September 5, 2010

Under the shadow of the IPL

The Champions League already has better cricket to offer than its Indian sibling. And this year it hopes to replicate the audiences of the IPL as well
43

Andrew Symonds is probably the last cricketer on earth you would expect to see playing with a rubber duck in the bath. Yet there he is up to his neck in soap suds, a shower cap shielding his dome, cradling, yes, a little yellow rubber duck. What's more, he isn't alone. Sitting below the tub is Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, doing what any one of us would do in that situation - making fun of Symonds.

Of course Bachchan and Symonds don't hang out in the same social circles. The scene is from one of a handful of commercials shot with Bachchan, the Champions League Twenty20's brand ambassador, whose purpose is to generate buzz ahead of the tournament that starts on September 10 in South Africa.

The Champions League Twenty20 offers arguably the highest-quality 20-over cricket outside the international arena. From Sachin Tendulkar to Kieron Pollard to David Warner, it packs quite a punch into 16 days of cricket. Yet three years since it was announced, the tournament is still trying to emerge from under the long shadow cast by the Indian Premier League, its resoundingly successful sibling.

This year's competition takes on an even bigger significance because it will be the first multi-nation tournament to be held following the News of the World sting operation that led to the ICC's investigation of three Pakistan cricketers for spot-fixing. A good, clean tournament would go a long way to cementing its place in the cricketing universe.

The IPL and the Champions League Twenty20 were created together in 2007, and originally envisioned as two parts of the same whole. The former's six-week Indian extravaganza would be capped by the top Twenty20 domestic sides taking on each other to crown the best team in the world, not unlike the Champions League in football.

Both events generated huge interest from broadcasters. Sony paid $1.8 billion for the rights to the IPL, while ESPN Start Sports (ESS) spent nearly $1 billion for the Champions League Twenty20. There the similarities end. The IPL's mix of cricket, Bollywood and cheerleaders drew full houses and attracted 102 million Indian television viewers in its first season. In contrast, the Champions League Twenty20 did not get off the ground in 2008: it was cancelled following the terrorist attack on Mumbai in November that year.

When the tournament did make its belated debut as a 12-team event in 2009, it was hurt by a more nagging problem - fans in India, cricket's largest market, showed little interest in non-IPL teams despite some exciting cricket from the likes of Trinidad & Tobago, who upset a few of the more fancied teams to reach the final.

T&T's Pollard announced his arrival on the global stage with a violent 18-ball 54 in a league match against eventual champions New South Wales. His performances led to an IPL contract with the Mumbai Indians, but they failed to generate ratings. The three IPL teams in the mix - Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore and 2009 IPL champions Deccan Chargers - were knocked out in the group stage.

When those three teams left, they took the majority of television viewers with them. The 2009 IPL saw an average television ratings point (TRP) of 4.1, according to TAM Media Research, a television ratings agency, compared to an average TRP of 1.16 for the 2009 Champions League Twenty20 (one TRP represents 1% of viewers in the surveyed area in a given minute).

The contrast in ratings led, perhaps inevitably, to comparisons between the two events, comparisons Manu Sawhney, managing director of ESS, believes are incorrect because the IPL's immediate success has skewed expectations. "It does take time to build a tournament," he told ESPNcricinfo. "The IPL is an aberration."

The 2009 IPL saw an average TRP of 4.1, according to TAM Media Research, a television ratings agency, compared to an average TRP of 1.16 for the 2009 Champions League Twenty20 (one TRP represents 1% of viewers in the surveyed area in a given minute)

The IPL's biggest advantage is that not only is it a made-in-India tournament, but it is made for India. It guarantees Indian teams fighting it out until the bitter end and features the same teams each year. Meanwhile the Champions League Twenty20 features a constantly changing mix of teams: only three of the sides that made it last year are back this year.

"The larger challenge for us is the familiarity with the teams," Champions League Twenty20 chief executive Sundar Raman said. "Unlike IPL, [where] geographic location/ownership sets the fan base. Here it will only be the quality of the sport and the stature of the players."

That said, Raman thinks it is only natural for fans to take some time to become familiar with teams from other countries, and is confident the tournament will eventually become "one of the premier domestic competitions in world sport".

To help overcome the lack of team recognition, the Champions League Twenty20 is being aggressively promoted by ESS, hence the signing of Bachchan as the event's brand ambassador and a string of ads featuring the actor and three players - Sourav Ganguly, Herschelle Gibbs and Symonds. The three IPL teams that qualified - Chennai Super Kings, 2010 champions, Bangalore and Mumbai Indians - are running their own marketing campaigns to drum up excitement among their fans as well. Yet some doubt this will be enough.

SRIDHAR RAMANUJAM IS THE HEAD OF BRAND-COMM, a leading Indian brand consultancy and public relations firm, and an avid cricket fan. He believes that Indian fans only care about Indian teams and have little understanding of, or appreciation for, teams outside India. He thinks the format would work if the audience was global but the tournament, which is already missing teams from England, will be telecast during the night in Australia. That leaves India, Sri Lanka and South Africa as the main markets.

"The Indian audience is going to be fractured," he said, "not the same level of interest as the IPL. It is has been marketed very aggressively with Amitabh Bachchan trying to create hype. Whether it will deliver is a big question mark."

Another problem for the tournament has been finding a slot in a crowded cricket calendar. The IPL found a place for itself during cricket's traditional off-season and the new ICC vice-president, Alan Isaac, has said he is in favour of creating a window for the league. The Champions League Twenty20 hasn't had such good fortune.

"Finding a time in the jigsaw that's suitable for all nations is one of our most significant challenges," Raman said. "And as we have seen this year, English teams are unfortunately unavailable due to the completion of their domestic season."

Raman, though, is confident the tournament will be better received this time around. He would prefer to take the event to different countries each year, but is constrained by the need to satisfy the Indian market.

"The commercial realities of cricket mean the tournament needs to be played at times that are largely compatible to the subcontinent. As we saw with the 2009 IPL, South Africa fits the bill perfectly, and is one reason why I'm sure this year's tournament will be a success."

Where the Champions League Twenty20 does score over the IPL is in the quality of its cricket and the uniqueness of its format. Even the teams that are thought of as underdogs, such as Sri Lanka champions Wayamba, are full of internationals.

"The appeal of the Champions League Twenty20 is that it is the only international event for domestic franchises and features not only current internationals but many of those who will become the next tier of internationals," said Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa. "It is a genuine proving ground both for the domestic standard in the various countries and for the emerging stars of the game." Majola's assessment is backed up by the players, who appreciate the strong test of cricket the tournament provides.

"When I was a child, I always said I wanted to play against the strongest teams," South African fast bowler Dale Steyn, who plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, said. "And I always thought that was international cricket. You are playing against some international sides at domestic level [in the Champions League Twenty20]. That's fantastic."

Wayamba opening batsman, and former Sri Lankan captain, Mahela Jayawardene echoed Steyn in his appreciation for the event. "It is something totally different from what we play with the national team, and even with the IPL. So I can see it going forward a long way, and as long as cricketers enjoy it and express themselves, it will definitely be something big."

This year the 10 best Twenty20 teams from six countries will compete for the $2.5 million first prize. Two groups of five teams each will compete in a round-robin format, and the top two sides from each group will go through to the semi-finals. The format is different from last year, which had two group stages. The new set-up should ensure the IPL teams last longer, keeping Indian fans around longer too.

The Twenty20 revolution in India was kick-started by India's win in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. That victory led to a massive gathering in Mumbai to welcome India's conquering heroes, and led to the creation of the IPL and the Champions League Twenty20. If an IPL team were to win the Champions League Twenty20, it could be the boost the tournament needs to come out of the IPL's shadow and into the light.

"The key thing would depend on the performances of a few key players," Sridhar said. "A few tight games and two Indian teams making it to the final. That is the ideal scenario."

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sweetspot on September 8, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    @danney707 - Absolutely right about Kumble, even though AB has done a fair bit of acting. Kumble sounds in the ads. like he is reading from a board while the teacher holds a cane!

  • nakshatrika on September 8, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    @sweetspot. Yes correct. We want to boo our neighbours. In my case, I want RCB to win and want CSK to lose. So I will watch matches of both teams. Then want to see Sachin score, failure of yuvraj, dada's struggling. These are to calm my secret desires. There might be others like me. So I watch IPL and RCB's matches in CL. Not worrying about any other teams, even CSK, sachin. Yes. I will watch their match only if it is against RCB and if they have a chance to meet RCB. Esle, I better do some browsing.

  • Runster1 on September 8, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    @HorseH Who told you that fans expected teams like Wayamba and CD would get barcelona man u status?????? Realistic people knw that BCCI is not aiming these teams to become a world wide famous criket team???? IPL teams have a pretty large fan base and will get even a bigger one if they get into the CL final.

  • umsaze on September 7, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    I agree with danney707. certainly prospects might come alive with home and away system game.

  • danney707 on September 6, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    if they want a more interesting outcome of this tournament, then they should award the games to the playing clubs/teams. And they should play it on home & away system. So that the actual supporters of the side are involved.even semi finals & finals can be decided based on aggregates . With current format. I am not sure if they gonna do any good.

  • danney707 on September 6, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    Amitabh & Kumble loooks sooooo STUPID in those ads .... i dont whose mind is behind those ads but they certainly need some good professionals with good marketing sense

  • HorseH on September 6, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    No matter how much spin they put on this tournament, it will always be a dud. Perfect example of administrators (BCCI in particular) killing the goose that laid the golden egg. All they they can see are $ signs and devising ways to get more games on TV. If anyone thinks South Australia, Central Districts or Wayamba are ever going to get global support like Barcelona or Man U then you're living in fantasy land. This is and can never be like the Champions League! ESPN Star Sports have been sold a dud and it will, like most things associated with the BCCI, no doubt end up in court. This tournament needs to be canned.

  • Wesley1 on September 6, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    I think that for the CL each team should be limited to 3 overseas players or something like that, this would make a more fair competition. And I think a player who could play for more than one team should play for the team he signed for first.

  • Runster1 on September 6, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff I agree with you man. It would create a better atmosphere and more exciting games for locals if they could see their home team vs another foriegn domestic team. @manasvi_lingam IPL is a better concept than CL. IPL is what started CL and revolutionised T20 to become more prefessional and not a mere "tonk" @ other people who whinge about IPL team contracts Chillax peopless!!! IPL is just trying to be professional by buying foriegn talent into thier squads. What about premier league...? You dont see anybody complaining about how many non-english players take part in the most popular soccer league!!! Its stupid. You guys are whingers who dont have anything to do but bag the only T20 league that is professional and is perpared to pay cricketers above 2000 dollars a week!!!btw...its cameron white's descision to play in the IPL. why do people blame the IPL for the players descisions to play for bigger money...?

  • sweetspot on September 6, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    The equation is simple. If my team is OUT, I don't care who wins the CL. I don't care even for the "other" side from my part of the world. Forget about unfamiliarity, this is about a fun loyalty. IPL may not produce the highest standard of cricket, but it is a fantastic carnival and a chance for us to boo our neighbours. Doesn't matter who plays for my team - it is all about the colour and the game at hand. The CL really is about getting us to "care" about teams we don't give two hoots about. It really doesn't help with silly slogans like "Ab Hoga Asli Muqabla", as if the IPL is a fake tournament and the CL is suddenly all ready to get real. The organizers are the ones who have the dilemma of facing up to the Asli reality nonsense. The IPL works at every level. The CL doesn't. May this dawn on everyone.

  • sweetspot on September 8, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    @danney707 - Absolutely right about Kumble, even though AB has done a fair bit of acting. Kumble sounds in the ads. like he is reading from a board while the teacher holds a cane!

  • nakshatrika on September 8, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    @sweetspot. Yes correct. We want to boo our neighbours. In my case, I want RCB to win and want CSK to lose. So I will watch matches of both teams. Then want to see Sachin score, failure of yuvraj, dada's struggling. These are to calm my secret desires. There might be others like me. So I watch IPL and RCB's matches in CL. Not worrying about any other teams, even CSK, sachin. Yes. I will watch their match only if it is against RCB and if they have a chance to meet RCB. Esle, I better do some browsing.

  • Runster1 on September 8, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    @HorseH Who told you that fans expected teams like Wayamba and CD would get barcelona man u status?????? Realistic people knw that BCCI is not aiming these teams to become a world wide famous criket team???? IPL teams have a pretty large fan base and will get even a bigger one if they get into the CL final.

  • umsaze on September 7, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    I agree with danney707. certainly prospects might come alive with home and away system game.

  • danney707 on September 6, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    if they want a more interesting outcome of this tournament, then they should award the games to the playing clubs/teams. And they should play it on home & away system. So that the actual supporters of the side are involved.even semi finals & finals can be decided based on aggregates . With current format. I am not sure if they gonna do any good.

  • danney707 on September 6, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    Amitabh & Kumble loooks sooooo STUPID in those ads .... i dont whose mind is behind those ads but they certainly need some good professionals with good marketing sense

  • HorseH on September 6, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    No matter how much spin they put on this tournament, it will always be a dud. Perfect example of administrators (BCCI in particular) killing the goose that laid the golden egg. All they they can see are $ signs and devising ways to get more games on TV. If anyone thinks South Australia, Central Districts or Wayamba are ever going to get global support like Barcelona or Man U then you're living in fantasy land. This is and can never be like the Champions League! ESPN Star Sports have been sold a dud and it will, like most things associated with the BCCI, no doubt end up in court. This tournament needs to be canned.

  • Wesley1 on September 6, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    I think that for the CL each team should be limited to 3 overseas players or something like that, this would make a more fair competition. And I think a player who could play for more than one team should play for the team he signed for first.

  • Runster1 on September 6, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff I agree with you man. It would create a better atmosphere and more exciting games for locals if they could see their home team vs another foriegn domestic team. @manasvi_lingam IPL is a better concept than CL. IPL is what started CL and revolutionised T20 to become more prefessional and not a mere "tonk" @ other people who whinge about IPL team contracts Chillax peopless!!! IPL is just trying to be professional by buying foriegn talent into thier squads. What about premier league...? You dont see anybody complaining about how many non-english players take part in the most popular soccer league!!! Its stupid. You guys are whingers who dont have anything to do but bag the only T20 league that is professional and is perpared to pay cricketers above 2000 dollars a week!!!btw...its cameron white's descision to play in the IPL. why do people blame the IPL for the players descisions to play for bigger money...?

  • sweetspot on September 6, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    The equation is simple. If my team is OUT, I don't care who wins the CL. I don't care even for the "other" side from my part of the world. Forget about unfamiliarity, this is about a fun loyalty. IPL may not produce the highest standard of cricket, but it is a fantastic carnival and a chance for us to boo our neighbours. Doesn't matter who plays for my team - it is all about the colour and the game at hand. The CL really is about getting us to "care" about teams we don't give two hoots about. It really doesn't help with silly slogans like "Ab Hoga Asli Muqabla", as if the IPL is a fake tournament and the CL is suddenly all ready to get real. The organizers are the ones who have the dilemma of facing up to the Asli reality nonsense. The IPL works at every level. The CL doesn't. May this dawn on everyone.

  • Jim1207 on September 6, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    I agree with ryangsmith. Each team must be given chance to retain their best players or they can go for cash to give up their best player to IPL team. It should be home team's option not IPL's. It looks very much biased. For example, if Central Dist. had retained Ross Taylor and Warriors Jack Kallis, still RCB might have got Jesse Ryder and Kevin Pietersen. IPL teams probably have more players to choose from if there is a clash with opponent teams over some players. So it would always be an interesting case of how things go like an auction and matches would more evenly contested and would be good for champions league. I hope there would be some intelligent changes in rules would come up over next years and IPL & CL would get their due windows in International FTP. ICC has to make sure they do proper planning for FTP next time; also they must give test status to Ireland & Afgnas soon, These are the some important things where ICC lack decisiveness and rightly called uselss organization.

  • Jim1207 on September 6, 2010, 5:42 GMT

    The idea of Chris_P is a novelty. It won't happen sure. But, I am just wondering why Indian cricketers like Yusuf pathan or any other struggling youngsters do not go and join a Aussie team for big bash or any other domestic games as possible - as Pollard has been doing for a while. May be Aussies would reject those sorry guys but if they get a chance, they might get over their shortcoming and short ball stuff and become a better batsman. These youngsters earning a lottery these days do not think about improving themselves by going to Aus or county games as any other past Indian cricketers did. These guys prefer to play T20 in IPL and domestic tours and they finally end up not learning but just earning, with the prospect of country's cricket quality in peril, what a selfish life to live! May be, as Chris said if some guys are in Aus or SA team, champions league would kick start like IPL does in India which in turn would give more money for those selfish poor(!) guys again.

  • umsaze on September 6, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    CL T20 and IPL are in different league. I certainly put my thumbs up for CL T20.

  • umsaze on September 6, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    CL T20 is the perfect podium to rise and show the champioship one has won. Indian teams are hyped with media attention and good money, but lacks the strong work ethics that countires like Australia and England have been know to produce. ICC should look forward to make games more interesting by balancing the weight of money and performance. Fans will always remain susceptible to being media-haunted and gullible to the performance of their wanted superstars.

  • RyanSmith on September 6, 2010, 3:21 GMT

    @Kalyanbk. I'm not criticizing players for signing an IPL contract. Why wouldn't they. They were part of the IPL's team to qualify for the champion's league. But they were ALSO part of their state campaign to qualify for the CL. I am simply criticizing a teams abililty to take the best players out of rival teams and effectively water down the quality of the opposition. It just doesn't seem like an even playing field to me for the teams involved. My main gripe is that I am from NSW and we all know that NSW have the best domestic team in the world. But when the Australian qualification tournament takes place it happens over a couple of weeks where the Australian teams are without players on International duty. Can you imagine the IPL taking place without the Indian internationals? It would never happen! NSW have to qualify every year with a B team! The australian represntatives aren't always the best australian teams then you have teams that do qualify losing some of their top players.

  • Chris_P on September 6, 2010, 0:59 GMT

    Although the standard is far better, the crowds will stay away for the simple reason tht audiences are more interested in local participation. Any games with IPL teams will attract interest and crowds, maybe also the final but as in WC's, if the national team isn't playing, the crowds will be down. It's a shame guys like Cameron White can't play for his own state. He did sign an IPL contract to play in the IPL, this is not the IPL and he can't represent the state he was born, lived, played and will live for? So why not have all domestic players in teams? The only way I can ever see widespread Indian interest would be for all these other teams have 2 or more Indian players. I know it won't happen, but it would be interesting if the other teams could call on at least 1 Indian player from an IPL team that didn't make it, to at least keep local audience interest at some level. For example, Yusuf Patham could be drafted into the Victorian team. Just dreaming.

  • BillyCC on September 5, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    Anuragaryan, of course the IPL will always have more fan following and revenue. It plays more games and the whole population of India can get involved whilst the Champions League only has a few Indian teams. It is similar to the English Premium League of soccer making more revenue than the European Champions League. However, the Champions League has the better quality of players, better diversity, and better scheduling as well as more prestige.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on September 5, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    Champions League T20 should be played in a home and away format. Crowds are not going to turn up to watch neutral teams play. And, if the stadiums are empty, the TV ratings will also be low.

  • manasvi_lingam on September 5, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    The CL is a much much better concept than the IPL. It also features a much higher quality.

  • Thunee_man_Naidoo on September 5, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    I hope the CLT20 does well in the years to come. In has the possibility to change the world of cricket and offer more incentive more aspiring players to play for their domestic franchise.

  • on September 5, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    Is it me, or is this another cricket tournament bending over backwards to ensure India stays happy?

  • kalyanbk on September 5, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    There are sadly many negative comments regarding the champions league. One is that some players are not representing their state but an IPL team instead. The reason is simply that the player was a part of the IPL team's campaign to qualify for Champion's league. This was their professional decision. No one forces them to sign an IPL contract. England is not represented because they felt that the Champion's league was clashing with their own season. Pakistan is not represented due to political reasons. I wonder if this would have happened had this been a world cup. How can one blame the tournament for that? The fact is that this tournament gives domestic cricketers the exposure at the international level while also being able to make good legal income they would never see otherwise in domestic cricket. I believe we should appreciate the champion's league for what it is.

  • anuragaryan on September 5, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    well let me remind Mr. Tariq Engineer, IPL is not CLT20's sibling but the father "Baap" of all T20 cricket. I wish CLT20 all success...but bet on the fact that it can ever meet the levels of IPL in terms of fan following or revenue generation.

  • RKStraightdrive on September 5, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    The progress of Non IPL teams will also be ardently tracked in the Champions League. The existing format is good enough. There should be maximum of 2 teams from a country. 3 IPL teams is just too much. One feels forDominic Cork & his Hampshire team. Their presence alongwith Somerset in CL would have added more spiceto the tournament.

  • chaithan on September 5, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    I am Indian but I agree with what NorthernTerritorian says about Indian fans. All sports fans will be like that to some extent but most Indians or rather Asians are worse than normal.

  • s.bijoy1 on September 5, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    My friend Vipin please accept the elegend tendulkar.When ever he comes to the crease whether it is for 50 over,test,20/20 he can score his runs,Please understand sachin is not the future of indian cricket and he knows that better than you.He is giving oppurtunities to young players rather sticking around so that when he retires these young players have enough experinence to deal with the international cricket.Then why in IPL Or champions league because these two does can't be able to compare with international matches, This two trophies is entertainment with fun of crocket and he is proving again and agian that sachin era is not over.Sachin is a legend !!!!!!

  • KiwiRocker- on September 5, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Problem with Champions league is that it has no champions. Last time none of Indian teams even qualified for the finals. IPL has made mockery of Indian cricket that is going down the drain. IPL, champion's league etc are all tournaments aimed to milk the cash rich market of India. Poor Indian fans show up like fools while Indian's performance in all major tournaments is no more than pathetic. Most successful T20 team is arguably Pakistan (Always in top 3-4 in T20 world cups) and their champion team is not part of champions league and so is the case with current T.20 world champions England. I am sorry what/who are the champions in this league? This is just another circus to fuel Indian "betting/satta" market that will go on rampage to lure cricketers from poor countries like Pakistan, B'desh etc. ICC big wigs need to smell coffee and wake up and realise that all match fixing problems are being created by these circus tournaments IPL, Champs league etc that no one really cares about!

  • on September 5, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    the t20 revolution was started by ICL, not t20 world cup victory!

  • boooonnie on September 5, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    The soccer champs league succeeds because there are several teams representing several strong domestic competitions - England, Spain, Italy, Germany etc. Right now 20/20 is only passionately followed in India. If the other domestic comps have more success in raising their 20/20 comps status so will the Champ's League. I think it is only a matter of time.

  • Apache_Indian on September 5, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    Out of all the IPL teams, I think RCB has the best chance of making an impact or winning the tournament. Kallis, Cameron White and Ross Taylor are solid T-20 batsmen and they are all habitual of playing on fast tracks. Experience of Dravid will surely come into play. We all know how far and hard Robin Uthappa can hit the ball. Remember that IPL match in which he ripped Bret Lee apart and took away the match ? And Virat Kohli and Manish Pande are also NOT that bad. In bowling department, Dale Steyn, Praveen Kumar, Kallis & Kumble are all experienced international cricketers. Fifth option would be Vinay Kumar. My money is on this team !

  • RyanSmith on September 5, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    This tournament is a joke! Don't get me wrong, the concept is great. The best domestic teams from around the world playing off against each other to determine the best domestic team. The problem is the way the concept is implemented. Firstly you have the world T20 Champions England who aren't even represented. Not to mention the former world T20 Champions Pakistan who also won't have a team there. Then you have representatives from Australia determined by a competition in which Australia's top international players don't even play in, followed by teams from Australia, SA, NZ etc who can't even pick their best sides because some of their top players have to represent an IPL franchise. How can you claim you're playing the team that was the best in NZ when their best player Ross Taylor is playing for a different team. You aren't playing the same team. How can you say you are playing the domestic champions from Aus when their captain Cameron White is playing for Bangalore? It's stupid!

  • Apache_Indian on September 5, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    I 1000000% agree with (((((((((_Neutral_Fan_))))))))).

  • screamingeagle on September 5, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Numan,

    If the matches are in India, I really do not see a Pak team figuring. I am not saying that as a barb, just a fact.

  • theswami on September 5, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    I predict that "namma pasanga" from Chennai will win .... Go CSK !!

  • hris on September 5, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    what kind of tournament is this in which the defending champions dont automatically qualify. NSW should have been here.They have the best team in the world.

  • spiritwithin on September 5, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    @NorthernTerritorian..regarding lowly talented indian players may i remind u that its the same lowly talented indian bunch which won da emerging players tournaments in australia featuring SA and australian team as well recently...last year its WI team which reached final that does'nt make them the best of talents in international cricket..the advantage with other non-IPL team is that they have a team which is not assembled for a one month tournament and instead r their main first class teams,in india the ranji trophy teams r not playing in IPL...and yeah if ur an australian just one more remonder that australia no lonegr is da best test teams(already lost ashes,thrashed by india in india,beaten at home by SA, cant even win a series against pak in england),so better look at urself rather than mocking at others

  • vipin.chaudhary2325 on September 5, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    sachin tendulkar always wants to play in IPL or Champions league... why don't he want to play in T20 world cup, if he can play 16 matches in IPL, he can also play 4-5 matches in world cup, neither he play in T20world cup, nor he plays in Asia cup aur other triangular series, but want to play test matches, because gavaskar wants sachin to make 14000 test runs, and he is playing for dat record only.... he haven't won a single worldcup, which is still a dream of 120 crore indians since 1983... plz sachin give some time to one-days, because worldcup 2011, is not a test match aur 20-20, its a 50 over game, u can make money from ipl even after retiring from one-days aur tests.. as matthew hayden and gilchrist are doing, keep ur country first and den IPL or champions league

  • Sampdoria on September 5, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    NorthernTerritorian is right. Indian teams will need to really pull it together to play good cricket otherwise they'll be dumped out at the early stages this year too. And yes, Indian fans need to accept that and wish for the best.

    IPL Bashing however is pretty old now, the same thing happens with the Premiership but at the end of the day, one benefit is that these leagues help win more fans.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on September 5, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    I agree largely with TwitterJitter. The IPL is sold as an Indian brand with Indian territories being represented. (I still think in reality, it is more of an international tourney, however that is a different discussion altogether) It is thus, plain to see that there is a much greater Indian interest in the IPL=majority of 1 billion+ people following the game more intently. CLT20 has only 3 Indian territories/teams being represented, therefore there is alot LESS INTEREST involved in the other teams, which are more than 3. Its all about demographics. Lets face it, not too many are going to follow teams who either aren't 'theirs" or aren't media hyped and so it all boils down to which tourney has the greater % of the population following their teams. So the writer is right about 1 thing, 2 IPL teams making the final will give the tourney a boost, not much, but a boost anyway. I for 1,above all else, want to see the 2 BEST teams in the final, IPL team or not.

  • South_Indian on September 5, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    LETS FACE IT: INDIAN IPL TEAMS WITH MAJORITY OF INDIAN PLAYERS LACK IN QUALITY AND STRENGTH. THE HIGHLY FANCIED IPL TEAMS WERE KNOCKED OUT IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD. INDIAN FANS CANT ACCEPT IT WHEN THEIR TEAMS LOSE, SO NO WONDER LITTLE INTEREST SHOWN IN THIS EVENT. YOU CAN SEE IN FUTURE TOURNAMENTS, THE IPL TEAMS LIKE THE INDIAN TEAM WILL BE THRASHED OUT BY "low profile, talented" T20 TEAMS OF OTHER COUNTRIES and as usual the Australian teams are doing well also in this tournament.

  • TwitterJitter on September 5, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    The root of the problem with CLT20 is the money that the broadcaster threw on it - 1 billion for 10 years. That's whopping 100 million per year for a 3-week tournament max. To recoup that money they have no choice but to appeal to Indian market. They can't recoup even 1/4th of it from outside. Indian consumers are hardly aware of the names of many of the outside teams- forget about the following. With IPL, it is a domestic rivalry where its their home team against another team which they are aware of. It also runs longer than CLT20. CLT20 should have been bid for 25 million per year instead of 100 million. That would have reduced the pressure on broad caster to appeal to Indian consumer immediately. They could have moved around to different countries slowly building loyalty in each. Eventually, after many years they would have built enough awareness in all countries and India and could have raised their bid to 100 mill per year after a decade or so.

  • on September 5, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    include more teams....invite pakistan to send their t20 domestic champions....what kind of a tournament you ll have if u keep the second biggest cricketing nation out ...that too who are good at this form of the game.

  • on September 5, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    I guess it would help if Indian teams perform well in Champion League, but on the whole I don't see this trophy competing with IPL. In US for example, basketball or baseball featuring international teams receive far less patronage compared to NFL or the NBA. Regional ties and emotions are far more important than just the quality of the game.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on September 5, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    I guess it would help if Indian teams perform well in Champion League, but on the whole I don't see this trophy competing with IPL. In US for example, basketball or baseball featuring international teams receive far less patronage compared to NFL or the NBA. Regional ties and emotions are far more important than just the quality of the game.

  • on September 5, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    include more teams....invite pakistan to send their t20 domestic champions....what kind of a tournament you ll have if u keep the second biggest cricketing nation out ...that too who are good at this form of the game.

  • TwitterJitter on September 5, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    The root of the problem with CLT20 is the money that the broadcaster threw on it - 1 billion for 10 years. That's whopping 100 million per year for a 3-week tournament max. To recoup that money they have no choice but to appeal to Indian market. They can't recoup even 1/4th of it from outside. Indian consumers are hardly aware of the names of many of the outside teams- forget about the following. With IPL, it is a domestic rivalry where its their home team against another team which they are aware of. It also runs longer than CLT20. CLT20 should have been bid for 25 million per year instead of 100 million. That would have reduced the pressure on broad caster to appeal to Indian consumer immediately. They could have moved around to different countries slowly building loyalty in each. Eventually, after many years they would have built enough awareness in all countries and India and could have raised their bid to 100 mill per year after a decade or so.

  • South_Indian on September 5, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    LETS FACE IT: INDIAN IPL TEAMS WITH MAJORITY OF INDIAN PLAYERS LACK IN QUALITY AND STRENGTH. THE HIGHLY FANCIED IPL TEAMS WERE KNOCKED OUT IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD. INDIAN FANS CANT ACCEPT IT WHEN THEIR TEAMS LOSE, SO NO WONDER LITTLE INTEREST SHOWN IN THIS EVENT. YOU CAN SEE IN FUTURE TOURNAMENTS, THE IPL TEAMS LIKE THE INDIAN TEAM WILL BE THRASHED OUT BY "low profile, talented" T20 TEAMS OF OTHER COUNTRIES and as usual the Australian teams are doing well also in this tournament.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on September 5, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    I agree largely with TwitterJitter. The IPL is sold as an Indian brand with Indian territories being represented. (I still think in reality, it is more of an international tourney, however that is a different discussion altogether) It is thus, plain to see that there is a much greater Indian interest in the IPL=majority of 1 billion+ people following the game more intently. CLT20 has only 3 Indian territories/teams being represented, therefore there is alot LESS INTEREST involved in the other teams, which are more than 3. Its all about demographics. Lets face it, not too many are going to follow teams who either aren't 'theirs" or aren't media hyped and so it all boils down to which tourney has the greater % of the population following their teams. So the writer is right about 1 thing, 2 IPL teams making the final will give the tourney a boost, not much, but a boost anyway. I for 1,above all else, want to see the 2 BEST teams in the final, IPL team or not.

  • Sampdoria on September 5, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    NorthernTerritorian is right. Indian teams will need to really pull it together to play good cricket otherwise they'll be dumped out at the early stages this year too. And yes, Indian fans need to accept that and wish for the best.

    IPL Bashing however is pretty old now, the same thing happens with the Premiership but at the end of the day, one benefit is that these leagues help win more fans.

  • vipin.chaudhary2325 on September 5, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    sachin tendulkar always wants to play in IPL or Champions league... why don't he want to play in T20 world cup, if he can play 16 matches in IPL, he can also play 4-5 matches in world cup, neither he play in T20world cup, nor he plays in Asia cup aur other triangular series, but want to play test matches, because gavaskar wants sachin to make 14000 test runs, and he is playing for dat record only.... he haven't won a single worldcup, which is still a dream of 120 crore indians since 1983... plz sachin give some time to one-days, because worldcup 2011, is not a test match aur 20-20, its a 50 over game, u can make money from ipl even after retiring from one-days aur tests.. as matthew hayden and gilchrist are doing, keep ur country first and den IPL or champions league

  • spiritwithin on September 5, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    @NorthernTerritorian..regarding lowly talented indian players may i remind u that its the same lowly talented indian bunch which won da emerging players tournaments in australia featuring SA and australian team as well recently...last year its WI team which reached final that does'nt make them the best of talents in international cricket..the advantage with other non-IPL team is that they have a team which is not assembled for a one month tournament and instead r their main first class teams,in india the ranji trophy teams r not playing in IPL...and yeah if ur an australian just one more remonder that australia no lonegr is da best test teams(already lost ashes,thrashed by india in india,beaten at home by SA, cant even win a series against pak in england),so better look at urself rather than mocking at others

  • hris on September 5, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    what kind of tournament is this in which the defending champions dont automatically qualify. NSW should have been here.They have the best team in the world.

  • theswami on September 5, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    I predict that "namma pasanga" from Chennai will win .... Go CSK !!