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Friday, September 23, 2011

Champions League T20 starts today - Who will wear down whom first ?

Whose fatigue will be more – that of the Cricketers or that of the viewers ?

The first T20 match of this tournament  would be between Royal Challengers Bangalore-Chevrolet Warriors on Sep 23, 2011 at 20:00 local time to be played at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.  17 days from date – another 23 matches of T20 – starring 10 teams with scores of International players – that is Champions League T20 for you, which begins today.  For these 23 matches there was a precursor – 6 teams (Kolkata Knight Riders (IPL), Trinidad and Tobago (West Indies), Auckland Aces (New Zealand), Ruhunu Eleven (Sri Lanka), Somerset (England) and Leicestershire (England) – vied for the 3 spots.  Somerset, Trinidad & Tobago and Kolkata Knight Riders qualified and now the table in two group reads :
                 Group A                                                       Group B
Chennai Super Kings (India)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (India)
Cape Cobras (South Africa)
Warriors (South Africa)
NSW Blues (Australia)
South Australian Redbacks (Australia)
Mumbai Indians (India)
Koklatta Knight Riders
Trinidad & Tobago
Somerset



Who wins is not much of substance – in the garb of providing entertainment and with the ultimate aim of making the coffers richer.  The  authorities sure would bend any rule and the start was made with the relaxation of 4 foreign player rule to Mumbai Indians.  In IPL (as also for CL) no team could have 4 foreign players in the playing XI.  MI are beleaguered by injuries and perhaps it was thought that they would find it tougher to select 7 fit Indian players and hence the relaxation…

For the not so well informed, Champions League T20 2011 is an international tournament organized and  hosted by India. The Champions League Twenty20 2011 tournament is a part of Future Tour Programs prepared by International Cricket Council (ICC).  This tournament incepted in 2008 and presently sponsored  by Nokia.  The entire tournament is under the joint administration of the cricketing boards of India (BCCI), Australia (CA) and South Africa (CSA)

The cricket World Cup itself was long drawn and demanding and then came the IPL.  The Indians did not live up to the expectations in the tour of West Indies and failed miserably thereafter at England.  Now they have this CL T20.  In IPL 4 itself, fans got confused with transfers – Dravid playing for Rajasthan Royals instead of the earlier RCB etc., - now some teams are not known and more unknown players – not necessarily meaning any lower performances from them.    Even after elimination of teams from Srilanka and New Zealand, the competition figures India, WI, Australia, England and South Africa. 

It remains to be seen whether the golden geese is being cooked.  The high paying Indian viewer – will he ever cry of fatigue and stop patronizing so heavily !!  - and would they still have enthusiasm to watch some unrecognizable faces fighting it out..   already there are doubts in the minds of spectators and cricket fans, that there would be more such windows..  IPL was boom when players earned in millions, failed to justify their auction prices and further more crashed down when it boiled to playing for the Nation.

The promoters would say that the teams and players are taking the tournament extremely seriously as there is bountiful and even the appearance money is a massive  $200,000  which even a team like Leicestershire who played for 2 days would get.    The Organisers is putting high money in expectation of more money and there have been dazzling advertisements with Shah Rukh Khan spearheading the TV campaign. 

If it was any indicator, the qualifiers drew poor response and there were not much of crowds – perhaps a failure would augur to the Cricket in long run.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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