Twenty20 Champions League scrapped

NEW DELHI, July 15

The Twenty20 Champions League, an international tournament featuring the top domestic teams of the major cricket nations, is to be scrapped after failing to excite fans, organisers announced on on Wednesday.

The three-week event had been billed as the richest club tournament in the sport with a total prize pool of $6 million that included a winner’s purse of $2.5 million. Jointly owned by the cricket boards of India, Australia and South Africa, the tournament was launched in 2009 with much fanfare following the overwhelming success of the Indian Premier League. But after six editions, the co-owners said the league would be “discontinued with immediate effect” due to “limited public following”.

“The council determined that the discontinuation of the league was the most appropriate decision due to the tournament’s limited public following,” said a statement. “It was a fantastic platform for players to showcase their talent and the participating teams thoroughly enjoyed the experience over the last six seasons.

Although South Africa did host one of the editions of the tournament, all the others were staged in India. While the glitzy IPL regularly draws sell-out crowds, the Champions League was often played to a backdrop of a few hundred spectators while the viewing figures were only a fraction of those for IPL matches. Speculation that the tournament, for which the ICC had laid down a three-week window in September and October, may be cancelled had been rife over the last six months.