Champions League T20 is the cricket-replica of UEFA Champions League. UEFA Chmapions League, which is the most premier European tournament, is followed wide, and is one of the most popular football tournaments in the world. On the other hand, Champions League T20 has failed to live up its expectations. The TRPs of the ongoing CLT20 2014 tournament are far away from satisfactory, and the turnout at the stadiums is also not very encouraging from the administrator’s point of view. Even at a time when there isn’t much international cricket going on, the administrators have failed to attract the audience, and these are very alarming signs for the “glamorous” T20 tournament.
One of the major reasons behind this failure is– the over IPL-isation of the tournament
After the overwhelming success of the Indian Premier League, the administrators of the CLT20 gave special preference to the IPL teams, and since then, the IPL teams have become the glamor factor of the tournament. In an attempt to make CLT20 the most cricket “glamorous” tournament, the administrators have ignored the value of making it a global tournament. The distribution of the teams in the tournament is done in the most biased manner and this is the biggest reason behind the lack of viewership across the world.
Since the majority of the teams are from India (IPL), the schedule of the tournament is made according to the preference of the viewers based in India, thus eliminating the chance of expansion of the viewership. Moreover, the overdose of cricket in India in general has created an aversion away from the tournament, thus reducing viewership drastically.
If the administrators want to make CLT20 a global success, they will have to reduce the growing IPL influence. They will also have to involve more and more cricket playing nations. This year, there’s not even a single team from England, because they opted not to participate in the tournament. This has led to lack of viewership in England, and it is not good for the tournament. England are a big force in world cricket, and their lack of participation will restrict CLT20’s expansion.
It’s very important that the administrators expand the reach of CLT20 by involving more and more cricket playing nations. For this, they will have to stop the IPL-isation of the tournament. It’s true that the IPL teams generate a major of chunk of viewership and revenue. But, for the long-run success of the tournament, the administrators will have to start thinking globally, and involve more and more cricket playing nations.