A can't-really-be-bothered preview of the Champions League

All that you need to know about a tournament that you might have forgotten about

Andrew Hughes

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Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar with the trophy, Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians, IPL final, Kolkata, May 26, 2013
Mumbai may not have to play any matches, but they won't stint on the trophy-lifting practice © Pragyan Ojha - Twitter
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Series/Tournaments: Champions League Twenty20

Although we humans are vastly intelligent, deviously inventive and by far the best thing ever to have come out of planet Earth, we do have our weaknesses.

For instance, we have picked up a few addictions over the millennia; most notably coffee, cigarettes and war. Of the three, we particularly enjoy war. Any war will do, we're not fussy: wars of self-defence, wars of independence, wars of succession, civil wars, tribal wars, religious wars, pre-emptive wars, wars to send a message, wars to defend imaginary red lines, wars to prevent wars. We don't mind how long a war lasts, although purists who favour the Hundred Years' War tend to turn their noses up at the shorter forms.

Another weakness is our fallible human memory. Some people - dictators, head teachers, serial killers, business people, and other suspicious types - get around this by methodically recording their schedules in executive diaries:

Tuesday - Meeting with SuperCorp to discuss merger with BigPlc
Wednesday - Assassinate opposition leader
Thursday - Parent's evening
Friday - Start World War Three

That sort of thing.

Since most of us lack this kind of discipline, our calendars, carefully hung up during the New Year holiday, remain unsullied by scribble throughout the year, while our living spaces are festooned with Post-Its, upon which are inscribed the essential facts of our existence.

As a result, we often find that significant dates have a habit of creeping up on us, like spiders, muggers and dry rot. There you are, reclining in bed, idly reflecting on the miracle of a free Saturday and contemplating an early lunch, when you receive a text from the vicar enquiring as to whether you'll be joining your bride at the altar anytime soon as he's got two christenings and a funeral to get through by five.

All of which is a long-winded way of confessing that I had completely forgotten about the Champions League Twenty20 until I opened up ESPNcricinfo ten minutes ago, to find that we are already knee-deep in the qualifiers. Before you know it, half these teams will be flying home again, so without delay, here is the Long Handle quick-glance, can't-really-be-bothered preview of the world-class collectives who will be participating in September's festivities.

Kandurata Macaroons
Freshly made franchise with tasty ingredients; may go stale after a day or two.

Good Morning Hyderabad
Sponsored by a popular rush-hour radio show (previously known as Deccan Drive Time) they are there on merit as the sixth- worst IPL team.

Chennai Predictables
Qualified because they always do. Likely to wear yellow.

Brisbane Belch
(Nickname: The Fighting Inebriates) The big noises in Australian T20, qualified by winning the Big Beer League. Hard to live with when they turn on the gas.

Mumbai Tendulkars
Favourites to lift the trophy as a late scheduling adjustment means they won't have to play another team before the award ceremony.

Perth Prohibition
(Formerly Perth Party) Sponsored by the Salvation Army, the teetotallers from the West Coast will be abstaining from liquor, late-night shenanigans, and victory.

Rajasthan Bail
The bookies' favourites, but may crumble under pressure when asked the question.

Otago Voltaic Piles
Functional unit but lacking power.

Nashua Tight Pants
Finished runners-up in the Johannesburg Disco League. You can tell by the way they use their bats they'll be staying alive, at least until the semi-finals.

Highveld Large Cats
Overtook the Zebras, the Antelopes and the Wildebeest to reach the Champions League. Deadly before lunch, but liable to go to sleep later on.

Trinidad & Tobago Confusion
Qualified by not winning the Caribbean Premier League ahead of Jamaica.

Faisalabad Visas
Will have to qualify the hard way by beating every other team twice, and accurately completing all 3457 pages of Interior Ministry form 64B(ii) in triplicate.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England. He tweets here

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Posted by naveed on (September 20, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

i want know which team qualifies from a group for the first position or 2nd position team in main round of champion league

Posted by RAJARAMAN on (September 19, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

Funny .. no doubt ... but the agony of an Englishman finding his team missing the event is crystal clear ... hmm ... ECB better wakes up before their players desert it ... make IPL and CLT20 window right away ...

Posted by Dummy4 on (September 19, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

The tournament would have potential if it was set-up in some kind of equitable way; however it is simply set-up to maximise revenue for the IPL teams. As long as there are four teams from India and one from each of the 'lesser' countries that have to mess around in the qualifying round it will be perceived as a joke tournament

Posted by Lester on (September 19, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

Why preview something if you cannot be bothered about something. Get on with your job and let cricket lovers like me enjoy the game...

Posted by Phil on (September 19, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

@Akul Dhingra on (September 18, 2013, 22:27 GMT): Wouldn't say it's a genius tournament. One of it's biggest flaw is the nature of T20 itself. T20 is mercenary cricket, so players play in every tournament they can. Which team do they then play for in the CLT20? The other biggest flaw is it isn't an ICC tournament.

Posted by ramachandra on (September 19, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

I dont think this event [what is its name, again?] deserves even this. Just ignore it for its own sake. Let the players pose for the photo ups. Its their chance of getting paid for nothing, so let them savor it and we mortals should step out of it.

Posted by Krishna on (September 19, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

Andrew, without really bothering, you seem to have hit several nails on their heads. The visas are expiring fast and the macaroons are indeed going stale. Excellent piece. You make me want to come to the Cricinfo site every time.

Posted by Nicholas on (September 18, 2013, 23:28 GMT)


Posted by Dummy4 on (September 18, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

Though Test Cricket is still the best format to watch for cricket lovers, clearly the future of spectator cricket is T20 and India, along with Australia and South Africa (Mainly India) has created a genius tournament - The CLT20. Every tournament takes time to evolve. It may have some errors as of now, but surely in the coming future they will be rectified and i believe in the coming years, every domestic team will only be playing towards winning the CLT20 crown Sadly, the English will never accept it. The only thing they can see through their blinders are the Ashes. Before the jealousy of the ECB reaches a bitter end, its time they accept that there are other important series and formats that they should start focusing towards and trying to be a part of.

Posted by Mike on (September 18, 2013, 21:09 GMT)

I actually found this quite funny. This is a first for Andrew Hughes, well done lad.

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Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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Andrew Hughes Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73
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