Nagraj Gollapudi has a useful article on Cricinfo about the future of the county-based model that thrives only in cricket among global sports. He quotes a club executive to make his point:
“We are seeing the flaws in the country-versus-country model, where there is a huge disparity in the standard of teams. Some matches aren’t competitive and some countries are choosing to play others more regularly, so you haven’t got an even spread of the wealth generation.”
Here’s my problem with the club model (and feel free to correct me, because sports economics isn’t my forte): would anyone watch the IPL if its roster of stars didn’t include international luminaries? Would the IPL be such a success if its major athletes hadn’t already succeeded at the highest level?
Sure, it’s possible that club T20s will eventually provide the glitter and legimatacy that Tests currently do, but somehow I doubt clubs will easily replace the fire that international events easily provide. I want to watch India play Pakistan or England play Australia in a way that I don’t watch, um, the Delhi Daredevils play the Deccan Chargers.