Each year since the inaugural tournament in 2009, the best domestic 20/20 cricket teams in the world face-off in the Champions League 20/20 competition. That is the theory, though in practice this is quite an Indian Premier League dominated tournament with four of the finalists coming from the IPL. Since 2012 England has not sent a team to the Champion's League, due to the domestic season still operating at the same time of the year. Despite a $6 million prize fund on offer, this might explain the muted interest from the vast majority of English cricket fans. 2014 sees twelve teams take part, eight of which have automatic qualification to the group stages, including three of the IPL teams. The remaining four, including debutants Lahore Lions and last years winners Mumbai Indians, play a series of round robin matches to determine the last two places in the group stage. The top two from each group then go on to compete in the semi-finals, with the final on October 4th in Bangalore. The idea for the tournament came off the back of the rapidly growing success in 20/20 cricket around the world, and in particular the IPL. The owners of Champions League 20/20 are the cricket boards of India, South Africa and Australia, with the idea being that these countries would share staging the tournament. However broadcasting rights mean India must stage at least five of the first ten that are staged, India being the predominant television market aimed at. Also the time of year that the tournament is played means conditions for staging in Australia are not particularly suitable. There is no doubt though that there will be a wealth of talent on view over these weeks in India, and one of the highlights is seeing some of the unsung players getting the chance to shine on a big stage. For example Keiron Pollard, who spearheaded Trinidad and Tobago's run in 2009, where they finished runners-up was rewarded with an IPL contract. An innings of 54 off 18 balls helped, but it shows that for individuals recognition further afield, and the potential rewards that brings, are on offer. Yet who can play for who at the tournament is still a bit clouded. Each competing team announces a squad of fifteen, all of whom must have been contracted to play for the team during the domestic season. Yet some also go on to play elsewhere in the world, so may have a couple of claims. The player is allowed to pick the team from the country he is eligible to play for internationally first, yet is still free to pick either team to play for. Potential for divided loyalties and controversy lie in wait. It is probably fair to say the cricket Champions League has yet to grab the wider worlds attention, yet it is still in its infancy. A better, fairer representation of the world's cricketing nations may be a big step forward to broadening that appeal. The 2014 Champions League Twenty20 is being held in India between the 13th September to the 4th October. You can find more details on the Official Site.
Autumn Cricket: Champions League Twenty20
Posted by 3D Sports on
September 19th, 2014
at 10:34 am