Because, really, I’m not sure I do. That explains the paltry posting rate this September (at least partially — headed off to another vacation in a few days).
The logic of this tournament runs something like this: part of its exceptional charm, cricket has always run along international lines. With the advent of the IPL, however, some see a future dominated by franchises — a vision undermined by the corporate shenanigans of Modi-Gate (and the newness of the teams).
So, as a consolation, we have the Champions League, where the best of each cricketing country’s T20 talent battles each other. There are a couple of problems: some of the teams are clearly not as good as others (you can pick best and worst yourselves); the IPL teams get three berths (an obvious sop to the Indian audience); certain foreign players on contract with the IPL have to play with those teams, rather than their “home” ones. (Complicated, no?)
Which brings me back to square one: who is Team Victoria? Or Team Wayamba? Are there any stakes here for me, a fan with no team? Obviously, I like the IPL squads, but that’s only because I know them a bit more than the others and understand some of the plot twists and history. The rest? Not really. What does it matter to me that Victoria beat Guyana — I might as well watch Team X play Team Y.
The League has one virtue, though: its brevity. Can’t wait for this to be done so we can head off to another great India-Australia Test series.
Simple solution: Don’t watch. I like the tournament although it needs teams from other countries and the number of spots from a country should be decided based on the performance of its teams in this tourney over a period of 4-5 years. Maybe it says more about fans than the tournament that they’re only interested in known names and not in the sport itself.
Thanks for the comment. I find the “don’t watch” argument a bit weak, since it doesn’t really address my core issue with the tournament.
But to your larger point — I think it’s wrong to expect people to watch cricket for cricket’s sake. I like the game as much as anyone else, but I am not going to watch two Tier-III domestic teams play each other in Sri Lanka because I need a cricket fix. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that — people watch sports for a whole host of reasons, and tuning in for specific athletes is a legitimate one among them. (Some people only watch tennis when Federer’s on, e.g.).
Except there aren’t two Tier-III domestic teams playing in the Champions League, are there? When I say cricket I mean good competitive cricket and there has been plenty of that in the Champions League. I don’t expect everyone to tune into it but the least they can do is watch it before making up their mind on the quality. And yes, if enough people don’t watch it the tournament will die out just like some of the previous attempts at bringing domestic sides together for such a competition.