The Champions League T20 cricket tournament is in it’s third year. The best T20 sides from various nations gives you the chance to see some fine young talent in the quickest way possible. This is the main reason I have developed a liking for the tourney.
This year though, it has failed to capture the attention of the people. Some reasons where I am concerned –
Too many teams – 12 teams played in the 1st edition, 10 in the 2nd and 13 in the latest edition. With so many teams, it isn’t feasible to follow most properly. I understand one needs to be inclusive and have more teams. For that, there needs to be qualifiers like Champions League Football in home nations and not as a part of the tournament. There shouldn’t be more than 8 teams where here there were 13.
Long tournament – 3 weeks for such a tournament is stretching it. Just by having a longer tournament, which a tournament would love to show to showcase it’s muscle more than any thing given the packed international schedule today, you do not actually serve much purpose. Having a successful tournament would hold more ground in the long run.
Stars missing, unprepared – Tendulkar missing a tournament affecting how much people watch it in India is a given. Stars playing without adequate training is worse. KKR kept fumbling the ball no matter which player the ball went to which shows no one has been doing training. This is why Somerset, which had actually been playing cricket did well initially.
Empty stadiums – 4 Indian teams are playing. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out having the home team games in their cities would see much bigger crowds and create more buzz. Most revenue for tournaments like this are through TV rights and viewership but my point is viewership suffers when people see it is being played in empty stadiums. It isn’t a spectacle played in a packed house and a sense of occasion is missed.
Last, but not the least, Include Pakistani teams. Sialkot was arguably the strongest T20 side in the world and they never played in the Champions League and it is poorer for that. Even from a marketing viewpoint, having a Pakistani team would create controversy which would be good.