Sunday, June 8, 2008

Too Much, Too Soon?

The Twenty20 Champions League has been given the green light. Surely a step in the right direction, but my fear is that ICC and cricket boards are falling into the trap of over-exploiting the success of T20 and IPL way too soon.

First, late September / early October is not really an ideal time in England. It's hard enough to ensure no rain delays in the summer months. The worst thing for the T20 bubble is a bunch of poorly attended, washed-out, and 7 or 8-over games to decide a champion.

Second, there are going to be several conflicts. You have players who have played IPL, as well as another domestic league. So, what to do about the conflicts? Modi says that IPL will get priority, but this is bound to create issues. And this will be an even greater problem going forward, as more domestic T20 championships spring up.

Third, the "traitorous" ICL players come into play. Several of them have played for non-IPL domestic teams. Modi also has a simple solution for this - any team fielding an ICL player will be barred. Again, something that won't go down too well with some non-IPL teams.

Finally, I could be wrong here, but I don't see much loyalty to the teams. I think those who attend will attend just for some great cricket, or to support specific players, and not to support a specific team. Nothing wrong with that at all, as these are just the beginnings of this new environment, so we are all getting used to it. But wouldn't it be better if the current top 4 national teams met for a T20 or ODI tournament, with a huge cash prize?

It would be better for the ICC and cricket boards to take a pause for now. T20 has gone great so far, so why not revel in the success, and make gradual plans. Don't push the limits though, $5 million prize offer notwithstanding.

I really hope the champions league is a success. Perhaps the player conflicts can be resolved more-or-less amicably, and the weather holds up. But if it isn't, maybe it's the best advertisement for the ODI Champions Trophy in Pakistan that will immediately follow it. Provided, of course, that external factors don't ruin the hosting of the Champions Trophy.

Make your pitch on this post...

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7 Pitched:

  1. Homer said...

    There is also the "relieving fees" - imagine a franchise like CSK having to shell out a bomb for buying the team, then shelling out a fortune for player pay and then having to pay Western Australia another ton of money for Hussey - all because the IPL wants CSK to represent it in the League.

    I wont be too surprised if CSK turns around and tells the IPL to pay the relieving fees as the League is of no tangible benefit to the CSK outfit :)

  2. Q said...

    I tend to agree.

    I think it will be better for the BCCI as well as cricket in general if time is taken to put concrete plans in place before launching a champions league.

    The tournament being talked about right now involves IPL, Australia, South Africa, and England.

    My natural questions is what about Pakistan? Karachi Zebras led by Afridi and Silakot Stallions led by Imran Nazir are 2 of the best 20-20 sides that one would see.

    They can match the likes of CSK and Victoria.

    Why r they not included in the scheme of things?

    What about those talented West Indians that turned out in the Stanford 20-20?

    And the Lankans?

    Surely u can't turn around and say the best 4 20-20 nations will be taking part cos then what is England doing there?

    Are these other nations being ignored so that a champions league can fit into a 10-day period?

    This along with your arguements Sledge, I believe there are way too many issues to be sorted out before a champions league can be what it should be.

    No need to rush it should be the order of the day.

    Ideally I would also like the top 2 teams from the ICL to take part.

  3. Homer said...


    I dont know how much of the Champs League is pushed by the BCCI - I dont think they will be too enthusiastic given that they have to share revenues with 3 other boards that basically do nothing other than provide the players..


  4. Anonymous said...

    The League is to be played either in India or in the Middle East.

    So the English climate doesn't matter.

  5. Q said...

    Hmm.. thas an interesting one Homer but I do believe that Mr. Modi is the man behind the Champs League as well.

    Plus if its played in India as mentioned by Ott, BCCI and their associations / franchises etc will make more money.

  6. straight point said...

    this is what happence when you suddenly find hen which lay golden eggs...

  7. SledgeHammer said...

    @Ottayan: Thanks for the clarification re: location of tournament. I think the original plan was for it to be held in England, but I guess there are some intelligent people in the ICC!

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