The BCCI will discuss the fate of Champions League T20 with the Presidents of Cricket South Africa and Cricket Australia, who have been extended special invitations to watch the May 24 IPL final at the Eden Gardens.
CSA chief Chris Nenzani, CEO Haroon Lorgat along with CA supremo Wally Edwards and his chief executive James Sutherland have been invited by BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya and secretary Anurag Thakur for the marquee event.
Lorgat’s invitation is also an interesting move as the former ICC Chief Executive didn’t share a smooth working relationship with the previous regime in Indian cricket.
The invitations sent across to Edwards and Nenzani is significant as the two heads are set to engage in an important discussion with Dalmiya and Thakur regarding the fate of Champions League T20.
“Yes, we have invited the board presidents and CEOs of South Africa and Australia for the IPL final in Kolkata and on the sidelines of this match, we will discuss the future of Champions League T20 with them,” Thakur told PTI on Saturday.
It must be noted that BCCI, CA and CSA are the stakeholders in Champions League T20.
Invitations had also been sent to top officials of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lankan cricket boards. On Friday, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla had said that there were plans to scrap the Champions League T20.
“Yes, we are planning to do away with the Champions League T20. In place of that, we are considering an alternative league. But at the moment all this is at the planning stage,” Shukla had said.
“Several ideas are coming and honourable secretary (Thakur) and myself are considering those ideas. We will sit together after the IPL gets over and try and plan out something. At the moment we don’t have anything in hand, but yes we are in the process of bouncing off ideas. When something concrete comes up, we will certainly bring it to everyone’s notice,” Shukla said.
While Star holds the broadcasting rights for the CLT20, the TV ratings for the tournament since its inception in 2009 has not been great.
Apart from the four Indian franchises which qualify by virtue of finishing in the top four positions in IPL, the champion outfits of other nations like South Africa, Australia hardly draw sizeable crowd.
Such has been the lukewarm response to the CLT20 that some of the qualifying matches had been played in front of near empty stadiums in the past.