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Questions need answering over Champions League

Jonathan Agnew | 18:19 UK time, Saturday, 7 June 2008

With England apparently well on course for victory at Trent Bridge, the most interesting development was the announcement of the Twenty20 Champions League.

This, you will recall, appeared to be merely a pipe dream when its concept was first announced, as well as a handy tool for the Indian Board to apply pressure on the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Basically, the two finalists from the domestic Twenty20 competitions in England, Australia, South Africa and India will all meet for a 10-day tournament in the autumn with the winner picking up $5m.

That's the straightforward bit - but there are many questions that need answering.

First and foremost, what has happened to the threat to English counties from the BCCI that if they field anyone that has played in the "rebel" ICL, they are ineligible to play in this Champions League?

Every county with the exception of Essex, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Somerset and Worcestershire appears to be affected, although there is just the chance that Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, has told the BCCI exactly what to do with its threat to interfere with our game.

What about England's one-day cricketers who are unavailable for almost all of the domestic Twenty20 which starts on Wednesday? They will probably be free for the Champions League and I suspect will be keen to get their hands on the prize money.

Will Peter Moores release them and, if so, what effect will that have on team spirit within their county team?

Who would Dimi Mascarenhas play for should Hampshire qualify? He also plays for the Rajasthan Royals, who have already done so by virtue of their success in the Indian Premier League. The same question of loyalty will surely affect a number of Australian players, too.

And where are the other countries like West Indies, New Zealand and Pakistan? They all have flourishing Twenty20 domestic competitions. Are we witnessing a split between the haves and have nots?

Food for thought.

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke will be a guest on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme, which begins at 0900 BST on Sunday.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Food indeed.

    On the ICL issue, I suspect that money will talk ultimately.

    Imagine if Hampshire qualify (yes; unlikely I know!) and Pothas plays for them. Do you really think the BCCI are going to then say 'no - Hampshire you're can't play, so Kevin Pietersen can sit this one out.

    I don't think so.

  • Comment number 2.

    With so much money at stake, the 20/20 tournament in England will be very competitive.

  • Comment number 3.

    Aggers - I don't think there will be a conflict for the England One day team - won't they all be in the West Indies playing the Stanford $10m challlenge then (or has that been forgotten now)

    What I worry about is with all this money in the game now, who will be left to paint the pavillion in the Winter close season? Maybe that is what the isolated Kiwis and Pakistan etc cricketers can do....

  • Comment number 4.

    The T20 champions league is a great idea, that I thought must have been consigned to the bin, given that it hasn't been mentioned for ages.
    It's an opportunity for domestic teams to get some good experience playing in different conditions, whilst making a bit of money on the side and ought to add some extra spice to this years competition.
    Personally, I would like to see a 4 day champions league featuring the champions in those 4 countries. It might give us some insight in to how well our domestic set up compares to the big 3 test-playing nations, albeit in sub-continent conditions

  • Comment number 5.

    Just a quick question about this T20 Champions League.

    Why isn't Pakistan's top team invited to play? According to the T20 Internation Ranking table, Pakistan currently top the rankings. (http://www.thetwenty20cup.co.uk/db/int/rankings/default.asp).

    What could be the reason behind omiting Pakistan's domestic team?

  • Comment number 6.

    If I may just paraphrase your Corinthians I quote from yesterday, Aggers...which I'm sure the Queen would have enjoyed had she been there... ;o) ...

    And now abideth money, advertising, greed, these three; but the greatest of these is greed.

    The more dollar signs the Higher Ups see flashing before their eyes, the more blinded they get by it all.

  • Comment number 7.

    What type of contracts did those signing for the IPL make? Because that could strip the Indian teams of some of there best players. If its just for the time of the IPL then the IPL teams would have no call over them.

    But then again is there going to be anything to stop either of those teams, or for that matter any other team in the competiton just signing up players just for the 15 days of the competition.

  • Comment number 8.

    Any other Kent fans think we may have missed our best chance at qualifying for this world championship?

  • Comment number 9.

    A true champions league would include teams from all the major test playing nations. Where are the sides from Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies or Sri Lanka.

  • Comment number 10.

    As some have already mentioned, money talks. The reason the Pakistan team haven't been invited, I presume, is because they haven't been as keen in talks to expand the club game globally, and their board won't co-operate.

    Where would this money go? For example, if, on the unlikely chance, an English team won the Champions League, would that team get all of the prize money? How would that affect competition in the domestic game? Surely if a British team won, donating a portion of that cash back to the ECB would benefit the domestic game as a whole - ensuring tough competition, as opposed to what's happened in football, where only a few sides can really compete for their nation's biggest prize.

  • Comment number 11.

    There is apparently a verbal agreement that if a player is qualified for two sides his domestic team will get preference.

    Listening to county commentary this afternoon, the commentators were positively salivating about the prospect of their own side getting through and potentially winning. The Twenty20 winner in England last season won 42000GBP. The inaugural Champions League is offering a prize not far short of 100 times as big. Any English county would solve its financial problems for years with that money.

    Why no sides from Pakistan or New Zealand? The four boards involved are are the countries where cricket is a big money-spinner, there is very little money in cricket in New Zealand and, if truth be told, Pakistan or the West Indies (apart from the Stanford competition, which would be inconvenient for this League). By a "strange" coincidence, the four also happen to be the top four in the ICC Test rankings.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think it is a shame that the champions league of Twenty20 wont be just the champions. I think a better title would be world Twenty20 Club Cup and also teams from West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand should also be included. I think that you shoul;d only be considered for selection by your county if you have played in that seasons competition.

  • Comment number 13.

    So, the countries which do not have a league should go and form one (if its profitable for them and have enough fan following), else they lose out. Simple as that.

    Bring on the Cricket Champions League!!

  • Comment number 14.

    Looks like cricket is about to split. How can the ICC allow a tournament without teams from Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand represented. I dont know if Sri Lanka have a 20-20 tournament set up, but if they do they deserve to be represented.

    Maybe we should just have cricket played by those countries who generate the most money.

  • Comment number 15.

    If Rajastan and Chennai are denied the use of their top players(mostly aussies and south africans like morkel )then what is to stop them from drafting other players from the other IPL teams just for these 15 days?.They certainly have the resources(money) to afford them unlike the counties and teams from SA and australia.

  • Comment number 16.

    I believe Hampshire only allowed Dimi mascheranas to play in the IPL if they had assurances that if a CL was set up and they made it, they would have him play for them.

  • Comment number 17.

    Majid57, isn't that what has been happening recently anyway? Each Test-playing team is meant to play 12 Tests and 30 ODIs per year under the future tours programme. How many Tests have New Zealand or Bangladesh played in the last 12 months? Or, for that matter, Sri Lanka...

    Let's face it, this is the brave new world that the Indian Cricket Board have been working for. The more money your side's television rights are worth, the more big games you will play.

  • Comment number 18.

    CS, yes your are right. Those countries you have mentioned do play less test matches, but that can also be said about India. India play less test matches aswell because the board in India prefers more one day matches, due to more people turning up.

    However none of these have been excluded from playing test matches and its about fitting test matches in already busy schedule. If a Champions league is going to be set up why not leat teams from those countries represent.? If they are excluded then a argument could be made to exclude them from world cups.

  • Comment number 19.

    This is the 1st year of the champion league.I am sure others countries will be allowed to field 2 teams in the years to come.You can barely fit 8 teams in the 15 day tournament.

  • Comment number 20.

    reddyuta, I hope so.

  • Comment number 21.

    Mascheranas will most probably play for hampshire, as he only played in one game. i don't think rajasthan will change a winning team just for him. Besides there are so many good indian youngsters in the team that they may not even need him.

  • Comment number 22.

    "It was also agreed between the boards that foreign players will turn out for their local teams in the tournament. That undertaking was sought by the England and Australia boards at a meeting in Singapore."

    "It is possible that the Indian board will be generous towards ICL players after the success of IPL"

    Source - CricInfo

  • Comment number 23.

    Just because the BBC can't be bothered to state all the facts does not mean they have not been discussed.

    On any other decent Cricket website, these questions have been clearly answered.

  • Comment number 24.

    To Majid57.

    On what theory have u based the conclusion that India play less Test matches than other top nations?

    We have already played 6 this year. And there are atleast 7 more coming up and with England playing, that will be 9.

    So that is 15 Tests, more than the required 12 and more than any other team. So get your facts straight.

  • Comment number 25.

    You have to start somwhere in life and well done to BCCI for introducing IPL. now that players have already signed contracts to play for their IPL teams and have been rewarded financially it is simple - if their respective country clubs want them to play for their teams than just like in football or for that matter in most other sports - pay a transfer fee and buy the players contract.

    And now here we go - what price tag for Sachin to leave Mumbai Indians and play for say an English team so that he can play in the champions league sooner rather than later if not at all

  • Comment number 26.

    Food for thought indeed. It makes you wonder whether Cricket is heading for the football state of which is bigger, Club or Country? However, I am delighted by this news. I very rarely get to see my county, Kent, on the tele, and due to their success last year, I am reasonably optimistic that we will be there, and it will be exciting to see Kent stick it to those money hungary IPL teams!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    The champions league is a no-starter as the markets for 20/20 cricket in countries like England, australia, South Africa and West Indies are already diluted by the presence of other sports.

    20/20 will work in India, an mabye in England but that is about it. australia has a very small market and it makes no sense in making 20/20 a part of their sporting calendar. Come on guys, does anyone really want to see a 'new south waleship' or 'victoria' playing 20/20. Besides, australia is not where the money is so I don't think Mr.Modi should be too interested in trying to make them a part of the new champions league format.

    England's number 1 sport is footbal, australia's is tennis, and South Africa's is rugby so there is no way that a 20/20 champions league will work in those countries. Since India does not have any other sport, 20/20 will be dominant for some time to come. Try to wait at least 20 yrs to develop a champions league for 20/20.


  • Comment number 28.

    Its kinda unfair, you know! SL embraced T20 as early as 2004 (4 years b4 India, mind you), and we had the records for the largest margin of victory, the highest score in all T20. We even a guy from a club over here who had the best bowling figures ever in T20 (6/15) before Sohail Tanvir broke it.

    So it doesn't feel very nice to not see our local teams playing in the Champions League, considering the fact that we embraced the format about the same time as Australia and South Africa did! :(

  • Comment number 29.

    Rahul Dravid Fan I think you should get your facts straight.

    Lalit Modi, the chairman of IPL, today said "it had been clearly resolved earlier that the IPL franchises would get priority over cricketers in their team. But the franchises will have to pay a "relieving fee" to the player's state team if both have qualified for the event. In the case of Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings has the option to keep him and pay a relieving fee to Western Australia. The option is with Super Kings."

    He has also reiterated that "any ICL player playing for any team automatically disqualifies that team from participating in the Champions League. No exceptions will be made under any circumstances."

    http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/ipl/content/story/354020.html

    Giles Clarke gave a pathetic response of 'we can't tell counties what to do' this from the ECB who decided not to allow the terribly out-of-form Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell to play for their counties.

    So when the ECB want to select your team they will but when there's a tough decision to be made you're on your own.

  • Comment number 30.

    I read that article this morning, and think it's ridiculous that the IPL franchises get priority over the "overseas" players. Otherwise the champions league has the potential to be a farce with all the strongest T20 players playing in their IPL teams, leaving the local teams who have encouraged the development of these players long-term with a second string team.

  • Comment number 31.

    Nobody still knows why NZ ,WI, SL AND BANG are not participating in the Champion League. Perhaps Mr.Modi can shed light on this matter.

    Haves and have nots are facts of life. But what IPL and the Champion league have done is that they have given every domestic cricket player in the participating countries equal oportunity to perform in the world stage and earn some serious money as opposed to the usual rich getting richer senario.

    I think the Champion League should be televised by either BBC or channel 4 or any other free to air channels in the UK instead of sky or setanta so that maximun number of viewers can enjoy this exiting new developement in world cricket

  • Comment number 32.

    The IPL seem to be claiming that they have the rights to any player who played in the IPL, rather than their home club. That I don't like.

    As for TV, money talks. They'll sell it to Sky, as they have a bottomless pit of money, rather than go for higher ratings.

  • Comment number 33.

    too much T20 I say... I prefer my ODIs and Tests...

  • Comment number 34.

    I have always felt that The Champions League, The IPL and its bastard cousin the ICL are, despite the entertaining cricket they bring, essentially cash cows aimed at filling the pockets of a small group of individuals off the entertainment value of a few recognisable and perhaps talented cricketing celebrities. Hence the appearance of such oversights as the same stars being eligible for the Champions league for several different teams and a tendency toward exclusion rather than inclusion. that not a single player from Non-test nation was considered for the IPL and half of the test world has no team representation in the Champions league is simply appalling.

  • Comment number 35.

    stringfellowhawke is right about the tv coverage. Terrestrial TV cannot match the amount of money that setanta and especially sky would pay to show the champions league. This is how the 5 million dollar winners prize money can be achieved along with other sponsors.

    Gunner4life, T20 is all about money but the highest level of cricket will always be Test Matches.

    Remember how all those cricketers who were complaining about how hectic the year is with lots of cricket. I am sure they wont complain about playing in the champions league.

  • Comment number 36.

    Rahul Dravid Fan, it is well known to those who observe cricket that the Indian Board would prefer to play more ODI and now T20. The English Board when trying to organise a timetable for the Indian series were told they wanted to play more ODI. How many teams do England play 7 ODI's in a series apart from India?

  • Comment number 37.

    guys,remember this is a 10 day tournament.they can barely get 8 teams in it.I am sure teams from other countries will be allowed to play in it in the years to come.
    I also hope ICL players are allowed to play.

  • Comment number 38.

    So rich investors are again trying to make a killing turning a sport into a circus,

    How absurd this competition seems, 20/20 just doesnt seem to have captured that much interest of spectators here in britain,
    whos putting up the 5mil? Will they care about the effects on the sport if this fails? Will anyone care who wins these games or even bother to watch them? An "indian team" with 5 indians, 3 australians, 2 sth africans and a kiwi vs an "english team" with the same 1 or 2 australians and south africans (i suppose if that happens an "auction" and more propaganda boredom occurs...!)

    Its true the recipe works in football where eventually through years of adding a few extra international players "english teams" r all other internationals anyway, but thats been gradual, this is a sudden change, and with the added fiasco of dually contracted players across the world.

    Questions i'd ask:

    - Is this just Shane Warnes ego attempting to captain both his (non-australian) teams into the final against each other? Then maybe sell his services to the highest bidder for the decider?
    - Isnt it possible a player could play in 3 teams? (Oz, India and UK?)
    - Who decides where this tournament is played?
    - Will we even know what country the teams are initiated from anyway - royals vs tigers, cats vs sharks, dogs vs armpits...all with 4 australians, 4 indians, and a mix of the other countries, snore,- who cares....and inevitably as players priorities change and suddenly theyre all millionaires the quality of the international game will suffer too. sadly i think NZ v Eng at Lords in 3 weeks will be the last cricket game i go see live...

    Dont bother asking:

    - Why not NZ, Pakistan, Sri Lanka....money, money and err Money...and those countries teams would be depleted by players joining other leagues as soon as they get a name anyway, so their teams would be a B team for the finals if they won their domestic comp.






  • Comment number 39.

    This sounds like a great idea, but I would make a few changes:

    1. Cap the number of foreign players in each team. The IPL is about showcasing the worlds best players in mixed teams, where as this should be about the worlds best domestic teams playing each other.

    2.Teams from New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Pakistan. If this is a global competition, teams from all the world class cricketing nations should compete, not just four.

    3.Change the prize fund. This is because there is because there is a huge jump from the domestic Twenty20 prize fund to the proposed prize fund for the Twenty20 champions league. This will only result in the england players who don't compete in the domestic Twenty20, having dollar signs flash in their eyes, then suddenly having a change of heart that playing for their county is suddenly "more important". This brings me on to my next point.

    4.For players to compete in the competition, they should have to feature in a certain number of domestic games, excluding unforseen circumstances such as injury. After all, this competition is for the teams who play well in the domestic competition and get through to the finals, not the international players who replace the other players who got the team into the competition in the firstplace.

  • Comment number 40.

    Aggers

    After Jeremy Coney’s gross faux pas on Test Match Special at Lord’s (he referred to Ross Taylor as “Not a New Zealander” and said that Taylor was “from a Pacific Island, but I don’t know which one” we had more of the same from him on TMS from Trent Bridge.

    The discussion was about referrals by the on pitch umpires to the third umpire and whether this should be extended to non line decisions. Coney said that this could be a problem if an umpire on the pitch “doesn’t speak English and the third umpire doesn’t understand him.” Let’s analyse this bizarre and gratuitous remark. The only international umpires for whom English is not necessarily their mother tongue are those from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – Asians in other words. Is Coney seriously suggesting that they would have been appointed despite and inability to communicate effectively in English – the language of cricket? If he is suggesting this it is once again an ignorant and offensive remark from this Kiwi who seems to have some singular views about race and nationality.

  • Comment number 41.

    20/20 just doesnt seem to have captured that much interest of spectators here in britain

    ---------------

    OK that immediately disqualifies any other views you might have.

    20/20 games garner far bigger crowds than county or one day league matches in nearly every ground around the country. It hasnt been as big as it is in india because of the lack of desire rom the ECC to make it so.

    Had we launched 8 franchises, had a bidding war, employed cheerleaders and so on it would have been just as popular here.

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm with messrs Vaughan and Vettori, this is a concept that, if successful, will detract from Test cricket far more than most would expect. In fact, I would go further. This will change international cricket as a whole.

    Look at football, where the Champions League is the ultimate tournament in Europe, and ask the fans what they would prefer: a. their club winning the Champions League or b. England winning a major trophy. You all know the answer.

    It won't take long before players and fans choose club over country for one simple, and very sad, reason. Money.

    I loved football as a child, and now despise it. I love the game, but any game in which supposed role models for the next generation can swear at the referee without recrimination should have no place in society.

    Will the next generation, or the one after, be told stories by their grandparents about how cricket used to be played over 5 whole days?

    hackerjack (post 41) - think back to the hoards of people desperate to get into the grounds for the 2005 Ashes. If test cricket was promoted sufficiently and money injected into it, people would attend. 20/20 is just a sad reflection of the vacuous and superficial society in which we live and the direction in which it is heading. Big Brother remains enormously popular television. Need I say more?

  • Comment number 43.

    In all of this chaos about various lucrative 20/20 competitions, my question where is the ICC. I think this whole saga is making a mockery of cricket. here we have a new form of the game, very lucrative and easy on the eye. it contains all the ingredients to take cricket mainstream, but with the invention of 20/20 we have taken 1 step forward and two back. I believe the ICC should adopt the idea of a 20/20 league and it should be them who organise it, and fit it in with the rest of the cricket played all round the year. I also think to resolve this issue, we should steal a few football ideas. 1) each cricketing country should have a domestic league. In which Four day, One day and 20/20 cricket is played.
    2)Like in football the best 2-4 teams in these country's qualify for the 20/20 champions league. Crickets equivelant to the cahmpions league.
    3)Players should be allowed to choose who they play for depending on whetehr a club wants or can afford them. However, a player can only move from club if he is out of contract, or due to exceptional circumstances.
    4)There should be some sort of transfer market, where players are bought and sold. However unlike football, there should be a salary cap on how much players r being paid and a cap on how much clubs can buy players for. which is only fair, as only big clubs in India and clubs in England would be most likley to flood the market with money and buy the best players.
    5)As regards to how each team qualify or the champions league, you shouldn't qualify for being the best 20/20 team but being the best cricket side so, points from One day, 4 day and 20/20 cricket are combined in one table and as i explained earlier the top 2-4 teams shall qualify.
    - I think this approach will help to keep the importance of the longer formats of the game, asthey are the bedrock of this sport, especially four day and test match cricket.
    6)this tournament should be held outside of any international matches.(easier said than done).
    Basically this is a rough sketch of what i think should happen, but ideally i think the game needs a whole makeover in terms of structur throughout cricketing nations.Each country should have the samestructure, which is regularily checked by the icc. As uefa and fifa do. Ultimatley i believe its down to the icc, they really need to get sum young blood in or something and update the whole game.we thought 20/20 was gna save the sport and it probably is, but its causing to many problems, we can't just slot it into the equation because the negatives will outweigh the postitves.

  • Comment number 44.

    Well said MrDhesi, especially your last paragraph. (The individual points, as you say, are less important than just getting some decisions made at all).

    With regard to the Champions' league, I can't see how an International club competition is going to work satisfactorily when we have completely different league setups in each country, with some players representing clubs in more than one of the countries. It will just become another way of engineering some faux-exciting cricket matches to entertain the masses. Surely there's enough twenty20 already?

    The ICC don't seem to be able to control whats happening in World Cricket - the test fixtures are a joke, with way too many meaningless best-of-threes (and England have just played 2 series against the same side in the space of 6 months) - and the worry is that the long-term appeal of the game will be diluted as people realise just how much a twenty20 game is based on good fortune.

    Hopefully we'll get to a stage sooner rather than later where each country has just one group of teams, competing against each other in all formats of the game, with all players having one main club to which they have a commitment. Then - any successful, substantial Champions League proposal would be a viable option. Can't see it at the moment tho. And actually, I know so little about domestic set-ups in other countries that there may be a whole host of other reasons that this wouldn't be viable...

  • Comment number 45.

    Seems another step to the indians taking over world cricket...
    Home advantage + the ablity even if the players have the choice of remaining faithful to the clubs which gave them a start in the game, to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at them to make them play for Rajisthan or Chennai

    Walk in the park it seems for the indian franchises, nothing more than a waste of time, someone needs to switch the centre of the cricketing world from india before its too late

    Load of Crap

  • Comment number 46.

    "too late"

    for what? and where would you suggest putting "the centre of the cricketing world"?

    sorry beanisalegend - but the xenophobic undertones of your comment are undermining your probably-sincere concerns...

    the bottom line: India bankrolls world cricket. and they are trying to use the American sporting franchise business model...

    'progress' always comes at the expense of something, and that something is usually a friendly elitist tradition...

  • Comment number 47.

    Is anyone worried that if people do not play by Mr Lalits rules then he may just "take his ball and go home" and some counties will be left counting the cost much like when the ITV deal collapsed putting championship clubs into deep financial trouble.

  • Comment number 48.

    listen ok, india is the best at t20 so we make all the decisions. its good to leave out pak/wi and nz. they are all rubbish teams. CHAK DE IPL!!!. ipl was such a hit!!!!! and keep it that way. no room for pak/wi and nz. its a small tournament worth big money, im glad england are involved along with SA and Aus.

  • Comment number 49.

    With regards the ICL situation, the English counties just have stand firm. With pretty much all the counties fielding ICL players if they are all disqualified no one will represent England. What kind of international cricket tournament would not have an English representative? And the same goes for the IPL rights over players they franchised for the competition, the home teams can simply take their bats and balls and go home if they are not allowed to field their strongest team.

    These ridiculous threats from the BCCI should not be allowed to hold water. The counties should not be fazed by the money on offer and remember that they as much the attraction as the IPL teams.

  • Comment number 50.

    Sure, in the first year, players from some countries will not be represented. But over time, the best from every country will be part of one team or another. If a team is to win the final, and thus the big prize money, they will have to have the best bunch of players possible. This means that the best players, from wherever they are, will always be part of a team, whether it is an India based team or a UK based team. The rules for hiring players will have to be relaxed. If an English county are to have a serious chance of winning the cup, they will have to get rid of the journeymen and hire the best from around the world. So, I do not see a problem.

  • Comment number 51.

    20/20 matches draw big crowds because of the novelty factor. That will quickly wear off with this overkill and casual fans will find something else to focus their short attention spans on.

  • Comment number 52.

    County Cricket seems to be moving, inexorably, to the footballization of status based on money.
    4 clubs dominate the Premiership(Man U, Chelsea,Arsenal,Liverpool)
    County Cricket until recently was based on player development rather than the purchase of players from around the world.

    Question: Which 4 "county" sides will emerge triumphant from this chaos of recruiting cricketing mercenaries?

  • Comment number 53.

    sides should pick there strongest teams and if MODI dont like it he can have a tournment with the first and second in the ipl alone.

  • Comment number 54.

    The mixed messages coming out from Mr Modi and the rest are sadly typical. One day we are told that there is a 'verbal agreement' that sounds quite reasonable, the next day LM is taking a hard line (perhaps mainly for his domestic constituency) that asserts the primacy of the IPL and the BCCI.

    A 'verbal agreement' isn't worth the paper it's not written on. The non-Indian boards should stand up to the BCCI (does the I stand for 'imperialist'? It should do!) and walk away from the competition if the rules are not framed in such a way as to ensure a level playing field. That means a proper written agreement that doesn't just roll over and accept all the demands of the IPL. If a good agreement can't be reached, then it would be better to have no agreement, and if that means a 'Champions League' involving just Rajasthan and Chennai then so be it.

    But I doubt it will happen. The South African board has a history of meekly kowtowing to the Indians; the Australians will follow wherever the dollar signs are pointing; and the ECB are far too weak and spineless to stand up to the BCCI or any other bully.

  • Comment number 55.

    Is there a worse run international sporting organisation than the ICC? They have allowed themselves to be completely bullied by the TV money in India.

    The BCCI are trampling over world cricket and don't care who gets in the way. They have already ripped the NZ team apart, it won't be long until other second tier teams suffer the same fate. Give it 5 years and all the world's best players will be playing fulltime in India, and it will be the death of international cricket as we know it.

    Unless the ICC start showing some backbone...

 

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