July 11, 2012

T&T's legit Champions League gripe

Despite having done excellently in two of the last three editions of the tournament, they need to go through a qualifying round again
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The frustration in the Trinidad and Tobago camp is understandable. Last week, when news broke that the West Indies T20 champions would yet again have to go through a qualifying round to get into the group stage of the Champions League, Dudnath Ramkessoon, the chief operations manager and chief selector of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board described the decision as "unfortunate".

"Being the champions of the West Indies and given how well we have played," he said, "you would have thought we would have gone to the main draw because of the quality of our play and the fact that people like to see us play," he said.

In a perfect world, T&T would indeed have been exempt from qualifiers. But so much cricket nowadays is played in a BCCI world. The Champions League, being a competition arranged by the BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa, has rules unique to itself. For the 2012 edition, the two representatives from Australia and South Africa and all four IPL sides will play in the tournament proper. Last year the fourth IPL team had to play the qualifiers. Not this time.

It could have been different for the champions from the Caribbean. According to the now former chief of cricket operations for the West Indies Cricket Board, Zorol Barthley, the WICB had been offered part ownership of the Champions League - a 12% share - by Lalit Modi back in 2006. Ken Gordon was the WICB president at the time.

"When it was discussed with [Gordon] he was concerned about the maverick Modi and in that regard... I just had to go back to Modi and advise that we were not able to conclude the discussions," Barthley says. "It ended at management level. It was not ever positioned to take to the board officially."

West Indies therefore have few grounds for complaint. But still...

Yes, it is also a fact that Champions League viewership in the vast Indian market is highest when the IPL teams are at play. Coming months after India's Premier League has dazzled its public, the Champions League in its three editions thus far has not done quite the same. Pandering even more to Indian tastes therefore seems the logical business thing for the organisers to do. But still...

It must be irksome for the Trinidad and Tobago officials to be repeatedly paying the price for expediency. For the second edition in succession, the Caribbean champions, and others, are being asked to qualify twice for the Champions League. In 2011, Daren Ganga's team - who stole Indian hearts with their riveting run to the inaugural final in 2009 - returned to the subcontinent having again beaten off regional opposition. They did so without IPL recruits Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, the same Pollard whose hitting in the 2009 tournament kept the fans in the stands busy and had the Mumbai Indians chasing his signature. Once more without Pollard and Bravo, T&T's matches in the Champions League were spectacles. This time they brought their spinner of mysteries, Sunil Narine. Winning both their qualifiers comfortably, they suffered two painfully narrow losses in their first two games, which proved too great an obstacle to overcome to get out of the group. However, the West Indians left India with reputations hardly diminished. They had brought the flair of the islands to the cricket a second time. They had added value to the series. For that alone, they should have been Champions League must-haves. For that and their record.

With one title win in 2009 and a semi-final appearance last year, New South Wales Blues (eight wins, three losses in all) can claim to be the most successful team so far in the short history of the series. But for games won and lost, T&T are the team. Still, a record of nine wins and just three defeats in two appearances was not good enough to make them automatic qualifiers ahead of, say, Delhi Daredevils (2-2 in one appearance).

Should they become one of England's two qualifiers, Somerset might also ponder their qualifier status, considering they reached last year's semi-final from that very qualifying stage.

Like the boy with the bat and ball, the tournament's owners can make rules to suit their interests. And they have. But will those interests really be served long term? In India the IPL will always be king. However, unlike it and the other T20 money-spinners, the Champions League is the only one with an authentic global spread, accommodating as it does teams from around the cricket-playing world. It is the only club tournament not confined to a single country.

This year South Africa will host for a second time. With enough perseverance and broad thinking, this tournament can keep expanding. There is always the possibility of new talent and interesting teams emerging. Think Pollard, think Narine, think T&T again. By its insular nature, the IPL does not offer quite the same possibilities. It would be a shame therefore, if for the sake of working well-worn ground, the Champions League eventually starved itself.

Garth Wattley is a writer with the Trinidad Express

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Stumpbreaker on July 13, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    YorkshirePudding: RCB issue is with their parent company facing financial issues and bTW IPL is nt facing those issues. as per IPL rules... BCCI wud nt transfer the tv rights money to franchise until each and every player is paid... in case of a dispute BCCI wud pay teh players with the security money.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 13, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    @Natesan333, if theres tons of money in the league why are foreign players for RCB not getting paid?

  • Natesan333 on July 13, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @yorkshairpudding "IPL will fall in a heap" that sounds like a wish rather than a prediction!! There is tons of money involved in this league, it will be around longer than the both of us. As far as this CL is concerned, it makes business sense for the other leagues to stick around. They will complain, but at the end of the day, they will line their pockets.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 13, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    @Natesan333, and if all the other teams pulled out leaving only Aus, SA and Indian teams the competition basically becomes worthless as its not a true Champions league, its a tri nation competition. Personally I dont care what the rules are or who owns it, the IPL will fall in a heap, as it stands at least one of the main teams (the RCB) cant even afford to pay its players, so chances are the overseas players may look elsewhere next year.

  • Meety on July 13, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    I would prefer if the Champ League went something like this - Automatic Main Draw - 2 x IPL, + 1 each from Oz & Safrica (domestic winners), (4 teams) - then the Qualifying stage be fought out by 2 x IPL & (Oz & SAfrica runners up domestically) + winners of all other domestic leagues from test playing nations. (11 teams). Could use some creativity for the 12th spot in the Qualifying round. This would be a true champ league IMO.

  • on July 12, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    If they wanted to make it a more accurate but sstill IPL based reflection on the tournament, the winners of every single T20 league from a test playing nation would get in, so KKR, Sixers, Titans, T&T, Auckland, Sialkot and Dhaka along with the winners from England, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, along with the runners-up from Australia, South Africa and two from the IPL to make 2 groups of 7. That strikes me as being a fair deal financially, and in terms of the potential of the competition for spreading interest in domestic cricket

  • Natesan333 on July 12, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    @IDS2015 that's my point, in the ICC worldcup it IS a level playing field, India doesn't get special placement. But this is not a ICC event, it is a BCCI event, the other leagues are like guests, so don't complain if they have to wait in line.

  • Stumpbreaker on July 12, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @Shuvo Habib... too bad BPL teams are nt in.. i understand ur frustration... dont worry bout T&T.. they are the most popular foreign team in india... they wud win the qualifications and be in the main round.. the players wud get more chances to show their strengths and they are more likely to be picked by the IPL teams next year... dont worry .. enjoy

  • Lovedegame on July 12, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    i agree, its sad but they should not complain insteat the WICB should send a well written Letter with a well established member of the Board to BCCi and have a chat with them and put hese very valid points across. I am Indian and i love T&T and would love for another star to be born. Every one needs to really stop heckling the BCCI and Indian stars they are who they are because of all that they have done and given their fans. We love this game there was a time when the Aussies and the Brits ruled this sport its our time now weve been bossed over for tooooo loooong. So frankly we dont care what the rest thing

  • Roykunal on July 12, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Whatever happens in the world,even other than the cricketing world,start blaming BCCI for every flaw in the world.This CL was started by BCCI,CA,CSA to gain profits.This was not intended for a purely cricketing or sporting reasons.There is no foul play here.The organisers does what seems more profitable for them.It is not an official tournament.If one has complaints,boycott it and start a parallel league.Moreover,playing in this tournament does not add upto the betterment of the players or the teams.Ultimately,the good players plays from the IPL or BBL teams in the CL.Infact,the organisers does play a level field by inviting other franchises to participate.They can earn nearly the same profits with their own teams as well.This is a money game and not pure cricket.

  • Stumpbreaker on July 13, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    YorkshirePudding: RCB issue is with their parent company facing financial issues and bTW IPL is nt facing those issues. as per IPL rules... BCCI wud nt transfer the tv rights money to franchise until each and every player is paid... in case of a dispute BCCI wud pay teh players with the security money.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 13, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    @Natesan333, if theres tons of money in the league why are foreign players for RCB not getting paid?

  • Natesan333 on July 13, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @yorkshairpudding "IPL will fall in a heap" that sounds like a wish rather than a prediction!! There is tons of money involved in this league, it will be around longer than the both of us. As far as this CL is concerned, it makes business sense for the other leagues to stick around. They will complain, but at the end of the day, they will line their pockets.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 13, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    @Natesan333, and if all the other teams pulled out leaving only Aus, SA and Indian teams the competition basically becomes worthless as its not a true Champions league, its a tri nation competition. Personally I dont care what the rules are or who owns it, the IPL will fall in a heap, as it stands at least one of the main teams (the RCB) cant even afford to pay its players, so chances are the overseas players may look elsewhere next year.

  • Meety on July 13, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    I would prefer if the Champ League went something like this - Automatic Main Draw - 2 x IPL, + 1 each from Oz & Safrica (domestic winners), (4 teams) - then the Qualifying stage be fought out by 2 x IPL & (Oz & SAfrica runners up domestically) + winners of all other domestic leagues from test playing nations. (11 teams). Could use some creativity for the 12th spot in the Qualifying round. This would be a true champ league IMO.

  • on July 12, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    If they wanted to make it a more accurate but sstill IPL based reflection on the tournament, the winners of every single T20 league from a test playing nation would get in, so KKR, Sixers, Titans, T&T, Auckland, Sialkot and Dhaka along with the winners from England, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, along with the runners-up from Australia, South Africa and two from the IPL to make 2 groups of 7. That strikes me as being a fair deal financially, and in terms of the potential of the competition for spreading interest in domestic cricket

  • Natesan333 on July 12, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    @IDS2015 that's my point, in the ICC worldcup it IS a level playing field, India doesn't get special placement. But this is not a ICC event, it is a BCCI event, the other leagues are like guests, so don't complain if they have to wait in line.

  • Stumpbreaker on July 12, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @Shuvo Habib... too bad BPL teams are nt in.. i understand ur frustration... dont worry bout T&T.. they are the most popular foreign team in india... they wud win the qualifications and be in the main round.. the players wud get more chances to show their strengths and they are more likely to be picked by the IPL teams next year... dont worry .. enjoy

  • Lovedegame on July 12, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    i agree, its sad but they should not complain insteat the WICB should send a well written Letter with a well established member of the Board to BCCi and have a chat with them and put hese very valid points across. I am Indian and i love T&T and would love for another star to be born. Every one needs to really stop heckling the BCCI and Indian stars they are who they are because of all that they have done and given their fans. We love this game there was a time when the Aussies and the Brits ruled this sport its our time now weve been bossed over for tooooo loooong. So frankly we dont care what the rest thing

  • Roykunal on July 12, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Whatever happens in the world,even other than the cricketing world,start blaming BCCI for every flaw in the world.This CL was started by BCCI,CA,CSA to gain profits.This was not intended for a purely cricketing or sporting reasons.There is no foul play here.The organisers does what seems more profitable for them.It is not an official tournament.If one has complaints,boycott it and start a parallel league.Moreover,playing in this tournament does not add upto the betterment of the players or the teams.Ultimately,the good players plays from the IPL or BBL teams in the CL.Infact,the organisers does play a level field by inviting other franchises to participate.They can earn nearly the same profits with their own teams as well.This is a money game and not pure cricket.

  • on July 12, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    T&T should have decided of not playing this Tournament!! They have nothing to prove !! Every one of the world knows how their team is....They are far better team than the other competitors.

  • shrastogi on July 12, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    If you want to promote club cricket then ownership of the league is meaningless. India shouldnt have 4 teams in the main draw. Everything can not be linked to viewership. If ICC makes a window for league then all main nations should have equality.

  • on July 12, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    With so much convolution - regardless of who foot the bill back in 2006 or whenever it was - I don't get why the ICC don't let the contract for the event run out (if there is a time scale), then create a new, fully sanctioned, all encompassing event based on the meritocracy of successful results, rather than the geographical origins of each team.

    Reading the article above, T&T have a ratio of 9-3 for, against a Mumbai Team with 2-2... doesn't exactly sound representative of having the best teams playing in what is supposed to be a global tournament.

    Surely events like this should be (even merely outwardly facing) for the fans of the sport, who naturally will want to see the best players in action - especially on the world stage.

    Maybe its just fanciful thinking really, but why not have a world tournament, with the worlds best teams and the best players playing in an officially sanctioned world tournament? Just a thought...

  • NBRADEE on July 12, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    I think we (the WICB) should pull out of this farcical arrangement - it does no good for the game to have teams competing under these rules, and there is no true benefit for Windies teams apart from having certain players benefit from the exposure (Cooper, Narine and Pollard are egs.)

  • shillingsworth on July 12, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    It has always been quite clear that the CL is a business masquerading as a cricket competition. BCCI, CA and CSA are fully entitled to share in the profits of their business. They are not entitled to claim that it has any cricketing legitimacy.

  • YS_USA on July 12, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    In 2007, T20 World cup, India lost in early round and was elimiated and then all sponsors withdrew and it became a financial disaster for the ICC and that's why they have India play Afgahanistan this year in T20 World cup in SL, so they do not get eliminated early, becasue the ICC depends on the huge Indian TV market for commercial success of its tournaments. Same thing for CLT20. Without Indians watching, there will not be any money for the tournament and thats why 4 IPL teams.

  • IDS2015 on July 12, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    @panglupek: I think you're right - there is nothing wrong with the countries who invested getting the biggest financial gains from the competition, but that shouldn't give them an automatic advantage on the field as well. I know Natesan333 just said you can't compare this with a football competition, but that is a legitimate example (although the shareholder one was better). @Natesan333: If you want an ICC world cup comparison, this would be a bit like giving India an automatic right to a semi-final place at a World Cup just because they get the ICC the most income. India/BCCI could make this into a really good tournament with real global interest, but the current format just makes it look like a members only club with a couple of not so welcome guests.

  • Rally_Windies on July 12, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    this is a business .. players want monies, boards want monies ...

    making T&T play more games = more money for everybody .......

    don't complain about a format selected to maximise money , unless you want to take a pay cut .....

  • jmcilhinney on July 12, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    @CricketRealtime on (July 12 2012, 12:56 PM GMT), that's a crock. Without these other teams there would be no Champions League. It would just a more IPL. The name suggests that it should be a league of champions. The IPL teams who are not champions should have to qualify. If they're good enough, they will. Of course, they'll probably be doing so with players from all the other teams.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 12, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    @CricketRealtime, in that case as England invented T20 format the BCCI should pay the ECB a nice royalty every year for the privelage of using the format........

  • YorkshirePudding on July 12, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    @Posted by on (July 12 2012, 10:12 AM GMT), one small flaw in you plan.....which group are the English T20 teams in? As in the first group (ie auto qualifiers) then that would make 11 teams unles you dropped one of the other teams back into the qualifiers.

  • CricketRealtime on July 12, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    India- BCCI bashing seems to be the order of the day. What people FAIL to realize is a simple BUSINESS concept. India invested 50% in the creation of this league with 25% each from AUS and SA. Now that means all the other cricketing nations that are crying foul should not even be playing this tournament from ownership perspective. The fact that other teams get a chance to play should be viewed as an opportunity and not as a RIGHT to play. This is like taking profits without investing. so stop crying and enjoy and remember INDIA holds 50% equity in the Champions league. According the structure, its fair to have 4 teams from India with 2 each from SA and AUS.

  • on July 12, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    I'll watch it because it's cricket, but that doesn't stop it being pointless and completely lacking any credibility. Nothing will change, it's a business, not a sporting competition.

  • Natesan333 on July 12, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Thank you yoohoo and cricraz, you guys hit the nail on the head. @panglupek you can't compare the champians league with FIFA worldcup, if anything compare it with ICC worldlcup.

  • dickiebrewsters on July 12, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    I have no problem in the BCCI/AUS/SA choosing whatever makeup of the tournament they like as they backed it financially. What I have a huge problem in is the ICC sanctioning the tournament & giving it a window in the international calendar when it has huge bias to certain nations. All other nations should be free to arrange fixtures (including ones with India/Aus/SA) during the champions league, leaving each board or individual player to choose just as they do during the IPL.

  • PanGlupek on July 12, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    @Cricraz, I can't see anybody here asking for equal share of the business. People here are mostly saying they want to see equal playing conditions, there is quite a big difference. I can't see anybody here asking for a tournament without India either (that would be even more biassed than setting up a tournament & wighing it heavily in Indian team's favours).

    Let me try another example: If you have 25% shares in a bank or supermarket, are you allowed to jump the cues? No. You get FINANCIAL advantages, but in that banking hall as a customer, you are the same as everybody else. If you have shares in a betting company, do you get better odds? No, you don't, you get FINANCIAL advantages instead.

  • cricraz on July 12, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    When India decided to invest in Champions league a lot of Countries were approached with partnership. Only Australia and South Africa accepted it when it was a high risk venture. Now that is succesful and money spinner( most of the money is coming from the indian market), Everybody is crying out loud to want to equal share of the business. I like how most of you think that the other countries should try organizing independent Champion league without India. England has tried and it has never been feasible. Only when India is included in the equation, do the numbers turn profitable. Australia and South africa were smart enough to buy into the process at an earlier stage even though it seemed like a gamble at that time. Stop criticizing India and all the players need to be thankful to india and its IPL for making their lives richer!! It is an industry wherin the early adopters will continue to have advantage. If the other countries come up with something better, they should try to do it

  • PanGlupek on July 12, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    @yoohoo, Fair point about the financial backing, but 2 things:- 1) It makes it less credible to the rest of the world to have teams in there for financial reasons, not merit. Can you imagine FIFA forcing African & Oceanan teams to go through more qualification stages for a World Cup simply because they don't contribute as much financially as other continents do?

    2) Your point about Mumbai Indians: it is reasonable to say they shouldn't have to qualify because they are champions, but what would happen if T&T or Somerset won it? If they would also not have to qualify, that would be fair, but let's be honest...

  • on July 12, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    clt20 shud be like this... 2 teams each from sa, aus, ind. 1 team each from wi, nz, pak , sl..that makes it 10 teams.. and then 2 teams shud be there from qualifiers which wud include 1 team each from Ban, zim and 2 IPL teams. . then make 3 groups of 4 teams in each draw... the top team from each group make it to the semis to be joined by the 4th best team out of 12. then, there shud be a 3-rd place off. And the clt20 venue must be rotated b/w india, south africa, australia, new zealand, or england. now. this is what...a champions league shud be

  • mixlocks on July 12, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    The cl format needs some vital change to make it equal for all teams other wise it just don't make any sense at all.

  • azeesajid on July 12, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Champions league should also be called as indian leage, becoz for me champion leage stands for champions participating frm all countries, not most of the teams playing frm the same country while champions of the other countries have to play qualifying round,its totally disguisding...!!!

  • yoohoo on July 12, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    What people don't understand is that CL T20 is primarily owned by Ind, Aus and SA (50% ,25% ,25%). Eng and WI were offered part ownership, but they refused to have a stake. The owners get permanent slots, and everybody else (however good or bad their teams are) have to play qualifiers for the remaining spots. It is very simple really.

    The only change this time is the 4th slot for an IPL team (SA & Aus get 2 teams each with 25%, BCCI gets 4 with 50%). but more importantly the 4th IPL team (Mumbai Indians), is also the 2011 CL-T20 winner. It would have been really odd for the previous edition winner to be fighting in the qualifying rounds this year.

  • PanGlupek on July 12, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Now, I understand that India came up with this competition, and therefore in a way, should be allowed to format it how they want, but at the same time, for the sake of credibility in the rest of the world, they have to either make everybody qualify, make nobody qualify, or have some kind of ranking points system based on the club/country's success in the tournament, not just make it a boys club for certain countries, irrespective of thier performance.

    The tournament was already heavily weighted in favour of the Indian sides (the extra overseas players, 3 automatic qualifyers, played during the Indian season, normally in thier back yard). This must put a lot of potential audiences off in other countries.

    Sadly, the other clubs just put up with the format, rather than argue for a fairer one, because they need the money from it. Dangling a carrot, I think they call it.

  • PureTom on July 12, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    The more IPL teams that play in the league the more likely an IPL team is to win it. Now that seems terribly obvious, but what I mean is the more IPL teams the weaker the competition as their best players are generally signed to an IPL team. The Champions league is terribly flawed at the moment, there is no set format or qualification and it is a competition between semi-international teams and domestic teams with players being contractually obliged to play for teams that are not their "home" team. What does winning the Champions League mean? Just money at the moment. For the winner, but mostly for the competition owners.

  • satish619chandar on July 12, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Let us have it this way.. 3 teams(Ind,Aus,SA) have 2 top, four teams(Eng,WI,Pakistan,SL) have winner in, two more from qualifiers where the third from each bigger teams and the runners from the other four teams play along with teams from BD,NZ.. It would give more level field for other nations and more active participants.. We can spread the league across.. Plus, the choice of where the next CLT20 should have preference of the winning team.. Certainly, the game can be expanded and the brand will grow too..

  • riverlime on July 12, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    What is not clear to me is this.... Is this a privately financed club or an internationally sanctioned league? Since the ICC has declared a window for it, then the CL must be an approved INTERNATIONAL tournament. Why then are there rules coming from private financiers? What's even more confusing is that the IPL is not given a window, when it is the CL in all but name........What the ICC should do is tell the BCCI to organise whatever tournaments they want on their own time, and then arrange an International Champions League, and call it the (ahem) ICL. This tournament should be given a window, just like the T20 world cup and be in staggered years (world cup, ICL, world cup, ICL, etc.). Arranging a television market is independent of the location, as the football Champions League has shown. It just requires some planning. So that's the gauntlet thrown down to the ICC.

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 12, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    I totally agree with the writer. Why should T&T play qualifying round when all 4 IPL teams are already in the competition without breaking a sweat ? This is unfair. Why even have a qualifying round in the first place ? Let's put all the teams in the mix and have 1 giant round robin phase followed by the knock-out phase. This doesn't make sense to me in spite of being an Indian supporter. This won't make the tournament any popular. What if T&T have a few bad games and fail to make it ? That would be such a downer and bad advertising for the whole tournament. The BCCI should get its head straight and remove the qualifying round next year.

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  • Cpt.Meanster on July 12, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    I totally agree with the writer. Why should T&T play qualifying round when all 4 IPL teams are already in the competition without breaking a sweat ? This is unfair. Why even have a qualifying round in the first place ? Let's put all the teams in the mix and have 1 giant round robin phase followed by the knock-out phase. This doesn't make sense to me in spite of being an Indian supporter. This won't make the tournament any popular. What if T&T have a few bad games and fail to make it ? That would be such a downer and bad advertising for the whole tournament. The BCCI should get its head straight and remove the qualifying round next year.

  • riverlime on July 12, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    What is not clear to me is this.... Is this a privately financed club or an internationally sanctioned league? Since the ICC has declared a window for it, then the CL must be an approved INTERNATIONAL tournament. Why then are there rules coming from private financiers? What's even more confusing is that the IPL is not given a window, when it is the CL in all but name........What the ICC should do is tell the BCCI to organise whatever tournaments they want on their own time, and then arrange an International Champions League, and call it the (ahem) ICL. This tournament should be given a window, just like the T20 world cup and be in staggered years (world cup, ICL, world cup, ICL, etc.). Arranging a television market is independent of the location, as the football Champions League has shown. It just requires some planning. So that's the gauntlet thrown down to the ICC.

  • satish619chandar on July 12, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Let us have it this way.. 3 teams(Ind,Aus,SA) have 2 top, four teams(Eng,WI,Pakistan,SL) have winner in, two more from qualifiers where the third from each bigger teams and the runners from the other four teams play along with teams from BD,NZ.. It would give more level field for other nations and more active participants.. We can spread the league across.. Plus, the choice of where the next CLT20 should have preference of the winning team.. Certainly, the game can be expanded and the brand will grow too..

  • PureTom on July 12, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    The more IPL teams that play in the league the more likely an IPL team is to win it. Now that seems terribly obvious, but what I mean is the more IPL teams the weaker the competition as their best players are generally signed to an IPL team. The Champions league is terribly flawed at the moment, there is no set format or qualification and it is a competition between semi-international teams and domestic teams with players being contractually obliged to play for teams that are not their "home" team. What does winning the Champions League mean? Just money at the moment. For the winner, but mostly for the competition owners.

  • PanGlupek on July 12, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Now, I understand that India came up with this competition, and therefore in a way, should be allowed to format it how they want, but at the same time, for the sake of credibility in the rest of the world, they have to either make everybody qualify, make nobody qualify, or have some kind of ranking points system based on the club/country's success in the tournament, not just make it a boys club for certain countries, irrespective of thier performance.

    The tournament was already heavily weighted in favour of the Indian sides (the extra overseas players, 3 automatic qualifyers, played during the Indian season, normally in thier back yard). This must put a lot of potential audiences off in other countries.

    Sadly, the other clubs just put up with the format, rather than argue for a fairer one, because they need the money from it. Dangling a carrot, I think they call it.

  • yoohoo on July 12, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    What people don't understand is that CL T20 is primarily owned by Ind, Aus and SA (50% ,25% ,25%). Eng and WI were offered part ownership, but they refused to have a stake. The owners get permanent slots, and everybody else (however good or bad their teams are) have to play qualifiers for the remaining spots. It is very simple really.

    The only change this time is the 4th slot for an IPL team (SA & Aus get 2 teams each with 25%, BCCI gets 4 with 50%). but more importantly the 4th IPL team (Mumbai Indians), is also the 2011 CL-T20 winner. It would have been really odd for the previous edition winner to be fighting in the qualifying rounds this year.

  • azeesajid on July 12, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Champions league should also be called as indian leage, becoz for me champion leage stands for champions participating frm all countries, not most of the teams playing frm the same country while champions of the other countries have to play qualifying round,its totally disguisding...!!!

  • mixlocks on July 12, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    The cl format needs some vital change to make it equal for all teams other wise it just don't make any sense at all.

  • on July 12, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    clt20 shud be like this... 2 teams each from sa, aus, ind. 1 team each from wi, nz, pak , sl..that makes it 10 teams.. and then 2 teams shud be there from qualifiers which wud include 1 team each from Ban, zim and 2 IPL teams. . then make 3 groups of 4 teams in each draw... the top team from each group make it to the semis to be joined by the 4th best team out of 12. then, there shud be a 3-rd place off. And the clt20 venue must be rotated b/w india, south africa, australia, new zealand, or england. now. this is what...a champions league shud be

  • PanGlupek on July 12, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    @yoohoo, Fair point about the financial backing, but 2 things:- 1) It makes it less credible to the rest of the world to have teams in there for financial reasons, not merit. Can you imagine FIFA forcing African & Oceanan teams to go through more qualification stages for a World Cup simply because they don't contribute as much financially as other continents do?

    2) Your point about Mumbai Indians: it is reasonable to say they shouldn't have to qualify because they are champions, but what would happen if T&T or Somerset won it? If they would also not have to qualify, that would be fair, but let's be honest...