The cricket calendar is increasingly becoming more and more congested, as numerous franchised leagues emerge and are deemed to push the boundaries so as to get their space in the schedule. We are talking about franchised T20 leagues that are lately dominating the cricketing world.
It seems that everybody wants a slice from the big pie of the all-so-popular and successful T20 cricket games. And in the name of getting cricket further deep into the hearts of fans and making it even more popular among people, countries engage into a speedrun of franchising their own T20 leagues.
While some of the most successful leagues in world cricket have emerged with this format – the Indian Premier League, the Big Bash League, the Caribbean Super League or the Bangladesh Premier League which are capturing fans’ attention and are also bringing influx of betting revenues to every betting site in Bangladesh or in any other country with a big tradition in cricket – there are serious concerns over their “legitimacy” and effectiveness.
There is a widespread notion that there is no need for every single country to have its own league, or that “not everybody is doing it well” or even that “since not all leagues are indeed good, then they shouldn’t be organized”. These are some thoughts expressed by the ICC administrators of the conference that was held one year earlier.
The problem comes down to the fact that the cricket calendar is fully packed and there is such a busy schedule for teams that it detracts from their responsibilities, obligations and participations to mega, international cricket competitions and tournaments. It’s literally kind of amazing, how can all the franchised leagues are stacked on one another so as to make things work. But the thing is that things can’t work this way – at least according to the views and beliefs of the ICC’s board of directors and executives.
It seems that the exponential growth of T20 cricket leagues is going to bring about more problems in the organization of international cricket competitions in the near future and for that reason there is something that needs to be done.
The counter-proposal in order to free up some space in the cricket calendar is to have countries partnering in organizing these franchised leagues. Of course this goes for those leagues that have not done a good job up to now (!) alone. They can get with each other, group their boards and partner in hosting leagues on rotation. It’s a win-win situation. Everybody gets to have their way, plus there is more free space and time for international cricketing.
International cricketing is the top priority at this moment for the International Cricket Council. But franchised leagues have emerged as very successful, very attractive and highly attainable and audienced games’ format, which means that they should not be overlooked or neglected. In fact it appears that such franchised leagues have not only been welcomed by fans – unlike what happens in other sports, where new leagues are, for instance, boycotted, like the European Super League in football – but they have been largely followed closely.
T20 leagues, have indeed been widely accepted and loved by nearly everyone who loves the sport, but they are stalling the sport’s advancement and they are getting in the way of making international cricketing grow further. They are even considered – by some cricket analysts themselves – as unsustainable, especially when they can offer lucrative contracts to cricketers – drawing their attention away from the up to recently dominant tournaments and competitions in the international cricket landscape.
Overall, everybody agrees at least to one thing, whether they like this new busy schedule or not. This is none other than the fact that cricket becomes so stacked up, that in the end it loses that deep-rooted, traditional character and profile of a sport that is not as commercialized as some of its counterparts around the world.
Cricket Content Writer at Cricfacts.com. A seasoned sports journalist who is working in the industry for more than two decades. He is now on facebook also.