Champions League T20 2010 has lured millions of cricket fans across various nations with top clubs showcasing their talents in South Africa.
Considered to be a mini world cup for club level T20 by the promoters, the CLT20 has been a tough tussle so far between the participating clubs. The Mumbai Indians who were considered to be one of the favorites to lift the tournament with some elite players in their ranks are already out of the league.
A recent ESPN STAR press release stated that the Champions league TV ratings have seen a sharp 44% increase according to TAM ratings. The first three matches, for which data is available, have generated an average rating of 2.6 TVR* this year as compared to 1.8 TVR* last year. The inaugural match between Mumbai Indians and Highveld Lions garnered a peak rating of 4.93 TVR*. Overall, the match returned an impressive 3.92 TVR* as compared to 2.7 TVR* which the first match of 2009 edition generated.
However, inspite of all its crowd pulling abilities, there are many critics who feel Champions League cricket has just been about the franchises, the money involved in the game. Fans accross the world are attracted towards the tournament mainly because of some big cricketers who feature in the tournament. They are willing to see how well they perform against other top players in the league.
But what we fail to see is that some of the players have been criticized for leaving their home clubs and participating for other clubs offering big money.
Players like Australian Cameron White have been criticized by Cricket followers as White was a major inspiration for the Victorian Bushrangers in the Australian Domestic league leading his side to victory. But he chose Royal Challengers Bangalore over his homeside in the CLT20. Jacques Kallis is another player who discarded his home side Warriors over Royal Challengers Bangalore. Similarily Ross Taylor chose to play for Royal Challengers instead of Central Stags.
The league is run by the cricket boards of India, Australia, South Africa, and England and is considered official but it does not come under the ICC.
And another major argument put up by the critics is that the tournament does not have Pakistan clubs or English clubs. It is believed that Pakistan does not have the economy to sustain a full-fledged franchise concept. Both England and Pakistan have won the T20 world cup and they do not feature in a tournament considered to be a mini world cup by its' promoters. Whereas we have three indian clubs in the league.
The ECB denied to send english clubs as the tournament was clashing against their domestic season.
To be fair to some players, yes the Champions League T20 has given them the opportunity to showcase their talents and enter the international arena. Most youngsters come into the tournament to impress the franchise owners from the IPL. They see this tournament as an opportunity to leave a impression on various franchise owners in the IPL which has been accepted by various fans in India and across the globe.
So can we really consider this to be a champions league cricket T20 with no clubs from Pakistan, England, Bangladesh or a champions league between the franchises. The Franchise with the power and money getting most of the champion cricketers and ruling the league.