Home > General Cricket > Opinion: Why a champions trophy…. now?

Opinion: Why a champions trophy…. now?

To me, it seems very silly that there is a tournament, with the top 10 teams playing, 6 months before the World Cup. What is the value of the world cup? That Holland or Kenya would be playing in it?

ICC needs to get one thing through their head…. they are not FIFA and cricket is not football. A tournament such as the Champions trophy 6 months before the ‘WORLD CUP’ is only justifiable if there are at least 15-16 great countries playing cricket. That way, a champions trophy is just what it says it is….. a tournament between the elite teams. But when the champions trophy’s elite teams are the only ones that have ANY chance of winning the world cup 2007, there is some problem.

ICC could have done a few things. I have mentioned before that they could have had only 6 teams playing. Alternatively, they could have gone back to the original format which was with 8 teams and all games begin knockout matches. The third option for the ICC is that they stick with whatever format they have, but they hold this Champions Trophy in the middle of 2 World Cups i.e. they should have held it in 2005, and the next one can be in 2009.

ICC desperately wants to have 1 major tournament every 4 years. They can, but they need to promote what they have. The U19 World Cup is quite interesting, and I saw a lot of interest in Pakistan this year because of the way that match went. A huge majority of people knew the names of the bowlers. One of the biggest reasons for that happenning was that the game was shown live in Pakistan. I think that there is potential for the U19 World Cup to be a decent commercial venture if all games are covered live and shown in the respective countries. But the ICC has to work on that.

Getting back to point. ICC had a World Cup in 2003. They could have had the Champions trophy in 2005, U19 WC as it was in 2006. that would have left 2004. ICC can go ahead and hold a 20/20 championships in that year. The ICC trophy would also be in the year 2005, though I dont know what the commercial value of that tournament is. So that kind of makes it 1 major tournament every year without the ICC having to hold a World Cup like ‘mini’ tournament 6 months before the actual thing.

Pakistan v India series 2004 sold for $21 mil. Pakistan v India series 2006 sold for $7.1 mil. This had a lot to do with the fact that there had been a Pakistan v India series also in 2005. The most worrying thing for the PCB was that England v Pakistan sold for $9 mil, $2 mil higher than Pakistan v India series, which is quite an unthinkable thing.

2 years back, there was no way that a Pakistan v India match would be missed by anyone. Now the situation is that people were not even following the DLF Cup between Pakistan and India in sharjah at times. Too much of a good thing will kill the charm, and the ICC needs to understand that it cannot get the teams playing each other over and over again, because there are only 8 teams. It will end up countering ICCs objective of making more money, just because it will render a lot of good tournaments as pointless as well…..

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Categories: General Cricket
  1. Bruce Gaskell
    October 1, 2006 at 8:51 am

    It’s a joke, and just devalues the World cup. A lot of the Cricket media think the Champions trophy is pointless anyway (apart from the money). I think it has its place though, guaranteeing games for decent but unfashionable teams like New Zealand and Srilanka.
    I completely agree with the timetable you suggest, if it were held midway between each world cup I could see it growing into quite a prestigious and marketable tournament. I think this years format is quite good, a short qualifying round then a short pool stage. It’s a shame that one group could hold Aus India and West Indies, given their recent frolic in Malaysia.

    “The most worrying thing for the PCB was that England v Pakistan sold for $9 mil, $2 mil higher than Pakistan v India series, which is quite an unthinkable thing.”
    In a way its good that Pakistani fans are discerning and want to see differant teams. I think the the 2 boards have learnt their lesson and are now avoiding overkill.

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