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Blog by: Shraddha
Australia v India - Tri-Series Game 10

Reality seems to have finally made inroads into the fans’ minds about not being able to see Sachin Tendulkar play for India ever again. In the wake of this realisation thus looms the question: will there ever be another Sachin Tendulkar? Not just from the Indian cricket perspective, but also from the global cricketing paradigm.

Looking back objectively at what Sachin’s been able to achieve in his ‘almost-quarter-of-a-century’ career, it would be only fair to say that his accomplishments were the perfect blend of inborn talent that came to the fore at an early age and which was further nurtured and shaped by circumstances. Tougher the circumstances were, Sachin only managed to come out stronger with more emphatic performances that did a great deal to substantiate his stature at the time of his retirement.

To be able to replicate what Sachin Tendulkar did, therefore would need an equal – if not more – measure of fortitude alongside the necessary skill-set from the contemporary generation of players. A highly demanding task by all accounts, further emphasised by the following aspects:

–          Consistency: The biggest factor contributing to Sachin’s longevity was his consistency throughout the course of his career, spanning across all cricketing formats and tournaments. Cricketers of today’s generation are however finding it hard to maintain their consistency in one format, let alone three which makes it difficult to comprehend their potential replication of the Little Master.

–          Format: Alongside consistency, Sachin’s exemplary skills on the cricketing field were also brought out by his ability to mould his game to suit each format. Presently however, there are very few cricketers who play all leading formats of the game, necessitating choosing different teams for the different formats. And amongst those who do so, the flamboyance that they display in the more conventional format of the game overwhelms the other nuances of their technical aptitudes. While in terms of statistics, these players may indeed come closer to matching – surpassing even – Sachin’s numbers, in terms of the sheer pleasure that Sachin’s techniques and flair invoked; they would be poles apart from the maestro.

–          Fitness: Another major factor that contributed to Sachin’s success was his high fitness levels. Though troubled by injuries on more than one occasion, fitness did play a major role in enabling Sachin to continue for so long in such a competitive sport. However, the way the sport’s evolving with increasing number of tournaments; it would be hard to conceive yet another player managing to maintain high levels of fitness as Sachin did.

–          Weaknesses: Where Sachin had no conceivable weaknesses that manifested themselves before opponents – a parade of them, the chinks in the armour of the contemporary generation of cricketers is far more obvious allowing opponents to pick out at them with ease. This tangible incompleteness definitely takes Sachin’s completeness to a totally different notch, making his accomplishments even harder to contend with.

–          Change in Expectations: The past saw Sachin trying to live up to his fans’ expectations single-handedly, more often than not, in a team sport. The present generation however expects cricketers to work as efficient cogs like in any other team event rather than heaping the expectations on one particular player. This substantially reduces the pressure on a lone player, which also edifices Tendulkar to be a player whose feats can never be replicated.

–          Change in Priorities: The equal amount of attention that Sachin was able to provide towards all leading cricketing formats has been a unique feat in itself. The fact that more and more players are opting to play certain formats rather than be equally proficient in all of them, also pinpoints the ‘never-to-be-bridged’ gap between Tendulkar and the contemporary cricketers.

–          Change in Cricketing Dynamics: As compared to the past, cricketing dynamics are changing quite fast presently. In such heavily changing scenarios, Sachin’s achievements seem almost sedate making it hard to imagine the present – and the future – generation being able to keep up to the changing dynamics, let alone reaching high pinnacles of uniform success.

–          Dilution of Milestones: The present cricketing era has seen an outpouring of milestones being achieved and overhauled. Given the spate of construction and demolishing of cricketing records that happen almost on a daily basis in the present times, Sachin’s accomplishments take on quite a distinctive tone making them even harder to overtake.

–          Balance of Mental Fortitude: While one could find arrogant and headstrong cricketers even back in Sachin’s heydays, when it came to retaliating against such cricketing examples, it was always Tendulkar who had the upper hand. Presently however, such retaliatory tactics seem to have faded away with cricketers’ cockiness and arrogance liberally pouring forth verbally. Yet another indication perhaps, that the past is indeed gone; never to be touched ever again in the future.

–           Competition: During the second test match between India and West Indies, a commentator recalled an anecdote about Sachin’s son quipping about competition making it difficult to enter and sustain in the sport. It may have been a teenager’s quip retorting to a teasing question flung at him. But one that holds true nonetheless. Not many cricketers get to debut as teenagers these days, which makes Sachin and the entirety of his career, a true master-class.

Be as it may, despite the evident differences between the past and the present and the differences that could emerge further in the future, cricketing greatness isn’t going to stop with Sachin Tendulkar. Talent has always spoken for itself in the cricketing realm and there will be someone who will go to achieve the heights of greatness, sparking instant recognition about him, just as Sachin has done all this while.

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By: Shraddha

India v South Africa: Group B - 2011 ICC World Cup                    

Sportsmen strive to achieve longevity and do everything possible within their means to keep their professional life free from injuries and illnesses. Yet, not all succeed. Some succumb to the lure of not-so-legal means to achieve glory in their field while others fail to overcome an ungenerous fate despite possessing all the talent and skill-set. But there are a few sportsmen who do manage to accomplish their goal, achieving not just seniority but a near unsurpassable feat of excellence.

Sachin Tendulkar is one amongst these rare breed of sportsmen with a cricketing journey that has transpired not just over a near quarter of a century, but also across each format of the game. To watch him play thus is always exciting, for there never has been a moment in all these years when Sachin has failed to produce his quintessential magic.

Be it with the bat or with the ball or as a fielder watching the proceedings from afar on the ground, each role that Sachin has taken up, he has delivered his best. For quite some years now, he’s been the mentor for the younger generation, someone to whom each youngster looks up to. He gives advices as he comes up with suggestions that the person listening to him at the other end is only keen to carry out. When the team wins matches, all the lads are eager to give Tendulkar the lap of honour, around the ground, carrying him on their shoulders. It’s a mark of respect for the veritable giant of the cricketing world, one much deserved after all that the man has given to the sport, the nation and its people.

The mentoring, the expertise and the guiding light that Tendulkar represents to the contemporary cricketing generation is proof of the transition that the man has undergone as a cricketer, being on the job. Each match of his 24-year career has gone on to be a practical lesson that went on to further shape the cricketing acumen of the 40-year old.

Experiences, both good as well as bad, have given him the God-like status that he enjoys today. Like every other cricketer going through a bad patch, even Sachin had to struggle with the shortfall of runs after having enjoyed a spate of seasons with runs never ceasing to come out of his bat. But it was to Sachin’s credit that he got back into the top cricketing ranks by going back to the basics and tweaking his approach and methodology wherever it was falling short of the desired mark. His playing for Mumbai, in what would be his last first class game against Haryana at Lahli, too was a hallmark of Sachin’s determination to ensure thorough preparation for his upcoming, final test series.

These instances, when isolated, don’t matter much but it is only when looked at collectively that their significance begins to strike through. Throughout the course of his career, Tendulkar has never been one to stay complacent with his achievements and awards. On the contrary, he’s always been one to push himself to the hardest just to ensure that he never let the team down under any circumstance.

Adaptability is regarded to be the basic factor that allows for one’s continued existence in a heavily changing world. As far as the cricketing spectrum is concerned, in the modern era, there has been no one who has managed to adapt so well to the changing conditions as Sachin has. Be it the ODIs or be it the latterly developed T20s, Sachin Tendulkar was able to achieve absolute success in both formats even as many of his peers struggled to adjust and make the transition. His ability to gauge the situation, no matter what the game’s format, and suitably temper his playing style to the need of the hour has – and will be – a feat that can only be marvelled at.

The biggest loss to cricket, after Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from the oldest form of the game, would be the absence of such adaptability. At a time, when several players choose one form of the game to another, in order to prolong their career; Sachin’s ability – at an advancing age – to play and do well across all major cricketing formats is a quality that can never be emulated by anyone. Tendulkar may have then started off his career with his inherent talent showing. But in the end, Tendulkar has gone on to prove that cricket is always greater than the cricketer, who only follows his heart’s passion wherever the game leads, and whatever form it takes.

 Blog by: Shradha                                                   

Chennai Super Kings cheer leaders celebr

Corruption, misbegotten deeds and audaciousness that borders on sullying the very name of cricket may be some of the defining points of the zillion dollar brain-child, Indian Premier League. But no amount of negativity seems to divert the fans’ attention away from the tournament, but rather hones the focus back to it thus elevating it to an unequalled stature amongst all other existing cricketing tournaments.

The fact that the trend of positivity for the IPL continues to flourish unabated and unchecked – despite the recent event that added yet another black-mark to Indian cricket – is then a proof of how the sport’s fans have evolved, regardless of the rigorists’ vociferous protestations against such new-gen transformations.

And where the rigorists – the purists and the conventionalists – may juxtapose the earlier formats of the game to such franchise-oriented, money-based format, fans don’t really construe it that way but see it as nothing but yet another manifestation of the sport. For them, IPL then is as good as a platform where loyalties are franchise-based and not demarcated by nationalities.

There again, such a perspective by the fans doesn’t translate to their condoning of the various wrongdoings that the event invariably becomes a hosting ground to. On the contrary, their continued support and favouritism towards the IPL is the continued source of optimism towards the sport and the people actively involved in it.

Perhaps that’s why mistakes and underhanded activities by team owners and other managerial custodians are treated as an aberration with the mind dwelling more on the team’s successes and achievements. These fans aren’t then ignorant, naive fools misguided by their optimism and hope that continues to let them down – season-after-season. But rather fact is, they would rather think about the players – the hard-working ones who continue to rise and shine, in spite of all the filth that surrounds their meritocracy. The fans would then rather think about individual names. Names, that have always given Indian cricket the stature of superiority amongst the other giants who felt they could compel it to bow before them.

The fact that none of these legends’ names have been tossed around in the recent IPL muck is then yet supporting rationale for the fans in their uninhibited IPL fervour. And alongside these positives, the distinct lack of involvement by foreign players in the scandal has also gone to boost the IPL in the minds of the fans who have often been thrilled and awed by the hordes of foreign talent that the IPL attracts. That the fans then blame the tainted parties’ unfounded greed as the primary evil tainting the IPL rather than the format itself being an epicentre of evil isn’t surprising at all.

In a nation where cricket unashamedly rules as the primary sport of choice, reigning as its unofficial national game, one would be quite hard-pressed to do away with one of the most entertaining events highlighting the game. Thus while each of the Indian Premier League’s seven seasons may have then been marred by controversies, for the fans, the two months of IPL – along with the innumerable shenanigans that it brings to the cricketing fold – has become a necessity that cannot be done without.

Such being the case, the rigorists’ talk about eliminating the tournament fixture then has started to be perceived by the IPL rooters as being stuffy and overly proprietorial. The line of argument raised by such pro-IPL rooters, that consequentially emerges about the vulnerability of the sport and the inadequate measures with which these vulnerabilities are addressed is then justified too.

For just like the IPL in India, there are several other key T20 fixtures that take place in various cricketing nations. That it is the IPL which has become the bane of cricket is indeed a harsher tag for the tournament to be labelled with. And it is this label that shifts the entirety of IPL’s infamy from the various participants, to the ones who needed to come up with stringent regulations and principles in the first place.

 

Blog by: Roh

England v West Indies - NatWest International Twenty20 Match

The unusually protracted Ashes series brought forth plenty of reactions and comments about the mediocrity of the Australian cricket team. Their inability to regroup mentally emerged as their fatal flaw speaking of a harsher truth than the more visible inability of some of their players to step up on the pitch. Just as the Australians facing this sudden predicament of inadequacy presently, West Indian cricket too has been trying to grapple with a similar sense of insufficiency that has long dogged them, over-writing the story of their glorious cricketing past.

It’s been years – decades to be more accurate – that one has actually seen West Indies play cricket the way they did between the 70s and the early 90s. And those who have actually seen the West Indies in their heydays belong to a past generation like the players themselves. For most of the contemporary generation of the sport’s ardent followers and fans, West Indies cricket today is symbolised by the few names that keep dotting the score-cards. But even these names fall short when laid parallel to the legends that symbolised the very best of the sport.

Not of any fault or shortcoming of their own though. But rather, despite all their talents and cricketing skills put together. The West Indian team today struggles to find its balance, swinging from one extreme to another, taking fans to the heights of optimism before plunging it to the very depths of despair and despondency. To say then that they are unpredictable would be an understatement because in these extreme vacillations, the West Indies cricket team displays a singular brand of predictability.

And here’s where the blame game starts to pour forth in a torrent. About the bleak downturn that the West Indian cricket board has been subjected to – and the lack of interests among the cricketers towards their past mainstays – test and ODIs – thanks to the interference by the monetarily endowed league tournaments that end up highlighting the fancier versions of the sport. These points, however valid they might be then only present one-sidedness to the sad tale of the West Indian cricketing realm rather than pinpoint the core problematic areas that mar it.

It’s no secret that the present cricketing era is one where money speaks for the sport prominently before anything and everything else. Add to the mix, the nature of popularity that events like the IPL and the Champions League T20 bring in, it’s not difficult to comprehend why players would be motivated to be a part of such money-making conduits. To cast the blame onto the players for their so-called disinterest to play the comparatively longer formats of the game is thoroughly unjustified. In contrast, it would be necessary for the West Indian cricketing authorities to introspect as to the measures taken by them to ensure the bolstering and sustenance of test and ODI cricket in the archipelago.

For even though aspersions may be cast about the aspect of mediocrity of the West Indian cricketing standards, it cannot be denied that cricket still remains – by far – one of the most popular sports in the island still captivating the fans in droves as it used to in the past. It is to these fans too then that the West Indian cricketing authorities owes a certain responsibility to.

The launching and the success of the Caribbean Premier League is then testimony to the fact that even West Indies can come up with a riposting ‘premier’ T20 league tournament attracting some of the star T20 players from across the cricketing world. Employing a similar bent of focus and attention would then go a long way in helping West Indian cricket restore its long-lost test and ODI transcendence.

For, even as big a curse mediocrity maybe upon the sporting realm – especially if the audiences are treated to excellence from the participants consistently for over a continued period of time – it isn’t necessary that it should prevail for ever; obscuring everything bright by casting its shadow.

Blog by: Kuku

File photo: Unmukt Chand

File photo: Unmukt Chand

Unmukt Bharat Chand Thakur, born in 1993, is a right handed opening batsman who plays for Delhi in the domestic circuit since 2011. This talented young batsman has been playing for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL since the year 2011.

Unmukt Chand came into the lime light in the year 2012, while leading India under 19s in the World Cup. He scored 111 vital runs in the final against Australia – garnering praise from the legendary Ian Chappell. Originally a native of Uttrakhand, both his parents are teachers and Unmukt is pursuing studies in the University of Delhi.

He has a good batting average of 39.27 in the first class level and 37 in List A. He had scored 400 runs in the Ranji trophy in 5 matches in 2010-11.

And now, Unmukt Chand has delivered yet again. This time he has shown his batting skills by scoring a whopping 119 runs while playing for Delhi in the NKP Salve challenger trophy against the India Reds today. Unmukt displayed his class by hitting 12 fours and three huge sixes during his impressive innings. On a personal note, this young man is having a compassionate approach towards humanity as he had donated rupees 1 lakh to the flood victims of Uttrakhand.

Unmukt Chand is the most promising player amongst the emerging young talent. Though, with the emergence of batsmen like Vijay Zol, Sanju Samson and Mandeep Singh, the competition of getting a chance of playing for team India is getting intense. But, from MS Dhoni to Virat Kohli, everyone has high hopes from Unmukt.

Performances like the one today fortify his claims of being a future leader as well. So far, Unmukt has shown tremendous commitment for the game. One aspect which has impressed one and all is his mature style of playing. I also think that his consistency is due to his cool temperament.

Basically, he has good footwork and despite being a young player, his focus is really admirable. He waits for the ball and hits it at the appropriate moment. His efficient running between the wickets also makes him a trustworthy batsman. So far he has also shown his capability to play long innings as per the need of the hour. He has been a very aggressive starter, who likes to play his strokes early in his innings.

However, there is significant scope for improvement which will come with time. Also, I personally feel that he has got to maintain his fitness. He has been a big match player, who has done well in all the crucial matches in his short career. Keeping in view that he is still only 20, I can foresee a long and fruitful vigil ahead for Unmukt Chand. With this sensational innings of 119 today, it appears that a star has been born!

Blog by: Sougat

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh

One is a colossus in domestic cricket, having rescued his side from total humiliation many times with both bat and ball; yet, he hasn’t had the fortune to find and hold down a place in the national side.

The other is a proven performer in international cricket, having brought the side back from the dead on many occasions, survived a potential life-threatening illness and recurring back spasms to return to a game that has given him much fame and adulation.

Both are a remarkable set of young men who have been the mainstays of the middle order in their respective arenas and are also athletic fielders.

Yet the question remains before the selectors: Dole out a reward for consistency or resurrect a career blighted by injury?

For Yuvraj Singh, it will be an open-armed welcome back to the national fold if he is picked on the strength of his recent performances for India A and India Blue (in the on-going N K P Salve Challenger Trophy). With his return, the shaky middle-order will receive the kind of stability it has been missing of late.

The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have done their bit at the top very well so far, but once they fall early, it puts pressure on the batsmen to follow. Dinesh Karthik has blown hot and cold at times, and it has been left to MS Dhoni to pick up the slack on a few occasions when the top order has collapsed like a pack of cards.

In such scenarios, it is the Punjab dasher whose cool head in crisis situations and explosive hitting down the order has been missed sorely. He may struggle against spin initially, but he always backs his abilities and gets his eye in before unleashing the booming drives, the stylish flicks and, of course, the huge hits.

His achievements with the bat and ball are well-documented; however, his super-charged fielding is what drew in his initial legion of fans. Kohli and Raina may have done well in this aspect in recent times, but it was Yuvraj, in tandem with the discarded Mohammad Kaif, who brought the zing back in what used to be a grey area for the national squad.

On the strength of his recent performances and his previous record alone, Yuvraj has a powerful case for recall.

Abhishek Nayar

Abhishek Nayar

But Abhishek Nayar is an equally strong contender. Tall and broad-shouldered, the Mumbai lad has, time and again, played his heart out for his team. Be it with the bat that seldom stays silent, or with the ball, which he coerces into posing the toughest of queries to rival batsmen, Nayar has been the central edifice around which the 40-time Ranji winners have secured their biggest triumphs.

In the on-going Challenger Trophy, Nayar did the star turn with the bat in both games for his team India Blue – 91 in the first game against Delhi, followed by a quick-fire 75 in today’s outing against India Red, ought to have been enough proof for the likes of Sandeep Patil & co. to pencil him in for the ODI side.

Further displays of his amazing talent came in the recently concluded series against New Zealand A, where he made a century and a half-century in consecutive four-day games for his team, earning creditable draws in both. His bowling wasn’t quite up to the mark, though – perhaps it is this area that has been keeping him out of national reckoning despite a fairly productive domestic career.

Does Nayar have a stronger case for an ODI recall than Yuvraj?

If recent performances are taken into account, the Mumbai all-rounder has definitely got the edge over the 2011 World Cup hero; Yuvraj has played lesser games than Nayar and is still battling a back problem.

However, the veteran of limited-overs cricket in the international arena has been around for over a decade, so both his recent exploits as well as a solid all-round record nudges him ahead of Abhishek.

My verdict? I’d prefer Yuvraj for both limited-overs formats, and both for ODIs. As long as Nayar recovers his bowling form, he can prove to be more than a handful for opposition teams, and will give Dhoni an additional option instead of relying on part-timers.

For now, though, the selectors have to make Sophie’s choice.  Till then, it’s a wait-and-watch policy for me.

Blog by: Jaideep

Sydney Sixers's squad celebrates their victory over the Highveld Lions on October 28, 2012

Sydney Sixers’s squad celebrates their victory over the Highveld Lions on October 28, 2012

6, 2, 6, 6, 6, 6 – a new buzz-mohawked MS Dhoni tore into the Sunrisers bowling attack and finally, some life was injected into the 2013 edition of the Champions League T20.

The Champions League is on – both for football and cricket. While the Champions League of football garners interest from fans all round the world, the Champions League of cricket has, till now, only managed to earn the tag of being a “useless” tournament.

Seriously, no one really bothers about the Champions League T20. The four-year-old tournament, that brings all the best T20 teams from around the cricket world, has failed massively to generate any sort of interest among the cricket fans.

While the UEFA Champions League is one of the biggest football tournaments held every year, the CLT20 has been nothing more than a minor blip on the radar of international cricket.

For the football Champions League, the fans wait in anticipation, throughout Europe and beyond to watch their favourite clubs lock horns with the rest of Europe for supremacy, while the CLT20 is used by most teams as a season opener.

Even when played in India, the biggest cricket crazy nation in the world, the CLT20 has failed to draw in the large crowds which an IPL game does.

So what really has gone wrong with the CLT20?

Although its concept was originally based on the UEFA Champions League of football, it has its own unique problems.

Concept of franchise cricket

Firstly, the CLT20 is only a four-year-old infant and a tournament of this magnitude takes time to gather a loyal fan base.

They system is successful in football because at the club level, it has a wider reach than international football. For example, the Arsenal football club has a much bigger fan base than the England national football team and so, Arsenal, during the Champions League, has a bigger fan following than the English team playing international fixtures.

On the contrary, the Indian cricket team boasts of much larger following than the Mumbai Indians side, and therein lies the main problem with franchise cricket.

In cricket, the concept of franchises or clubs hasn’t really caught on till now. For the fans, cricket has mostly been about national passion and they are used to the national rivalries, having been fed on nation versus nation confrontations for years now.

So, the Ashes or the Gavaskar-Border trophy generates much more interest than two franchises from different nations.

Failure of T20 leagues

Caribbean Premier League: All colour, no substance

Caribbean Premier League: All colour, no substance

The introduction of the Indian Premier League was the dawn of a new era in T20 cricket and it led to the mushrooming of numerous domestic T20 tournaments around the world. It was important for these leagues to be in existence because the whole concept and the success of the CLT20 hinged on them.

However, the results haven’t been as expected. Although the IPL has been a huge hit, other leagues have failed to capture the imagination of the cricketing world.

The Sri Lankan Premier League failed to kick off, while the Big Bash League and the Caribbean League, which started off with a lot of pomp and show, created ripples but not a huge wave.

So, the CLT20 still remains dependent more on the success of the IPL teams than the likes of the Otago Volts and the Kandurata Maroons!

The participation of Indian players

Indian cricketers: The Biggest box-office grossers

Indian cricketers: The biggest box-office grossers

Whether the other cricket boards like it or not, India is the nerve centre of the cricketing world and although the de Villiers and the Gayles carry star power, the power of super stardom rests with the likes of the Kohlis, Dhonis, Rainas and of course, the Tendulkars.

Cricket, unlike football, is still more about the cricketers than the team itself. Take the example of the Mumbai Indians – one of the most followed IPL sides; people who do not belong to Mumbai also support them because it houses the biggest superstar in cricket, Sachin Tendulkar.

Virat Kohli has a similar effect on the Royal Challengers Bangalore fans, Sourav Ganguly’s exclusion from Kolkata Knight Riders turned Kolkata fans into Pune supporters while the charisma of MS Dhoni alone pulls the fans from all parts of India to paint them in canary yellow.

Add to that, the presence of the Bollywood stars. More than half of Kolkata supports the Knight Riders because of the starry presence of Shahrukh Khan while Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta boosts the support for their respective IPL franchises.

However, the Indian superstars do not go around the world turning out for different T20 outfits like a ten Doeschate or a Kieron Pollard. So, the leagues outside India lack the gloss of the IPL and hence fail to generate the hysteria that IPL does.

The scheduling of the CLT20

Yorkshire vs. Highveld Lions - Do we really care?

Yorkshire vs Highveld Lions – Do we really care?

However, the biggest problem of the CLT20 seems to be the scheduling of the tournament. While the UEFA Champions League constitutes a major chunk of the football calendar, the CLT20 is squeezed in around the month of September.

The inappropriate scheduling not only lowers the value of the league but there have been instances when certain franchises have sent in their not-so-strong sides as their bigger stars were away on national commitments.

For example, teams from England didn’t turn up for the 2010 edition as it clashed with their series against Pakistan and the county season. This year too, the CLT20 misses out on the county teams owing to their domestic championship, thus alienating a chunk of audience from one part of the cricket world.

The scheduling of the matches, during the tournament, also plays a huge role in the success of the tournament. The CLT20 pits two sides from different parts of the world in front of the audience of a third country, where the crowds hardly know their eleven players.

What do people in Ranchi have to do with a match that features Brisbane Heat and the Perth Scorchers? How do the organisers expect the crowds to throng the stadiums when unknown sides, with funny names, play a game?  How does one guarantee a full house in a match at Ahmedabad featuring Naushua Titans and Otago Volts?

In contrast, the UEFA Champions League scheduling lets the sides play each other on a home and away basis which encourages the home fans to back their sides and as a result, the stadiums are jam-packed. The sequence is followed throughout the  tournament with only the final being played at a neutral venue.

All said and done, it isn’t easy for cricket to follow the lead of their European counterpart. The entire concept of CLT20 is flawed because cricket focusses more on  international fixtures and the ICC has to maintain a pre-decided calendar.

So, cricket franchises travelling to and fro from one part of the globe to another, to play home and away games throughout the year, isn’t a very plausible scenario.

That’s why the CLT20 needs to find its own relevance and its own audience. Although the concept is borrowed along the lines of the popular UEFA Champions League, the blueprint of an European football tourney doesn’t really fit in the cricketing landscape.

The governing bodies need to sit together and figure out what exactly they want from the tournament and then have a plan to build its popularity through stages. The CLT20 is a very young tournament and it requires better marketing and acceptance in the cricketing world in order to survive.

Otherwise, it would be one of those “useless” T20 tournaments  that act as an audition for young cricketers around the world hoping to bag a lucrative IPL contract before it meets the fate of the Champions Trophy.