Everything You Need To Know About Champions League T20 Cricket

“Active talks” are in progress between the cricket boards of England, Australia, and India to bring back the Champions League T20 cricket league. 

The Champions League T20 cricket was the ultimate cricket league. It brought elite teams from all over the world to play in a single match. But it ended fast. Why exactly did the T20 event end up going?

CEO of Cricket Victoria Nick Cummins is aware of the talks among the 3 biggest boards in global cricket. He says that finding a window for starting such an event would be a big issue. It is because the global cricket calendar is still very busy.

In this blog, we will discuss everything about the Champions League T20 cricket league.

Champions League T20 Cricket: A global tournament of T20 franchise giants

The Champions League T20 cricket was also widely known as the CLT20. It was an annual global T20 Cricket league in which domestic qualifying teams from a few top cricketing nations played. 

The first edition of the league, incepted in 2008, took place in October 2009. N. Srinivasan, the chairman of the ICC, oversaw it on behalf of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia, and Cricket South Africa. 

The Chennai Super Kings were the last winners of the CLT20 title. They beat the Kolkata Knight Riders in Bengaluru.

The league took place in South Africa or India for two to three weeks in September and October. With a $6 million total prize cap, the winning team took home the largest prize money ever in a club cricket tournament—$2.5 million. 

From the 8 nations that play Test cricket, teams from India, Australia, and South Africa were the ones taking part in this global T20 cricket league. 

In July 2015, the three original cricket boards said that the competition would end due to low viewing ratings, low public interest, and insecure sponsorship. As a result, the 2014 Champions League T20 cricket was the final tournament to take place.

CLT20 – Participating Teams & Venues

The primary T20 events in each of the big cricketing nations result in which teams are playing. Teams from Sri Lanka, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India have played in each tournament.

After taking part in three editions, England declined to play since the dates conflicted with their home season in 2012. Teams from Pakistan did not play in the competition until 2012. It was because of the animosity between India and Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai bombings.

The two teams with the most titles in the competition are the Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). From 2009 to 2014, the Champions League T20 cricket saw up to 41 teams from 8 cricketing nations.

The initial plan was for the 3 nations—Australia, South Africa, and India—to alternate as the hosts. At least six of the first ten tournaments must take place in India, as per the TV deal. 

Australia, however, was not taken into consideration. It was due to its bad September weather and its unsuitable time zone for the fans. India had now come up as the top choice to host after South Africa’s 2010 debut. Only in 2012, when India was unable to host, South Africa was chosen to host.

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What led to the end of the CLT20 tournament?

Many factors contributed to it. TV ratings fell over time. The tournament—despite being a great concept—never truly took off with fans. Experts say that the low level of interest came up after adding the less popular teams and players, with only a few games each season drawing a small audience.

Even a unique September window wouldn’t be able to stop the flow of cricket after a certain point. It was because of the annual IPL and the presence of the global calendar.

The tournament suffered commercially as interest fell. The original title sponsor, Bharti Airtel, signed a five-year contract. But they withdrew after two years in 2011. It forced ESPN Star Sports, the TV partners, to rush to find new title sponsors as they paid $1 billion for a 10-year window. 

Not only did Nokia, the new title sponsor, pay less than Bharti Airtel. But they also pulled out after a year. Other mobile phone companies who sponsored them came after them. They were Karbonn Mobiles in 2012 and Oppo in 2014. 

The Champions League T20 cricket was cancelled in July 2015, with no signs of interest. The news came out just one day after two IPL teams were suspended after the Indian Supreme Court ruled on the betting and spot-fixing scandal. 

A competition made to rival the UEFA Champions League failed to bring much interest. Though fans will recall the tournament as a great idea on paper. But it came out to be a commercial bust. Also, fans saw elite T20 cricket players play against and for each other.

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