Business of T20 leagues: Cricket all set to change again forever but not without a good deal of upheaval | Cricket News

MUMBAI: After Kerry Packer and the Australian television industry changed the face of the game in 1976, followed by India’s 1983 World Cup victory that resulted in the birth of the world’s largest economy sport, and finally to the launch of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that changed things forever, this week marks the start of another global whirlwind that could once again change the course of cricket for the fourth time in 45 years.
locust South Africa (CSA) and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) are currently locked in a fierce battle to stay one step ahead of each other as the two prepare to launch their respective T20 leagues. The advent of these leagues – alongside the IPL locking down March, April and May to itself; ICC prepares to host a global event each year; and other T20 leagues around the world grabbing all the remaining space in a calendar year – is expected to further reduce bilateral cricket forever, going forward.
The past 72 hours have seen members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) participate in a “boring draw” at the annual conference in Birmingham. Behind the scenes however, they were busy mediating a contest between the ASC and the ECB over a clash for a window, the signing of cricketers and the necessary pre and post approvals from the ICC board for that these leagues are moving forward.
The most relevant aspect of all the discussions revolved around the release of players for these leagues; the validity and logic behind certain policies/frameworks; and the potential risk of “player burnout” that could arise from such a move – if left unregulated.
Three cricket councils first raised the matter when members of the ICC Executive Committee (CEC) met on Monday. The matter was later brought to the board for further deliberation and TOI understands that a proposal was made to form a “task force” to study and understand the intricacies involved.
While the South African T20 league proposes to be a ‘domestic’ league modeled on IPL – four foreign players and seven from SA; the Emirates T20 league has been classified as an “international” league – a league which will have nine foreign cricketers in the eleven players and only two local names from the United Arab Emirates.
“Let’s look at the UAE proposal. You can debate it both ways. On the one hand, a league is perhaps the best possible way to help develop domestic cricket in the country, and the IPL is a good example of how cricketers from the remotest parts of India saw opportunities.
“The other side of the coin, however, is what sense does it make to have a league that has nine foreign cricketers in the XI and only two local players? Does that really help growth? If such a trend is established, tomorrow any nation anywhere in the world will just attract investors to fund a new league and offer the best price for cricketers to come and play “Doesn’t this threaten to destroy the existing fabric and framework of the ecosystem? What exactly does an ‘international T20 league’ mean anyway?” say those who follow these developments closely.
What is clear, however, is this – the ICC cannot prevent any Board – whether Full Member or Associate – from starting a league. This is a simple case of fair trade practices.
“What the ICC board needs to keep in mind is how they can possibly regulate the space and ensure cricketers don’t face burnout and become not really disengage from the idea of ​​’nation first’ policy. How can they ensure this? Deliberating whether the idea of ​​a league should primarily involve ‘local cricketers’ as a priority, followed by rookies foreign or otherwise,” the sources add.
The CSA-supported league, meanwhile, also has its own set of challenges. Forced to fit tightly in a narrow window between the project United Arab Emirates League and the IPL – February to be precise – South Africa’s priorities will be to ensure that their potential overseas recruits have enough time and space during the proposed window, which will be a whole different kind of puzzle.
“What will this entail? Better salary awards attracting better talent or money alone dictating political issues? Very possible. And if there is enough money on the table, why are the Will players consider anything else, including bilateral commitments? You see where all of this is. That’s the puzzle to worry about,” industry executives say.
For the record, the UAE league is tentatively set to be played between the second week of January and the first week of February, while the SA league could start in early February and finish at the end of the month.
-This article is the first in a four-part series on the changing landscape of cricket.

Leave a Comment