The departure of the last IPL franchise from the Champions League was received with great glee in South Africa and it had nothing to do with a home team being in the finals. The snide remarks that accompanied Delhi’s loss in the semis were disappointing especially since cricket South Africa is a partner in the Champions League along with BCCI and Cricket Australia.
The share of earnings from the Champions League for cricket South Africa are not inconsiderable and many South African players are in IPL teams, and are thus lot more comfortable in life than if they were plying their trade only in South Africa, so if anything there should be some appreciation of the earning opportunities created for their cricketers by the BCCI initiatives of the Indian Premier League and the Champions League.
To suggest that the TV rights holders will be weeping now that no IPL team is there in the finals is to believe that if the South African teams lost in the earlier rounds then the TV broadcaster in South Africa would be jumping with joy. Criticism from England is understandable, as apart from the odd player nobody else is involved in the IPL teams even though the two teams that qualify from England for the Champions League do get a handsome appearance fee for that.
It was England’s call to go with Stanford than the Champions League when simple maths would have shown that in the long term being partners in the Champions League was going to be more financially rewarding for the board. The animosity towards the BCCI was so strong that better sense did not prevail and still does not do so.
All the talk about how teams who play together for the year are better off than the IPL teams who get together for only six weeks in the IPL, and three weeks for the Champions League can be shrugged off by the fact that the IPL teams have won two of the Champions Leagues played so far and yes, one of those victories was in South Africa too.
Despite the IPL teams making early exits four of the top five contenders for the accolade of the cricketer of the week were from their teams and Dinesh Karthik, who played a dazzling innings as well as took catches with the big gloves beats the likes of du Plessis, Malinga, Murali Vijay and Yorkshires Ballance to be the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.