September 7, 2010

Parochialism wanted

For the Champions League to gain the sort of profile its football counterpart enjoys, the fans need to feel connected to their players. The current format disallows that
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The inaugural Champions League final in Hyderabad last year was a game to savour. For once, the two best teams in the competition had come the distance, and the game swung this way and that for much of the 40 overs before Nathan Hauritz, smacked for a monstrous six the ball earlier, held his nerve and Kieron Pollard fell for the bait. There were more than 20,000 people watching and New South Wales - a team full of Australian internationals past, present and future - were worthy winners.

For those on the periphery, it should have been a showpiece occasion. Only, one thing was missing. You would have struggled to find too many folk from Trinidad & Tobago in the crowd. The Sydneysiders were equally conspicuous by their absence. Imagine West Side Story or Fiddler on the Roof without the soundtrack, and you begin to get some idea of how weird it was.

World Cups bring people together behind the national standard, but the whole idea of a club competition is to appeal to the parochial. What makes a Champions League football game at Old Trafford or the San Siro so special? It's not just the teams on the pitch, but the atmosphere on the terraces. The invisible yet tangible link between player and supporter. Local pride at stake. Resisting "foreign" invasion. Without any of that, cricket's Champions League was just a made-for-television product.

And while thousands made the tortuous journey to Uppal to watch the game, the stadium was half-empty. The lukewarm response could be seen in the TV ratings as well. Apart from the Caribbean, where Trinidad & Tobago's progress past the likes of the Deccan Chargers became a matter of regional pride, the competition left no great imprint on the cricketing psyche.

One of the most engrossing games I watched last year featured the Sussex Sharks and South Africa's Diamond Eagles, with a bowl-out required to separate the sides. There weren't even a couple of thousand watching at the Feroz Shah Kotla, and as the promising CJ de Villiers sealed the game, the yells of delight from his team-mates echoed around the vast empty theatre.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa have invested considerable time and resources in the event, but any thoughts of one day being on par with football's Champions League or rugby union's Super 15 are just wishful thinking. That will never happen as long as the format doesn't change. The home-and-away flavour was a huge factor in the growth of the European Cup, and playing in front of "neutral" crowds just doesn't hack it.

A Redbacks fan will get animated if he or she sees the team take on the Bushrangers at the picturesque Adelaide Oval. But will they even care if the team is playing the Mumbai Indians at the Wanderers, a time zone far away? How many will sacrifice sleep and risk going to work red-eyed and fatigued? Even with all the Hotspot-Hawkeye gizmos in the world, can you build a fan base through television alone?

Imagine Peyton Manning having three teams to choose from when the NFL playoffs start, or Lionel Messi playing for Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich

For the tournament to have legitimacy, the qualifying procedure also needs to be standardised. At the moment, the emphasis is on the IPL teams, no matter how disastrously they performed last year. You cannot have arbitrary invites for a global event, and a Twenty20 competition with no representatives from Pakistan and England is as incomplete as a football one with no clubs from Spain or Italy.

Most of these teething troubles can be sorted out with astute management, but if the Champions League is to be taken seriously by sports fans, the frankly ludicrous player availability rules have to be ripped up and written anew. Had English clubs been invited to play this year, Pollard would have been in a position where he could have represented three teams - the Mumbai Indians, the Redbacks and Somerset. Imagine Peyton Manning having three teams to choose from when the NFL playoffs start, or Lionel Messi playing for Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

It's one thing to have freelance Twenty20 stars like Pollard but without a system that forces them to choose which colours to pin to the chest, the idea of a level playing field is compromised. Last year, with the exception of Dirk Nannes, who picked the Delhi Daredevils over the Bushrangers, players who faced such conflict of interest chose their home team. That hampers the IPL sides, who find it hard enough in any case to match the togetherness and spirit of other teams.

Without a fixed spot in the calendar, and no season to permeate into the fans' consciousness - football's Champions League starts in July and ends in May, breaking only for a couple of months in winter - the competition faces a struggle to find its identity. If it is to become one of the great sporting spectacles, a home-and-away format needs to be found. Without that, it will be little different from the dime-a-dozen Idol shows found on telly.

When Paris hosted the first European Cup final in June 1956, 38,239 people turned up at the Parc de Princes. Even those not interested in sport have heard of the team that won that night. But while Real Madrid went on to become the biggest of global sporting brands, the team they beat 4-3 that evening slipped into obscurity.

Unless you're a sports tragic, you won't even have heard of Stade de Reims. Their fate is what awaits the Champions League if the administrators don't get it right.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 10, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    This is just another BCCI Brainchild to loot money. India is a land of end less possibilities , so why anyone should bother.

  • Jose_Cyriac on September 10, 2010, 2:04 GMT

    For some reason, I like this tournament & this concept better than the IPL (even though it was not a big hit with the crowds in India last year, but for me, it was very good and 2 best teams played in the final :-)). it is very short and you will get to see a mixture of best domestic teams across the world... I hope it becomes a success in the future, even though this is also T20.. ~ Note:- I want either Victoria/RCB to win this tournament ;) :P

  • Looch on September 10, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    If you really want a Champoins League, invite the winner of each country's domestic Pretendy/Twenty competition, ignore IPL made up teams and hold the comp in a different country each year or scrap the competion altogether, because the highest levels of the game are internationals and cricket does not need any extra comps . Oh and to Balldinho, clearly you have no understanding of the game, as a batsman whether you are playing limited overs, first class, social or backyard cricket you want to hit the ball as far as you can and score runs and as a bowler you want to take wickets. PURE CRICKET AT EVERY LEVEL!

  • SpeedCricketThrills on September 9, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    @Dileep

    You're bang on, as always, when it comes to the sociology of cricket! Finals should be in the country of one of the finalists.

    Not sure if Pak can be accommodated in the present atmosphere. England has to "learn to adjust" and find "space". They are no longer the monarchs of world cricket and won't be treated as such.

    Bangalore will be ever ready to host the finals if RCB makes it to this year's finals! :)

  • Jim1207 on September 9, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Come on, people need to think judicially. How can you compare football clubs with cricket clubs? In football, they ply less for country so they have such elaborate fixtures. If same case happen in Cricket and play home-and-away matches for each clubs, people would start crying over the schedules and how it affects the game and national loyalty. And, this is just the second version of CL T20, and you need to give some time to get it settled and thats why sponsors have gone for 10 year deals judiciously. Surely this tournament would catch well because cricket fans are more intelligent and appreciative of any country's clubs, only thing is fans need some time to understand the teams and it would surely take few years. Moreover, it would make people watch domestic league games of each country to follow who comes for champions league. I'm interested so, in T20 or first class. Parochial fans would find it difficult to grasp this CL T20 but not die-hard fans of Cricket. Now just wait and see.

  • on September 8, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. Who supports these hybrid, made up teams. They are all basically nomadic teams with no affiliation anywhere.

    IPL ok in India, but champions league is a real dogs dinner that seems to belong no-where in particular.

  • Thunee_man_Naidoo on September 8, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    I think everybody see's the potential of the CLT20 as one of the biggest tournaments in cricket. It definatlely needs a lot of work to achieve this. There should be equal reprisentation from all countries, not 3 from IPL, 1 from West Indies, etc. All test nations should be able to field teams and teams from India's domestic T20 league (not IPL) should also be given a spot. I also agree that instead of hosting the event in a different country each year, they should have home and away matches with the teams playing in front of their home crowds. This would ensure more spectators at stadiums and greater television viewership.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on September 8, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    By the way, anybody notice the absolute sell-out last night? Pakistan(with Afridi, Guil and Akhtar and 2009 winners!!) and the current World Champions England were playing in England (not the Kotla) and wow it was choc-a-bloc!!

    No wonder India needs to learn how to encourage crowds when two foreign teams are playing!!

    Anyway England seem to be plucking their Test stars, like mangoes from an orchard, from all over the world...South Africa-Ireland "B" might even win the Ashes. That apparently seems fine so why not a player choosing to pick a team for the CLT?

  • on September 8, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    Im TIRED of people saying this isn't *REAL* cricket and Test is Pure, you all need to stop listening to pundits like Michael Holding and Bob Willis. Test Cricket is NOT the purest form of cricket, when every kid picks up a Cricket bat in his Backyard he does not play as if its going to last for 5 days, he tries to hit the ball as FAR as he can and score runs. Sounds very much like 20/20 doesn't it?? PURE CRICKET FROM THE GRASS-ROOTS!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on September 8, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    Cricket should have been more global and thats the root of all the difficulty. There was once upon a time where cricket was bigger in W.I., Eng and Aus. Now it gets much more competition from other sports which are less time and cash consuming. In other words, part of the opportunity to spread the game was lost not only in the countries where it is still big but most crucially in countries where other sports will pretty much now keep cricket out. When such a big sport is played by so few, money and politics hold bigger clout than the sport itself. This is one thing that a truly global sport like football boasts. That is why home and away and general neutral following and 1 player per club system can work in the football Champion's league. The pool, the interest and the fan following is HUGE. If cricket wants a 1/2 chance, it MUST SPREAD. Rich countries must reach out to Associates, 1 place to start.

  • on September 10, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    This is just another BCCI Brainchild to loot money. India is a land of end less possibilities , so why anyone should bother.

  • Jose_Cyriac on September 10, 2010, 2:04 GMT

    For some reason, I like this tournament & this concept better than the IPL (even though it was not a big hit with the crowds in India last year, but for me, it was very good and 2 best teams played in the final :-)). it is very short and you will get to see a mixture of best domestic teams across the world... I hope it becomes a success in the future, even though this is also T20.. ~ Note:- I want either Victoria/RCB to win this tournament ;) :P

  • Looch on September 10, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    If you really want a Champoins League, invite the winner of each country's domestic Pretendy/Twenty competition, ignore IPL made up teams and hold the comp in a different country each year or scrap the competion altogether, because the highest levels of the game are internationals and cricket does not need any extra comps . Oh and to Balldinho, clearly you have no understanding of the game, as a batsman whether you are playing limited overs, first class, social or backyard cricket you want to hit the ball as far as you can and score runs and as a bowler you want to take wickets. PURE CRICKET AT EVERY LEVEL!

  • SpeedCricketThrills on September 9, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    @Dileep

    You're bang on, as always, when it comes to the sociology of cricket! Finals should be in the country of one of the finalists.

    Not sure if Pak can be accommodated in the present atmosphere. England has to "learn to adjust" and find "space". They are no longer the monarchs of world cricket and won't be treated as such.

    Bangalore will be ever ready to host the finals if RCB makes it to this year's finals! :)

  • Jim1207 on September 9, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Come on, people need to think judicially. How can you compare football clubs with cricket clubs? In football, they ply less for country so they have such elaborate fixtures. If same case happen in Cricket and play home-and-away matches for each clubs, people would start crying over the schedules and how it affects the game and national loyalty. And, this is just the second version of CL T20, and you need to give some time to get it settled and thats why sponsors have gone for 10 year deals judiciously. Surely this tournament would catch well because cricket fans are more intelligent and appreciative of any country's clubs, only thing is fans need some time to understand the teams and it would surely take few years. Moreover, it would make people watch domestic league games of each country to follow who comes for champions league. I'm interested so, in T20 or first class. Parochial fans would find it difficult to grasp this CL T20 but not die-hard fans of Cricket. Now just wait and see.

  • on September 8, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. Who supports these hybrid, made up teams. They are all basically nomadic teams with no affiliation anywhere.

    IPL ok in India, but champions league is a real dogs dinner that seems to belong no-where in particular.

  • Thunee_man_Naidoo on September 8, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    I think everybody see's the potential of the CLT20 as one of the biggest tournaments in cricket. It definatlely needs a lot of work to achieve this. There should be equal reprisentation from all countries, not 3 from IPL, 1 from West Indies, etc. All test nations should be able to field teams and teams from India's domestic T20 league (not IPL) should also be given a spot. I also agree that instead of hosting the event in a different country each year, they should have home and away matches with the teams playing in front of their home crowds. This would ensure more spectators at stadiums and greater television viewership.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on September 8, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    By the way, anybody notice the absolute sell-out last night? Pakistan(with Afridi, Guil and Akhtar and 2009 winners!!) and the current World Champions England were playing in England (not the Kotla) and wow it was choc-a-bloc!!

    No wonder India needs to learn how to encourage crowds when two foreign teams are playing!!

    Anyway England seem to be plucking their Test stars, like mangoes from an orchard, from all over the world...South Africa-Ireland "B" might even win the Ashes. That apparently seems fine so why not a player choosing to pick a team for the CLT?

  • on September 8, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    Im TIRED of people saying this isn't *REAL* cricket and Test is Pure, you all need to stop listening to pundits like Michael Holding and Bob Willis. Test Cricket is NOT the purest form of cricket, when every kid picks up a Cricket bat in his Backyard he does not play as if its going to last for 5 days, he tries to hit the ball as FAR as he can and score runs. Sounds very much like 20/20 doesn't it?? PURE CRICKET FROM THE GRASS-ROOTS!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on September 8, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    Cricket should have been more global and thats the root of all the difficulty. There was once upon a time where cricket was bigger in W.I., Eng and Aus. Now it gets much more competition from other sports which are less time and cash consuming. In other words, part of the opportunity to spread the game was lost not only in the countries where it is still big but most crucially in countries where other sports will pretty much now keep cricket out. When such a big sport is played by so few, money and politics hold bigger clout than the sport itself. This is one thing that a truly global sport like football boasts. That is why home and away and general neutral following and 1 player per club system can work in the football Champion's league. The pool, the interest and the fan following is HUGE. If cricket wants a 1/2 chance, it MUST SPREAD. Rich countries must reach out to Associates, 1 place to start.

  • on_the_level on September 8, 2010, 1:35 GMT

    Players should only be allowed to play for one team - period. The current scenario of playing for multiple teams is farcical, and does not create a sense of loyalty in the players. To paraphrase an old movie, "if it's Tuesday, it must be.....Mumbai Indians?'

  • Dashgar on September 8, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    Theres been so much talk about the cricket world being more interested in the IPL than the champions league. This is false. India cares about the IPL, the rest of the world lost interest as soon as they saw how terrible the IPL sides really were compared to the other countries T20 sides. If India don't want to support the Champions League then play it in a country that will support it. Australia would be a good start

  • johnnybox on September 7, 2010, 23:51 GMT

    I agree with your comments Dileep and for the same reasons most cricket fans outside of India do not take much interest in the IPL because although some teams may contain one or two players from the country you support the teams are mainly Indian based.

  • on September 7, 2010, 20:46 GMT

    I've said it before and I say it again, this tournament is NOT a Champions League so let's stop calling it one. If Hampshire as the English T20 Champions were partiicipating, one of their key players, Neil McKenzie, would not have been able to play for them as he is already committed to play for his South African side. Others in the past such as Mike Hussey have been in the same position. It is an absurdity to allow players to play for more than one team. Far from sorting it out, the situation is only going to get worse with players like Flintoff and Ten Doeschate going off to play in the Australian T20 so that they play for 3 potential sides instead of 2, which is already one too many. Until players are cup-tied after they play for one side as occurs in Soccer's Champions League, which is a true Champions League, this tournament can only be viewed as a meaningless Mickey Mouse exhibition tournament, albeit a very lucrative one.

  • addiemanav on September 7, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    i just think this tournament apart of from making loads of money doesnt bring anything to cricket..and so does ipl.these 2 the brainchilds of lalit modi hav accelerated the degradation of the quality of the game.although 20-20 was started many seasons ago,its real effects hav been seen only in the last 3 years..it is unfortunate that the fans hav switched their loyalties from the national team to domestic teams..crickets greatest contest hav been played between 2 different nations.i agree that its a global tnmnt but it is not the same stuff really.. and when i see the players and the tv channels only talking about these tnmnts it makes me unhappy..earlier the cricket channels used to show the replays of some of the greatest tests or ODIs played..the great 100s from tendulkar or lara,the fantastic spells from warne ,akram or mcgrath..but the only thing that they show is the pollard 50 off 18 balls against NSW in the last CL-20!!i just hope that ppl again fall in love with real cricket!

  • shahrias on September 7, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    It may not be the format's fault, as it may be the crowds. People in the subcontinent don't usually go to grounds if their home teams are not playing. I see nothing much wrong with the format.

  • on September 7, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    With the tournament being held in south africa im sure you can expect a sport loving crowd which will love watching even neutral matches, unlike the so called "cricket fans" here in India.

  • maddy20 on September 7, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    @John Mitchell

    Yeah every tournament must have two punching bags! I agree English teams are must :P

  • teja172 on September 7, 2010, 14:21 GMT

    With icons like Sachin & Dhoni playing this year,the tournament gonna be bigger success than last year economically.The quality of cricket will also be notch higher as the pitches of RSA are fresher this season.

  • on September 7, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    Without English teams, this so-called Champions' League has no credibility.

  • Runster1 on September 7, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    @karthik132 Its only 2 months cos other cricket boards are so stubborn to let thier cricketers take part in the most watched T20 league in the world! Also...I dont understand what you mean by the BCCI being greedy over player auctions? Your arguments are messed up.

  • Gizza on September 7, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    There are actually two T20 domestic competitions in India. One is based on the normal first-class Ranji teams while the other is the IPL. A Champions League which actually tests the structure of every country is more enticing. But if overseas players are allowed in the teams (mostly in the IPL but now many of the others sides are recruiting internationals) they should only play for one T20 club team OR make a hard and fast rule that if a player plays has a team conflict he automatically goes to the home team (So Nannes to Victoria BUT Piyush Chawla to Punjab instead of Sussex so this shouldn't always harm the Indian teams)

    One way is to slightly fix the home and netural problem is to at least make a region host the event. So last time when it was held in India, Sri Lanka could have also co-hosted it. That would have created 4 home teams.

    Next year when the tournament moves to Australia presumably, New Zealand would also be an ideal co-host. Region is possible and better than country.

  • shamilion on September 7, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    I'm a redbacks fan and I actually do care about my team succeeding. I would love to see them take on the world's best and actually win something :P. It doesn't matter where they play, I am a fan and I will support and follow them.

  • on September 7, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    Must the writer include examples from the NFL; a sport we Indians rarely watch. Must he also illustrate with Fiddler on the Roof or Stade de Reims. Bottom-line is can he be more simpler in his article. The theme is absolutely relevant, but if the writing could be simpler, it would only add to the piece. Thanks.

  • on September 7, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    First of all, you just cannot adapt the football format here. 1) The Champions League is continental basis and therefore you can afford travelling within Europe. Imagine if we adopt home & away and going all the way to Guyana just for a game? Doesn't make sense. 2) In football, players for a particular club. If you try to employ that thing over here then most players would choose their home club and very few will turn up for IPL. So either IPL will be short of players or the other domestic leagues 3) Also you have to have all the games together. Since teams compromise of different players (esp IPL teams), imagine trying to make window for 1 match at a time if it is held within a long range (like say Jan- Nov)

    It doesn't depend on neutral venues. What happened when IPL was held in SA last year ? The finals of Champions League is mostly held at neutral venues. The tournament needs awareness and fans need to know about all the teams participating. It will happen over time

  • contrast_swing on September 7, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Cricket is not soccer, please let not copy from other sports, cricket has its own way. What is important to realize is that Cricket has thrived because of the hero-worship not team-loyalties. Team loyalties are the basis for the success of club format in soccer and football and so on.... Cricket loving crowd needs heroes, since the days of Bradman people have turned to the ground to watch their favorite player not necessarily to cheer for the team.

  • amit1807kuwait on September 7, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    All of this article was about criticism of the Champions League format (perhaps justified). But there was no solution given (except find a home and away format). In order to be meaningful, some alternatives need to be provided. Reading pure criticism and nothing else leaves one wondering!!

  • karthik132 on September 7, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    you are spot on when you say IPL teams lack the togetherness. They are just a bunch of individuals brought together for short periods as showpieces in a mega spending event. There is no concept of team-building. And to make matters worse, they are having the auction again disturbing whatever bonding they would have had in three years! It's time people looked beyond money and thought about the virtues of sport. I think franchises can make enough money with a simpler formula without such things as auction only if the BCCI stops being greedy.

  • BillyCC on September 7, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    It takes a while for parochialism and meaning to be instilled in a competition such as this. I say give it time and up the marketing stakes and eventually, this competition will flourish. In the meantime, the identity problems associated with the T20 Champions League can be sorted out through a trial and error process.

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  • BillyCC on September 7, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    It takes a while for parochialism and meaning to be instilled in a competition such as this. I say give it time and up the marketing stakes and eventually, this competition will flourish. In the meantime, the identity problems associated with the T20 Champions League can be sorted out through a trial and error process.

  • karthik132 on September 7, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    you are spot on when you say IPL teams lack the togetherness. They are just a bunch of individuals brought together for short periods as showpieces in a mega spending event. There is no concept of team-building. And to make matters worse, they are having the auction again disturbing whatever bonding they would have had in three years! It's time people looked beyond money and thought about the virtues of sport. I think franchises can make enough money with a simpler formula without such things as auction only if the BCCI stops being greedy.

  • amit1807kuwait on September 7, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    All of this article was about criticism of the Champions League format (perhaps justified). But there was no solution given (except find a home and away format). In order to be meaningful, some alternatives need to be provided. Reading pure criticism and nothing else leaves one wondering!!

  • contrast_swing on September 7, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Cricket is not soccer, please let not copy from other sports, cricket has its own way. What is important to realize is that Cricket has thrived because of the hero-worship not team-loyalties. Team loyalties are the basis for the success of club format in soccer and football and so on.... Cricket loving crowd needs heroes, since the days of Bradman people have turned to the ground to watch their favorite player not necessarily to cheer for the team.

  • on September 7, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    First of all, you just cannot adapt the football format here. 1) The Champions League is continental basis and therefore you can afford travelling within Europe. Imagine if we adopt home & away and going all the way to Guyana just for a game? Doesn't make sense. 2) In football, players for a particular club. If you try to employ that thing over here then most players would choose their home club and very few will turn up for IPL. So either IPL will be short of players or the other domestic leagues 3) Also you have to have all the games together. Since teams compromise of different players (esp IPL teams), imagine trying to make window for 1 match at a time if it is held within a long range (like say Jan- Nov)

    It doesn't depend on neutral venues. What happened when IPL was held in SA last year ? The finals of Champions League is mostly held at neutral venues. The tournament needs awareness and fans need to know about all the teams participating. It will happen over time

  • on September 7, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    Must the writer include examples from the NFL; a sport we Indians rarely watch. Must he also illustrate with Fiddler on the Roof or Stade de Reims. Bottom-line is can he be more simpler in his article. The theme is absolutely relevant, but if the writing could be simpler, it would only add to the piece. Thanks.

  • shamilion on September 7, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    I'm a redbacks fan and I actually do care about my team succeeding. I would love to see them take on the world's best and actually win something :P. It doesn't matter where they play, I am a fan and I will support and follow them.

  • Gizza on September 7, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    There are actually two T20 domestic competitions in India. One is based on the normal first-class Ranji teams while the other is the IPL. A Champions League which actually tests the structure of every country is more enticing. But if overseas players are allowed in the teams (mostly in the IPL but now many of the others sides are recruiting internationals) they should only play for one T20 club team OR make a hard and fast rule that if a player plays has a team conflict he automatically goes to the home team (So Nannes to Victoria BUT Piyush Chawla to Punjab instead of Sussex so this shouldn't always harm the Indian teams)

    One way is to slightly fix the home and netural problem is to at least make a region host the event. So last time when it was held in India, Sri Lanka could have also co-hosted it. That would have created 4 home teams.

    Next year when the tournament moves to Australia presumably, New Zealand would also be an ideal co-host. Region is possible and better than country.

  • Runster1 on September 7, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    @karthik132 Its only 2 months cos other cricket boards are so stubborn to let thier cricketers take part in the most watched T20 league in the world! Also...I dont understand what you mean by the BCCI being greedy over player auctions? Your arguments are messed up.

  • on September 7, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    Without English teams, this so-called Champions' League has no credibility.