Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Where it all began

Since the Indian Premier League got underway I have read a number of comments made by English county chiefs and other English men who matter in their world of cricket about how it was they who invented cricket and then 20-20 cricket; that they have fallen behind in terms of progress of the 20-20 game; and that they need to do something to counter the IPL.

"I think the challenge is to respond to the IPL. We invented this game, it's our game and we should be leading." - This was what Rob Bransgrove, the Chairman of Hampshire, had to say to Paul Kelso of the Guardian. Read the full piece here.

"Considering that we invented Twenty20, they [India] should not have got there first. It is important that we act quickly." - this is what The Professional Cricketers' Association's new chief executive, Sean Morris, had to say when asked about the IPL.

These are examples of the kind of comments doing the rounds. I'm sure you all are aware of the talk of the EPL and Allen Stanford's involvement in it, so I'm not going to delve into that.

What I am going to delve into is what took place in Leicester, England in September 2005 - It was the International 20-20 Club Championship.

This was an idea that originated from Leicestershire with the backing of some Asian investors interested in cricket. The idea was to hold a 20-20 championship between the domestic 20-20 champions from around the world.

At that time (2005) only Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South Africa had followed England and embraced 20-20 cricket as a part of their domestic seasons. Hence invitations were sent out to the 20-20 champions of these countries to take part in an international league.

In September 2005, Faisalabad Wolves (Pak), Chilaw Marians (SL), and Nashua Titans (SA) made their way down to Leicestershire where they were joined by the English champions, Somerset.

It was then and there that the first seeds of a domestic 20-20 tournament involving international and domestic stars were sown. And it was by the same men who invented the game of cricket and its 20-20 form.

Since the championship was Leicestershire's idea, a team from Leicestershire was also included along with the four 20-20 champions. Plus, to make the number of sides even, a "PCA Masters All Stars" was invited to take part.

The PCA Masters squad comprised of former England internationals, Domestic English players, and a few international cricketers. The likes of Phil Defraites, Martin McCague, and Chris Schofield (all Eng) were joined by the likes of Chris Gayle (WI), Javagal Srinath (Ind), and Craig Spearman (NZ).

And it was there and then that the first seeds of a 20-20 cricket team comprising of cricketers from different countries were sown. And it was by the same men who invented the game of cricket and its 20-20 form.

The Indians took the ideas from the English, put in a few millions into it, added some glits and glamour, and brought the ICLs and the IPLs to the world of cricket.

The English have nothing to complain about - they created the monster and they should have known that the slightest indication of success of such a format would result in the Indians embracing it in a big way. After all that is where the money in cricket is.

Thats all folks.

Links worth a look at:

The first news item announcing the International 20-20 Club Championship.
An article on implications of such a tournament.
The PCA Masters All Star Squad.
The final scorecard: Faisalabad Wolves win the first International 20-20 Club Championship.

For a look into all the news coverage, the squads, the points table, and the scorecards of the International 20-20 Club Championship, go here.

And that is where it all began.

Make your pitch on this post...

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4 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Great post Q. I seem to vaguely remember some kind of city-based international tournament in Bristol from a few years ago. Do you remember it? Colombo won, I think.

  2. Q said...

    Thanks dcsiva. Welcome here.

    I'm not sure which tournament you're talking about. The one I mention in my post is the only one I remember. Do u have any more details on the one in Bristol?

  3. Anonymous said...

    Thanks Q.

    I looked online but couldn't find it. I remember "Bristol" played/organised it. Colombo won (they were close to a full international team). There was a team from South Africa, I think, and some others.

    It may have been a six a side tournament, which of course was the other way to compress the game into evening-TV friendly morsels back in the dark days before Twenty20.

    Perhaps Stanford will suggest a six-Ten10 tournament sometime?

  4. Q said...

    Well the Honk Kong Sixes have been there for a long time now. I think the first one of those was held in 1994. Its an annual event with about 10 teams.

    The max 8 or what was it called was played a few times in New Zealand.

    So you never know. 20 years down the line we could be seeing the Super Tens10 Champions League :-)

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