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Champions League T20 (CLT20) to make a return soon?

Cricket boards of India, Australia and England are engaged in active discussions to revive the now-defunct league

Champions League T20 (CLT20) to make a return soon?

Champions League T20 (CLT20) to make a return soon? PC: X.B 

If talks between the cricket boards of India, Australia and England emerge successful, there is a possibility of the Champions League T20 (CLT20), a club-based international T20 competition, making a return to the cricketing calendar.

The CLT20 is a T20 tournament with three franchise teams from India, two teams from Australia and South Africa, and one team from Pakistan, New Zealand and the West Indies competing on the global stage.

Six editions of the CLT20 have been played so far, with the last edition being played in 2014. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final. CSK, Mumbai Indians (MI), New South Wales (NSW), and Sydney Sixes (SS) are the past winners of the CLT20 tournament.

Cricket Victoria CEO Nick Cummins, who is in India to launch a partnership between KheloMore and the Melbourne Cricket Academy in Mumbai, said the time is ripe for the league to be revived. “I think the (earlier edition of) Champions League was ahead of its time. The T20 landscape wasn’t matured enough at that point. I think it is now,” Cummins said.

He said finding a window for the men’s league would be tough given the packed Future Tours Programme (FTP) calendar, but he did not rule out the possibility that a women’s CLT20 could commence. “I know that there are active conversations between Cricket Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the BCCI on the Champions League. It is just trying to find a window as to when you actually play that, because you’ve also got all the ICC tournaments as well. It may be that the first iteration of the Champions League will be of the women who play in the WPL, the Hundred and the WBBL,” he explained.

Cummins added that, from Cricket Australia’s perspective, they are open to the idea of reviving the now-defunct league. “From an Australia cricket perspective, we are very open to the idea of the Champions League. It’s just about finding a window in the FTP, but I think that’s the next step in the evolution of cricket,” he added.

He opined that the CLT20 will give an idea of which league is the best, and the prospect of franchises playing in a different country will take the sport to the next level. “We still haven’t made out which league is the best. IPL, PSL or the Big Bash? The only way we can show that is by having the Melbourne Stars play Karachi Kings or the Mumbai Indians. The Champions League is well overdue. The idea of the Mumbai Indians playing the Melbourne Stars at the MCG would be just as exciting as India playing Australia at the MCG,” Cummins opined.

Hari Kishore M
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