Which makes things difficult for a cricket blogger, especially one, like myself, needing to write some sort of first blog post to make the site look less empty. Of course I also blog, or will blog, about baseball, football and rugby and in those sports I have the postseason, upcoming internationals and the quarter finals of the World Cup about which to write. But this is primarily a cricket blog, and I want the first entry to be about cricket, so I have a small problem.
‘But wait!’ I hear you exclaim, flattering myself that I already have readers. ‘There is the T20 Champions League!’ Ah, well that’s technically true. But I’m not watching it, because I don’t really care about it. It’s only a T20 tournament, and not even an international one. Please note that I don’t hate it. Actually I think it’s a decent idea in theory, just not in practice.
I just can’t be arsed to care about it. The problem is not the T20 bit, at least not entirely. The problem is more one of context. There isn’t any. The various domestic cricket leagues are not in competition with each other in the way that European football leagues are. There is no unifying central body analogous to UEFA and all the leagues act independently of each other. In addition, the leagues themselves are not all that well established. The clubs competing in the UEFA CL often have massive histories behind them. Even if not, they are from some of the most famous leagues of any sport in the world. This is not the case with T20 cricket. (It would probably not be the case with four day cricket either, since the history and popularity of the County Championship is not seen in other nations’ domestic competitions.) I don’t know any of the IPL teams, but even if I did, they barely even exist. There have only been a handful of six-week tournaments, with a very high player turnover rate. There has not been time for teams to develop the kind of characteristics that is necessary to make these kind of tournaments interesting, at least for people like me with no vested interest in a specific club.(Though it would be nice if Somerset won, after all they’ve been through the last few seasons.) The CLT20 boils down to a group of unheard of sides playing for a meaningless trophy. I just don’t care.