WHY DID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE T20 GOT CANCELLED?

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Champions League t20, was an international tournament with the concept to compete the top domestic teams of the world for a single trophy. The tournament was launched in 2008, and the first edition was played in 2009. The aim was to conduct a tournament on the concept of football’s UEFA Champions League and gain high viewership from all over the world. 

The tournament was founded with unified discussions between BCCI, CSA, and CA. The prize money pool was kept $6 million, more than any cricket club competition in the history of the sport. India and South Africa hosted the games. India’s Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings were the most successful teams with 2 2 titles each. Australia’s New South Wales and Sydney Sixers claimed a title each in 2009 and 2012. 

Champions trophy results

Despite such a tempting concept and high expectations, the tournament lasted only 7 seasons. The penultimate season was played in 2014 in India. Why was Champions League t20 cancelled? There are several reasons according to experts. We have jotted down some pivotal ones in this article.

FAN FOLLOWING

Champions League t20 aimed to get a fan following from all over the world, guess it didn’t just work out for them. Let’s compare this tournament with UEFA Champions League. CLt20 had all its games of a particular season in a single country, either India or South Africa. Now the fans of that particular country were not interested in a match between teams other than their home, for example, a match between Australian and Srilankan clubs. So the fans turn to the stadium for live cricket was a lot lesser than what you would imagine for such a high-intensity tournament. On the other hand, UCL is not staged in a single country, but every single gets to play in their home ground. 

Apart from on-ground attendance, the viewership on television wasn’t encouraging. A lot of players featuring in the competition were unknowns and new to the world of cricket. Very few countries at the time had proper franchise cricket tournaments. The difference of skill and experience between the players was very high, making several games very less competitive. Fans mostly were only interested in IPL teams, so more and more IPL teams were inducted into the tournament, doing injustice to other countries. The tournament was becoming more of a mini IPL. The tournament clashed with the English county season, so the clubs were on and off in the tournament, while Pakistani teams were not allowed till 2012. Bangladesh had no representation as well. All in all, the CLt20 failed to attract the fan following it would have anticipated.

UNAVAILABILITY OF PLAYERS

Cricket cannot be compared to football’s size and following. There are fewer teams and less renowned players. Therefore, there are a lot of players who feature for different franchises in different premier leagues. Now when the teams from different leagues combined in CLt20, some players had to choose one of several teams they were part of. Also, the tournament sometimes collided with international schedules, so players were not released due to international commitments. The unavailability of players dented the team’s combination, and they had to unearth a new combination. 

The tournament was based on a single round-robin format with groups of 4, so every team had only three games. The teams were not able to gel in this short time. Therefore the concept got messed up, and franchises started losing interest in the tournament. On the other hand, in football, players are a part of just one club. That is why UCL has been successful for so many years.

SPONSORS

Due to less attendance, television ratings and viewership, CLt20 failed to attract consistent sponsors. In 2011, Bharti Airtel ended its 5-year deal as the title sponsor after featuring for 2 years. Karbonn Mobiles replaced them, followed by Nokia. Oppo was the title sponsor in the last season in 2014. The winning prize concept of $6 million didn’t work out with the sponsors. It was more than that of IPL, which is a 2-month long tournament, while CLt20 didn’t last more than 20-25 days. In addition to this, lack of ratings and attendance was returning nothing but loss. It was learned that cricket fans in India and South Africa were not interested in teams other than their home teams, so the concept miserably failed.

CONCLUSION

For a tournament of this intensity to succeed, there is a need to limit players to one club only. Moreover, the matches to be played all the country. In addition to this, every country needs to have proper franchise cricket. As the situation stands at the moment, such a tournament would take at least 7-10 years, if something’s being planned.

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