What's the point of the Champions League Twenty20?

You might as well ask what's the point of the Ashes

Andrew Hughes

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Imran Khalid and Ehsan Adil collided while attempting a catch, Faisalabad Wolves v Kandurata Maroons, Champions League Qualifiers, Mohali, September 20, 2013
Exactly the kind of collision that helps physicists explain nuclear reactions © BCCI
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Series/Tournaments: Champions League Twenty20

The Champions League Twenty20 is a goulash of hot, steamy franchise action, a smorgasbord of sexy inter-continental super-sport, a trifle of terrifically fruity T20 goodness, topped with the light frothy cream of cricket celebrity, and the juicy cherry of temporary global domination. It is, in short, a feast.

Yet some apparently rational people prefer to sit outside in the rain, their stomachs rumbling, pretending they can nourish themselves on the memories of the summer's banquet. Some have even said they don't see the point of the Champions League Twenty20. This is dangerous, subversive thinking, cricket chums, and you should not countenance it.

To turn your nose up at one bit of bat-and-ball action on the grounds that it has no purpose is to take the tin-opener of wilful scepticism to the rusty old can at the back of the cricket cupboard, the one with the label that reads, "May contain worms".

Many years ago, Friedrich Nietzsche, upon hearing that Yorkshire had drawn with Nottinghamshire, wrote in his diary, "Yorkshire drew with Nottinghamshire. What was the point of that?" This apparently innocent enquiry led him to question the purpose of the forward defensive, then the lbw law, then county cricket, the MCC, Western civilisation and finally, human morality. You see how these things can escalate.

What's the point of the Champions League T20? You might just as well ask what's the point of the Ashes? What's the point of spending hundreds of hours of your childhood playing out the titanic dice cricket struggle between an all-time combined Australian/Star Trek team and their deadly rivals, the Romantic Poets XI, led by crack allrounder Lord Byron?

What's the point of getting up in the middle of the night to watch the repeats of the highlights montage featuring amusing out-takes, gaffes and Morrison-isms from the Preliminary Winner Takes All Knock Out Play-Off rumble between Batasi Buffalo and the Mighty Wind XI on Super Euro Niche Sports? What's the point of Warwickshire?

It is cricket, and therefore it is not pointless, or rather, it is its own purpose. If you ever find yourself thinking that a game of cricket is pointless, then seek medical help. Doctors generally advise a course of John Arlott commentary, and a daily dose of CLR James extract.

And if you need further guidance, then simply follow the example of the chaps at the ICC. You don't see them getting involved in existential questions about the meaning of cricket. They just get on with things. Things like big, important ICC meetings.

Obviously, I look forward to big important ICC meetings, so the news that there was going to be another one this week was like finding out there's going to be an extra Christmas. Dave Richardson was in the role of Santa, and flanked by ICC elves bearing clipboards, he gave us a few hearty ho-ho-hos, before unpacking his bumper bag of administrative goodies.

Like a lot of Christmas gifts, they weren't all out of the top drawer, and there are a few things you'd probably want to take back to the Emporium of Bargain Basement Cricket Concepts. For example, the idea of just one new ball in rain-shortened games is the equivalent of a sensible pair of socks. A promise to find a ball that will last 50 overs is more of an IOU, while fiddling about with the number of reviews and setting up a technology working party are the kind of presents that might prompt you to ask whether he kept the receipt.

Still, it's the thought that counts, and cricket fans will have many happy hours poring over the details. Obsessing over these minutiae, just like watching the Champions League Twenty20 is absolutely not a pointless exercise. If you think it is, then perhaps you need to reconsider your position as a member of the global congregation of the Magnificent Cult of Cricket.

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

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Posted by Simon on (September 23, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

With the current attention span and fast metabolism of the Twitterverse the 21st Centurys' contribution to cricket; T20, will be an interesting case study of the genesis, rise and fall of popcorn cricket. You'd love to think you could get an idea of which countrys' competition is strongest in any given year. However with a core of 50 internationals needing to remember which timezone they're in, to assist with deciding which trendy shirt they're supposed to have on today, we're unlikely to learn anything other than cricket can be played without DRS.

Speaking of which, it's funny isn't it that ICC Dave is concerned with what type of ball may influence the odd rain interrupted ODI, yet can't come up with anything sensible for the flawed DRS which slows down and influences Test matches and careers. Apparently all they learned from the Ashes DRS debacle was that if Shane Watson is going to waste all of the reviews, then by God, we'll give the teams more. Inspired administration?

Posted by Srinivas on (September 22, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

@Ajith Lal - Qualifying stage with 3 groups you say... hmm... with 2 or 4 teams qualifying? Diabolical!

Sorting that out will keep them busy scratching their heads, allowing just enough time to quickly organize a pre-qualifying tournament involving Kenya, Afghanistan, Canada and perhaps UAE, in Dubai... oh with a couple more Indian teams (7th and 8th place IPL teams?) thrown in for good measure to ensure television revenue and bums on the seats in the stadium.

Kinda begs the question about the point of it all.... wait... where have I heard that before? :o

Posted by Dummy4 on (September 21, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

Stop asking questions, just enjoy....!

Posted by Dummy4 on (September 21, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

I think Champions League Trophy should be a global event and not the test team event. What I would suggest is to change the format so that Associates countries also get opportunity to qualify for the Champions Trophy. The qualifying matches should be played at least two months before the actual event. It can be played in another country like South Africa so that the revenue would not be less or there would not be loss.

What I would recommend is around two to three weeks of qualifying matches played in South Africa. Since more money is earned while playing Indian franchises I would recommend three teams from India also play in the qualifying matches.

The qualifying matches should be like this. One team from Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Srilanka, Pakistan, Newzeland, plus three teams from India and each divided into three groups with each team playing against two teams and two to four teams qualify for the Champions Trophy. This will give opportunities fo

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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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