Champions League lacks the buzz of the IPL
The second edition of the Twenty20 Champions League gets underway in South Africa tomorrow night with the tournament still struggerling to create the same buzz as the Indian Premier League.
The event; which was the brainchild of suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, failed to generate much interest during the inaugural tournament last year with games played in almost empty grounds and the event attracting disappointing TV ratings in India.
This year’s event returns a month earlier, and with heavy rain a common occurrence in India in September the Governing Council decided to stage the second event in South Africa which hosted the 2nd edition on the IPL in 2008.
As was the case during that tournament the games will be well attended over the next two weeks but will the average fan in India be excited by a TV clash between the Chevrolet Warriors and the Wayamba Elevens.
It’s not just the lack of hype which is damaging the tournament, no matter how much spin the Governing Council put on it there is no escaping the fact that there is no English and Pakistani teams taking part this week in South Africa.
With exceptions of Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni the tournament also suffers from a lack of world class players capable of causing a buzz either in South Africa or in India.
So far the signs are not good. The pressure is already mounting on the governing council; another lack lustre event may leave ESPN Star, the official broadcaster, who paid $975 million for an exclusive 10-year deal looking to renegotiate.