With the Champions League t20 all set to be scrapped by the BCCI, a mini IPL could replace CLT20 from later this year.
According to reports, the BCCI has already had a talk with its other CLT20 stakeholders, namely the Cricket South Africa and the Cricket Australia, and at the behest of the tournament broadcaster, Star Sports, they would put an end to the Champions League. The reason? It’s not been commercially viable, especially to those matches which don’t have the Indian Premier League teams playing.
What this implies is that there will be an empty, 20-odd day slot that will allow the BCCI to hold another tournament in place of the Champions League t20. Online and newspaper reports are calling it the mini IPL, which will be held over those 20 days.
No official details on the format of the mini IPL are yet out but there are various speculations in the media.
One of the earlier rumours was that the BCCI might introduce a four-team competition consisting of the best IPL teams to play on a home and away basis during September and October.
The other option that has been suggested according to a report in the local daily, Indian Express, is that all eight IPL teams will feature in this shorter IPL during those same months. These eight sides will be divided into two groups of four each and that will ensure there are almost as many matches as the previously-held Champions League t20 but consisting of only the Indian teams.
On way or the other, the Champions League t20, as we know it is all but dead. What obviously now needs to be seen is how do the BCCI come up with the best format for this new IPL such that they can squeeze it within those many days and also appease the official broadcaster, Star Sports.
Have all eight IPL teams playing in the competition, along with one foreign team each from Australia and South Africa (or basically any two foreign teams on an invitational basis from Pakistan or anywhere else). This will make it 10 teams, the same number of sides as there were in the CLT20. Divide these 10 sides in two groups of five apiece and we get the same format as earlier but with just one foreign team in each group, there will be no match during the league stages in which two foreign teams will be playing each other. The only chance of that happening might be in one game of the knock-out phase if both the foreign sides face each other in either the semi-finals or the final.
Like this idea? Have an idea of your own how the new, mini-IPL should be formatted? Please use the comments box below to discuss.