As expected, the Champions League T20 competition has been discontinued with immediate effect, scrubbing the edition planned for September and October.
While the move has been on the cards for some time, it will nonetheless be a blow to the Cape Cobras, the Ram Slam T20 Challenge winners, and the runners-up, the Knights, who will now be deprived of their appearance fees of around US$200 000. The winners stood to win $2.5 million.
When warning lights started flashing over the Champions League earlier this year, Nabeal Dien, CEO of the Cape Cobras, told SACricketmag.com that if the competition were to be shelved, it would have a huge impact on all the franchises. ‘It’s not just about the money, which is significant in terms of our budget,’ he said. ‘It’s about the world stage that the players get to play on. It’s a big deal for the younger players to play that form of international cricket.’
The Governing Council of the CLT20, comprising representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket Australia (CA) made the decision unanimously, citing the lack of public interest.
Anurag Thakur, Honorary Secretary of the BCCI said: ‘This has been a difficult decision as the CLT20 provided added context to a number of domestic T20 competitions around the world such as the IPL in India, Big Bash League in Australia and South Africa’s Ram Slam T20.
‘Details associated with winding down the league including settling with the three nations that had invested time and effort in the competition, will be completed very soon,’ he added.
In anticipation of this eventuality, CSA this year launched a 16-team Africa T20 Cup which will be the African curtain-raiser to the 2015-16 season.
Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia will compete alongside the 12 CSA affiliates as well as associate member KZN Inland in the tournament running from Sept 4 to Oct 4.