The Indian cricket board is all set to unleash IPL-2. Troubled by the dwindling interest for Champions League T20, BCCI is planning to replace the annual tournament for top domestic clubs from across the world with a mini-version of IPL starting this September in UAE.
The new venture will feature the top four IPL teams that have made the playoffs this year, and will be played in a league format leading to a knockout phase.
“The planning is on and we will have a meeting on this before this IPL gets over,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
It’s learnt that the BCCI’s new secretary Anurag Thakur has informed Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa — India, Australia and South Africa are joint owners of CLT20 — that they will be scrapping CLT20 from this season.
“It (CLT20) was not serving any purpose, people weren’t attracted to it. We are looking at all possibilities of a substitute tournament to replace CLT20 and the initial idea is to have an IPL-2 so that Indian crowds could relate more to it,” the official added.
UAE has emerged as a venue because it successfully hosted a part of the seventh season. Sources said IPL teams are already recognised in the region and added that with the new tournament featuring only the cream of IPL, it would be easier to market and promote.
Besides, sources added, the timing of the tournament would coincide with the monsoons in India.
Since its inception in 2009, Champions League T20 has not managed to acquire title sponsors, and television ratings have dipped progressively. The amount of money spent on the tournament didn’t make much financial sense to the Indian board either, said sources.
The CLT20 had a total prize money of US$6 million, rivalling the US$6.3 million kitty for IPL. The CLT20 winner earned more than the IPL winner – US$2.5 million as opposed to US$2.3 million.