywoods star's presence in these matches doesn't dilute the game that is being played on the ground in any way. It is the game, first and foremost, which the people of India love. And it is the game itself which is drawing full houses almost everywhere. Any suggestion that the IPL owes it success to Bollywood stars is not doing justice to the Indian cricket fan.

  • tandoori on April 29, 2008, 17:59 GMT

    I don't really understand if Mr.Clarke here watches any football, but are the EPL football clubs not franchises and have they not been successful?

  • junaed on April 29, 2008, 17:50 GMT

    The Indian premier league has not only managed to fill stadiums in India, but has also created a huge buzz worldwide. It is this worldwide attraction which seems to be missing from the english competition. I am not sure however that Mr Giles Clarke will have the solution to this problem. We must all remember that he was the man who signed the contract with bskyb which effectively kept cricket of terrestrial television. Considering that England has just won the Ashes and the nation was hooked on the game, it was not a very wise decision.

  • jongemmell on April 29, 2008, 17:11 GMT

    I totally agree. The Twenty20 has been a raging success in this country, why would we want to change it? Its beauty is that all 18 counties have an equal chance of winning. We should be looking to have more teams, not less. As a Leicestershire supporter I would not have the same sentiments towards an East Midlands side. In addition I want to watch young home-grown cricketers not those only interested in the pay-check.

  • RolandJ on April 29, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    On what basis does he compare an Indian domestic league supplemented with a few overseas players to the Rugby World Cup? Staggering.

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  • RolandJ on April 29, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    On what basis does he compare an Indian domestic league supplemented with a few overseas players to the Rugby World Cup? Staggering.

  • jongemmell on April 29, 2008, 17:11 GMT

    I totally agree. The Twenty20 has been a raging success in this country, why would we want to change it? Its beauty is that all 18 counties have an equal chance of winning. We should be looking to have more teams, not less. As a Leicestershire supporter I would not have the same sentiments towards an East Midlands side. In addition I want to watch young home-grown cricketers not those only interested in the pay-check.

  • junaed on April 29, 2008, 17:50 GMT

    The Indian premier league has not only managed to fill stadiums in India, but has also created a huge buzz worldwide. It is this worldwide attraction which seems to be missing from the english competition. I am not sure however that Mr Giles Clarke will have the solution to this problem. We must all remember that he was the man who signed the contract with bskyb which effectively kept cricket of terrestrial television. Considering that England has just won the Ashes and the nation was hooked on the game, it was not a very wise decision.

  • tandoori on April 29, 2008, 17:59 GMT

    I don't really understand if Mr.Clarke here watches any football, but are the EPL football clubs not franchises and have they not been successful?

  • ArifAttar on April 29, 2008, 18:04 GMT

    Mr. Clarke seems to be suggesting that the Indian Premier League is more entertainment than cricket and the Twenty20 Cup is purely cricket. I would like to disagree. If the Indian Premier League were to be successful, and there is every indication of it being just that and more, it would be because of the cricket. A Bollywoods star's presence in these matches doesn't dilute the game that is being played on the ground in any way. It is the game, first and foremost, which the people of India love. And it is the game itself which is drawing full houses almost everywhere. Any suggestion that the IPL owes it success to Bollywood stars is not doing justice to the Indian cricket fan.

  • h_kap on April 29, 2008, 18:15 GMT

    Did you hear about a story of "Fox and the Grapes", where the fox would say grapes are sour when he could not get it? I know about this story when i was in school. That saying goes good right here.

  • Yule on April 29, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    I beg to differ, what about all the big football clubs? Although they started as tradition they are more or less franchises today. There is no harm in changing with times. Having a T20 competition with all 18 counties??? Just check with the TV broadcasters if they are willing to pay a billion dollers for the rights for a competition with 18 counties. If Im not wrong, the English players can wait only until the next year, if something is not done be prepared to see all of our players playing at IPL next year.

  • spintl on April 29, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    I agree that it will NOT work in England, but IPL has been a huge success, so was ICL!! It is typical British.. they invent lot of games and never win in anything and then they cry sour grapes.. They invented the now Limited Overs tournament in 1975 and they are yet to win the World Cup... They invented 20-20 and yet to win the cup... They invented Wimbledon Tennis and I haven't heard anybody from UK win one!!!So Mr.Clarke, stop bickering and stop crying sour grapes and apprecaiate what IPL has done!!!

  • karthiek on April 29, 2008, 18:36 GMT

    Well i understand that the heads of ECB and CA are now having fires in their stomachs with IPL going great guns. Though there is nothing wrong in trying to imitate IPL, they have got to think more than twice. Why is IPL going great? Because India is a country with population of more than a billion and out of which there are atleast 700 million cricket crazy people (including me). Its that amount of audience that has made the IPL organizers to dare to do such a big thing and its the same thing that has given the franchisees the confidence to throw such huge amounts of money into this. Neither U.K nor Australia has even one-tenth of that amount as their "total" population. Stanford wouldn't have asked a word if he had to invest his money in India. Football (in U.K) or rugby (in Aus.) are a separate phenomenon, but as far as cricket, other countries have to be careful to attempt such a thing as imitating IPL.

  • Yule on April 29, 2008, 19:02 GMT

    Another point, can Cricinfo do the English game a favour please... Please give the traffic statistics of your website during the IPL matches to Mr. Giles "Franchise sport has simply never worked in the UK" Clarke. Even better if you compare it with the county matches.