Cricket Australia says it’s looking at alternatives to the Twenty20 Champions League, after the tournament was cancelled because of a lack of interest.
The league’s governing council on Wednesday announced that the competition would be discontinued immediately, meaning this year’s scheduled event in September and October will not go ahead.
The council, made up of representatives from CA, Cricket South Africa and the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said it was the “most appropriate decision due to the tournament’s limited public following”.
“It was a fantastic platform for players from around the world to showcase their talent and the participating teams thoroughly enjoyed the experience over the last six seasons,” honorary secretary of the BCCI, Anurag Thakur, said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, off the field, Champions League T20 wasn’t sustaining the interest of the fans as we had hoped.”
The Champions League launched in 2009 and pitted the top domestic T2O teams from around the world – including Australia’s Big Bash League, the IPL in India and South Africa’s Ram Slam.
Australia had two title winners, the NSW Blues in 2009 and Sydney Sixers in 2012.
CA’s Mike McKenna said he was disappointed that the competition won’t go ahead but saw genuine value in the concept.
“We are committed to exploring new opportunities to deliver on the original objective of the Champions League, which was to provide further context and meaning for domestic T20 competitions around the world and opportunities for players to experience high level competition in a different environment,” said McKenna, CA’s general manager of operations.
“There is an established period of time to stage an event of this nature in September and October of each year, and it is about identifying a model that works for the long-term.”
The tournament boasted a $6 million prize pool, with $2.5 million going to the winners.
The Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings were the most successful teams in the competition, having both won it twice.
The Super Kings were last year’s victors, but are now suspended from the next two editions of the IPL over a betting and corruption scandal, along with the Rajasthan Royals.