Full refund within 30 days if you're not completely satisfied.
Twenty20 stampede Stampeding began when countries fought to promote a champions league for the winners – and some runners-up – of domestic 20-over competitions. In early June, the ECB declared that a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Australia, India and South Africa; but the English and Indian boards fell out as the latter wanted 50% ownership. The ECB tried to set up their own champions league, and Abu Dhabi’s royal family were courted, but they preferred to invest in Manchester City football club.
India went ahead with organising their multimillion-dollar Champions League – before the recession every 20-over league was “multimillion-dollar” – with Australia and South Africa as their junior partners. To make room in the schedule, the First Test in Perth between these junior partners was put back five days: thus 20-over cricket was established as the priority, even though the launch of the Champions League was later postponed a year. Then Sri Lanka’s 13 best players refused to tour England for a Test series in May 2009 because they had already pledged themselves to the IPL. In the New Year, England’s star cricketers decided they were going to India for half of the second IPL season, even if they returned home only four days before the First Test in May. Christopher Martin-Jenkins observed that Twenty20 was a “Frankenstein which could devour everything unless rationally controlled”.
The next stage in the midsummer stampede began with a helicopter hovering over Lord’s, landing on the Nursery, and disgorging a selfproclaimed Texan billionaire. Great West Indian cricketers, who had never bowed a knee to any opponent, paid homage to Sir Allen Stanford – or, rather, were paid to pay homage amid the collective sycophancy. The ECB argued, reasonably, that it was better to have such an entrepreneur operating inside the tent, rather than outside, as Kerry Packer had done. But before agreeing to play an annual game of Twenty20 for $20m, for five years, the ECB should have stipulated that their team to play the Stanford Superstars would not be called England, with all the values and traditions which the name implies. Then they would not have been so embarrassed when Stanford’s business empire came under investigation in early 2009, and he was charged with fraud “of shocking magnitude”. The man who wanted to be king of the Caribbean might not have been what he seemed.
The 20-over tournaments proliferated: the IPL, the EPL, the Stanford 20/20 for $20m, a Stanford quadrangular at Lord’s, the Champions League, the ICC World Twenty20, and the Indian Cricket League which, having largely confined itself to signing non-Indian players past their prime, recruited a team of Bangladeshis – and further weakened the weakest. Every one was an attempt to cash in, although only the IPL had understood that 20-over cricket needs an extra ingredient to appeal to a wider audience, including women and girls: in its case, the glamorous association with Bollywood film stars and other Indian celebrities. Hence, the IPL is surviving the recession, so far, while the other acronyms are crumbling. The English Premier League has contracted not only in terms of teams but in nomenclature too, down to a proposed, pitiful, P20.
All rights reserved. You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this content in any form or by any means.