Champions League T20 To be brought back! The talks of BCCI, CA and ECB

Do you remember the CLT20—Champions League Twenty20 cricket? Indeed, it was an international 20-over franchise league tournament that was jointly established by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), CA (Cricket Australia) and CSA  (Cricket South Africa).

The last edition of the CLT20 took place in 2014, where MS Dhoni’s led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) claimed the title by defeating the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the finals.

It would be interesting to find out why the BCCI, CA and ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) are engaged in the active conversation to overcome the challenges and bring back the club-based T20 contest after a decade. Also, figuring out the main reasons for discontinuing CLT20 from the cricket calendar forms the main focus of this discussion. 

Why CLT20 should make a comeback: Nick Cummins gives a valid reason!

Nick Cummins– The CEO of Cricket Victoria highlighted that the concept was much advanced during its times and didn’t succeed in becoming popular. Furthermore, he stated that the T20 cricket was not mature at that time.

Mainly, Nicholas Cummins expressed his interest in watching the Indian cricketers in the Big Bash League (BBL). He explained that the CA is working along with the BCCI to find a perfect point of entry.

However, Nick hints that the initial priority would be on women’s cricket by inviting participants from various leagues such as the Women’s Premier League (WPL), The Hundred and the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). Additionally, he shared about his routine discussions with Nick Hockley—the CEO of CA, and voiced a willingness from the Australian Cricket Board’s point of view to relaunch the Champions League.

During a partnership announcement between Melbourne Cricket Academy and KheloMore, Nick said that he was aware of the active discussions between the BCCI, CA and ECB to revive the CLT20.

About Champions League T20 (CLT20)

The Champions League T20 (CLT20) was launched in 2008, but it was cancelled due to the terror attacks in Mumbai. Consequently, the first edition was held in October 2009 by inviting top domestic qualifying teams from their franchise T20 Leagues of 8 different test-playing nations.

Out of the 6 editions, the 5-time defending champions of the Indian Premier League namely Chennai Super Kings (in 2010 and 2014) and Mumbai Indians (2011 and 2013) jointly hold the record of winning the CLT20 trophy two times.

Reasons why CLT20 was discontinued?

The main reason why CLT20 was discontinued after 2014 was due to inconsistent sponsorships, lack of viewership and audience interest, unlike the other football leagues. Another reason why the tournament was not given higher priority was due to logistical limitations.

Also, in 2015, the Indian Supreme Court’s judgement to suspend two IPL teams namely Chennai Super Kings (CSK)  and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for involving in the spot-fixing scam, further validated the reason for the closure of the CLT20.

Challenges for Champions League T20 to make a comeback

Before restoring the Champions League T20, there are certain challenges that BCCI, CA and ECB must consider which include:

1. Player’s Availability:

There are huge chances that the Champions League T20 might clash with other leagues, which poses challenges for the availability of top T20 players.

Earlier, a player was allowed to play for their home team even after being a part of one or more qualified teams in the domestic franchise league. This is because the players are fully eligible to represent their country in international contests without any issues. Conversely, if a player decides to play for any other team in such circumstances, the particular team must pay a compensation fee of $1,50,000 or more to the home team.

For instance, in the 2010 edition, the controversy reached its peak level when a certain IPL team compelled three international players to play for their side by contractually using the rules of the IPL. It stated that the IPL franchises have the authority to decide if the players want to represent them or another qualifying team from their nation.

Later in 2013, the CLT20 rules were changed to grant players the freedom to choose their team. However, players deciding to play for another team were required to sacrifice 20% of their IPL salary.

2. Decreased Engagement due to unfamiliar teams:

Since many cricket fans wouldn’t be familiar with the teams from various cricketing nations, the engagement rate could drop drastically. Also, the CLT20 would invite unfamiliar teams from the non-home country of the fans.

3. Lack of interest compared to other leagues:

In the past decade, several leagues such as the IPL, BBL, CPL, PSL and BPL have captivated the audience interest and the comeback of CLT20 at the end of the season could affect the viewership rate.

Conclusion

As the discussions on reactivating the CLT20 continue, the exact date of the tournament remains unknown. Possibly, the cricket boards from different nations will come together to take a major step in transforming the T20 format or modifying the schedule so that it maintains viewership and interest similar to IPL and other competitive franchise leagues. Overall, fans are excited to know how BCCI, CA and ECB plan for the CLT20 amidst the busy schedule in 2024, which includes the upcoming T20 World Cup in June

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *