Saturday, April 26, 2008

Champions League on the Cards?

If common sense prevails in another 3 years there will be a premier global twenty/2o competition that involves winners of the respective twenty/20 club competitions from all over the world. Allen Stanford while dissing the IPL for moving too fast, too soon, has gone on to say on BBC that:

Twenty20 has the potential to be the most popular team sport in the whole world in maybe less than 10 years.

But it's going to take a highly organised, highly efficient management team to run this show
While I agree with him that twenty20 cricket will keep growing in popularity and stature, I think it will take more than just an efficient management team to run the show. I think that the way forward is to have a series of country specific leagues like the IPL (no rogue leagues please) which play out simultaneously culminating in qualification for the world league championships. This isnt unlike the football champions league in Europe. In the end simple common sense will be required to overcome some of these hurdles:

- Summer cricketing calendar in the Southern hemisphere is filled up with the triangular series in Australia as well as prolonged test series. Spring/Summer in the northern hemisphere (read, India) means its too cold down under. When will the leagues occur in parallel? or do they even need to?

- Does it make sense to have regional competitions, eg ICL winners, IPL winners, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh twenty20 leagues champions play for Asian championships. English play with the closest counry which is turning out to be the West Indian Stanford 2020.

- How (if at all) will the twenty20 brand be diluted if rebel leagues keep popping up? Will the ICL and IPL every conerge?

- How many teams from each country's league will be allowed?

- Different leagues wil have different regulations inless fixed. What this means is that Jamaica may have foreigners for all 10 of its playing eleven. On the other hand if IPL teams only have 4 international stars at a time, they will feel aggrieved. Roman Abramovic are you listening?

- How will revenue be divided? We have seen so much bickering for media rights in India... multiply that 2-4 times and how much more bickering will you get at the world level? Maybe that can spawn off another league on its own :p It may be a good idea to hold the finale at a place that can use the inflow of cash to develop the game of cricket. Miami would be great!

- Finally, will it even work? With a very international, hetergenous mix of players - what gives Delhi a character different from a Sydney, London or Jamaica. If the final was between the Royals and a Sydney team and n Sydney, how would the create react to Warne?

Anyway, just some stuff to think about. Btw others are also getting distracted by the cheer leaders. Afridi is a happy man.

Make your pitch on this post...

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4 Pitched:

  1. straight point said...

    ...and how, between all these leagues, we will see players still alive and standing to play international matches for their respective countries...

  2. Q said...

    Not in 3 years, the champions league is set to roll this October in India with the final planned for Lords.

    The top 2 20-20 teams from the IPL, Australia, England, South Africa, and Pakistan will compete in the 10 team week long competition in 4-5 months.

    Obaid, u have mentioned hurdles in the cricket calendar - I reckon that tese hurdles will go away in a few years as the world accepts these 20-20 leagues as the prime form of cricket. I've said time and again that 20-20 leagues are the future with national teams playing tests only and ODIs being wiped out.

    If that happens, thats 1 hurdle gone away.

    The champions league will allow 2 teams from each country.

    I also believe that in the not too distant future, the 'rebel' status of the ICL will no longer stand and it will be allowed to run as a competitive league sanctioned by all authorities. This is the future.

    The different rules and regulations in different leagues shouldnt make a difference as long as all teams comply with the same regulations during the champions league.

    As of now the global media rights have been sold to Sony and sony has sold rights for different regions to other groups, i.e. Channel 10 in Australia, Sky in England, Prime Sports in the Middle East, etc. The same can happen with the champions league.

    The media right sales can be divided amongst the participatin boards, in this case India, Pakistan, England, SA, and Australia.

    It will definitely work.

  3. obaid said...

    yes Q, I know that there will be one league in Oct but it doesnt integrate with the stanford league. You missed my point, while there is a "champions league" in oct, it will take up to 3 years for convergence and proper global integration

    International cricket will just be limited to tests in the future I think, otherwise players will just collapse

  4. Q said...

    Obaid, I did see that u were talking abt the Stanford league, but all the questions u raised also apply to the champions league taking place this October. And that wud be the beginning of the global convergence / integration.

    And I am with u that int'l cricket will be limited to test matches with ODIs scrapped out. Thats the future my friend.

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