BCCI ruining the Champions League

February 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm 5 comments


The conspiracy theorists will tell you that the BCCI have something in for the ECB since their decision not to allow their players to participate in the first IPL. Now the decision to stage the second edition of the Champions League during the closing stages of the English domestic series adds to that view. This move surely rules out English teams from participating in this tournament, which supposedly features the best domestic teams from around the world. The handling of the tournament from the BCCI has been poor since its inauguration last October.

This tournament should have been the one, along with the twenty20 world cup, that puts cricket on the map. Further, this is the domestic game’s version of the football Champions League, a competition that allows brands, less known teams to become known around the world. The first issue is that the BCCI have direct control over the competition. It can’t be a good sign once a national board has almost full control on the runnings of a major tournament. The first aim of a national board is what is best for their nation, their national game. The Australian and South African cricket boards have some say, but are unlikely to go against the BCCI. Somehow, the ECB missed the opportunity to become a major voice in the Champions league and now they are feeling the full affects.

The decision to run the tournament from the 10th September to the 26th collides with the climax of the English domestic season. Clashing with the final two rounds of the County Championship and the semis and final of the 40 over competition. It also collides with three ODIs between England and Pakistan. The announcement of the dates came by Lalit Modi, via his twitter page, an action that sums up the man. He has defended the dates, saying that those are the only ones available due to the future tours programme. Curiously, last year’s tournament took place a month later; however, this date would now collide with an ODI series between India and Australia. Obviously, he doesn’t care too much about Pakistan and England. To make matters worse, the ECB have confirmed that they have not yet received an invitation to take part in this year’s competition.

A tournament without representation from England would devalue the competition. He has talked about breaking the champions league into the American market (again money orientated), yet he hasn’t yet managed to crack the British market. Could this crazy decision (from a crazy man) cause a rift in the domestic game? Would the two T20 finalists be happy to shun the Champions League to make a point or would they compete and leave a weakened team behind to compete on the domestic fronts? He has since asked the ECB to make a ‘minor’ adjustment to the domestic schedule to accommodate the Champions League participants. It will be intriguing to see if the ECB does and what the counties views are.

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