This, that and the other. Mostly the other
It has been cause for much melancholy and frustration among those of us who still care deeply about the game that we have to helplessly and repeatedly bear witness to the wanton besmirching of the BCCI and its good works. I refer, of course, to the IPL. Any excuse will do these days to find fault with this noble modern-day institution, often made in the full knowledge that without it the game would be a rather pale and sickly shadow of its healthily avaricious modern-day avatar.
The latest to have caught the jealous attention of cynics, naysayers, and other people paid by Tony Greig is the number of IPL teams featured in the upcoming edition of the Champions League. Granted, having teams from just one league alone make up almost half of those vying for the Champions League is a tad controversial. Which is why I propose the following solution, a proposition so elegant and obviously simple as to be almost silly to have it stated so bluntly: Why stop at four? Why shouldn't all the teams featuring in the Champions League be from the IPL? We only have to look towards America, that bastion of all things progressive and forward-thinking, to remind ourselves that it is even possible to have a World Series made up of teams from just one country.
I invite you to consider the following arguments in favour of this plan and see for yourselves the beauty of its logic, and how, ultimately, we all stand to gain from an all-IPL Champions League:
* By limiting the Champions League to only IPL teams, people will no longer have any reason to complain that their own country's T20 league is severely under-represented.
* It'll also mean that the BCCI will be able to eliminate only IPL teams from future editions of the tournament, if it so wishes (and it will). It isn't difficult to see that in such a scenario non-IPL teams enjoy a distinct advantage over IPL teams.
* Having only IPL teams in the Champions League keeps the top dog happy. Is it unreasonable to expect, then, that the rest of the cricketing world will in turn derive, through a trickle-down effect, some benefit from the BCCI in turn? (But let's not spoil an elegant treatise by answering that just now.)
* The tournament will eventually be called something other than the Champions League, something more reflective of its make-up, something more marketable. One name to consider is "IPL". Yes, another IPL within the space of a few months. It never pays to underestimate the unlimited capacity of the BCCI to overestimate the Indian cricket fan's capacity to consume live IPL telecasts.
* Once the tournament has been renamed the IPL, the rest of the world is then free to reclaim the Champions League for itself, featuring only non-IPL teams.
* See what I did there?
It can be logically concluded that T20 leagues around the world stand to benefit enormously by these simple, effective and, what will prove to be, eventually popular ideas. Once the process outlined above has been kicked into motion, each step will elegantly but surely fall into place, culminating in the Champions League being reclaimed. The new tournament will see a fairer distribution of teams vying for the prize, having qualified by merit alone. The Duronto Rajshahis of the world will have their stage to shine.
Indeed, the beauty of this humble proposal is that it covers all the bases. Everyone wins in the end. Just don't tell the BCCI that.
R Rajkumar tweets here
All quotes and some "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
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