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India, Australia and England cricket boards in talks to revive Champions League T20

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NewsDrum Desk
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Mumbai, Apr 2 (PTI) About 10 years after its last edition was played, "active conversations" are taking place between cricket boards of India, Australia and England to revive the Champions League, a club-based international T20 competition.

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The last edition of the CLT20 was held in India in 2014 with Chennai Super Kings winning the title after defeating Kolkata Knight Riders in the final at Bengaluru, with the edition involving three teams from India, two each from Australia and South Africa and one team side from Pakistan, the West Indies and New Zealand.

As many as six editions of the CLT20 were played between 2009-10 to 2014-15, with four of these being organised in India and two in South Africa. The tournament was won twice each by Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, while Australia's New South Wales and Sydney Sixes won it one time each.

While the cricket calendar remains jam-packed, the biggest challenge would be to find a window for reviving such an event, said Cricket Victoria CEO Nick Cummins, who is aware of the conversations taking place between the three biggest boards in international cricket.

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"I think the (earlier edition of) Champions League was ahead of its time. The T20 landscape wasn't matured enough at that point. I think it is now," Cummins told the media during the announcement of its partnership with KheloMore to launch the Melbourne Cricket Academy in India.

"I know that there's active conversations between Cricket Australia (CA), ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) about (reviving) the Champions League," he said.

"It's just trying to find a window as to when you actually play that, because you've also got all the ICC tournaments as well. It maybe (the case) that the first iteration of the Champions League will be of the women.... (it may involve cricketers playing in the) the WPL, the Hundred and the WBBL," he added.

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Cummins said he has been in regular talks with CA's CEO Nick Hockley for the revival of CLT20 but added that BCCI secretary Jay Shah could also shed some light on it.

"I'm constantly talking to Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia CEO, for a Champions League, because I think it's pretty important to bring that back," he said.

"There are talks about it. It's probably a question to ask Jay Shah (BCCI secretary). But certainly, from an Australia cricket perspective, we are very open to the idea of the Champions League. It's just about finding a window in the FTP, but I think that's the next step in the evolution of cricket," he added.

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Cummins drew comparison between the club-based international competition like Champions League in football, saying that cricket is in a similar phase of finding the balance between international and club-based competitions.

"We still haven't made out which league is the best. IPL, PSL or the Big Bash? The only way we can show that is by having the Melbourne Stars play Karachi Kings or the Mumbai Indians," Cummins said.

"Our great aspiration is to have the Indian players play in the Big Bash," he said.

"(The) Champions League is well overdue. Look at what Champions League does for football, the World Cup is fantastic and the Champions League is there (too) every time.

"The idea of the Mumbai Indians playing the Melbourne Stars at the MCG would be just as exciting as India playing Australia at the MCG," he added. PTI DDV AH AH

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