The Governing Council of the Champions League T20 has decided to scrap the tournament with immediate effect, just a day after the Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha Committee gave a stinging verdict suspending IPL teams CSK and Rajasthan Royals for two years. The tournament had already fallen out of favour with the authorities, as had been reported in this paper back in May, and the suspensions of Chennai and Rajasthan, two teams who would have participated by virtue of making it to the IPL knockouts, might have hastened its demise.
“The Governing Council of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) has today confirmed that the CLT20 competition will be discontinued with immediate effect.
The Governing Council of the CLT20, comprising representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket Australia (CA) made the decision unanimously,” a media release said. “As such the 2015 CLT20 scheduled for September and October will not go ahead as planned,” said the release.
“The competition was launched in 2009 by the BCCI with CA and CSA. The Governing Council determined that the discontinuation of the league was the most appropriate decision due to the tournament’s limited public following.”
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said, “This has been a difficult decision as the Champions League T20 provided added context to a number of domestic Twenty 20 competitions around the world such as the IPL in India, Big Bash League in Australia and South Africa’s Ram Slam T20.” “It was a fantastic platform for players from around the world to showcase their talent and the participating teams thoroughly enjoyed the experience over the last six seasons.”
“Unfortunately, off the field, Champions League T20 wasn’t sustaining the interest of the fans as we had hoped. This decision was made, after consultation with all our commercial partners and meeting the contractual obligations of all parties involved.”
“The Governing Council would like to thank everyone involved with the CLT20 and all those who participated in the tournament. Further details associated with winding down the league including settling with the three nations that had invested time and effort in the competition, will be completed very soon.”
The decision to scrap CLT20 will also effectively mean that the BCCI and other stakeholders will find it difficult to organise a mini-IPL, which was being planned to fill the only vacant slot available in September. In all likelihood, the plans for a replacement tournament would be shelved for now.
Reigning IPL champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore were the other two teams who would have participated in the tournament.
Yesterday, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years from the IPL by a Supreme Court-appointed committee. Shocked by the order, the owners of CSK, whose top players include top India players Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, held discussions with their lawyers and have planned to move the apex court against the panel’s decision.
Similarly, the Rahul Dravid-mentored RR, whose players include stand-in India captain Ajinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny, were also said to be planning moves to seek relief.