IPL not the reason behind scrapping of CLT20: Gavaskar

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New Delhi, July 15: Defending IPL, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar today rubbished talks of the cash-rich Indian Premier League being the reason behind the scrapping of Champions League T20.

The suspension of IPL sides Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals and the scrapping of CLT20 happened in a span of 24 hours.

Sunil Gavaskar

"There is no connection. I think completely different, the Champions League has four teams from the Indian Premier League, three teams get direct entry, the fourth team has to play the qualifier and there are two teams from Australia, two from South Africa, so I don't think anything to do with the IPL would have had an effect on the championship," Gavaskar, who had once served as BCCI's interim chief, told 'NDTV'.

The dipping popularity of CLT20, an event comprising top IPL sides and various T20 winners from across the globe and which began in 2009, is the reason behind its scrapping. Gavaskar though is unable to explain the reason behind the shut down of what he thought was a fantastic tournament.

"It was pretty much like the T20 leagues all over the world, which are very popular. Caribbean Premier League (CPL), the Australian Big Bash are very well followed and even the T20 leagues in England and New Zealand. It's hard to put a finger why a tournament like Champions League hasn't been able to generate the same kind of interest," he said.

"Maybe a different format could have been tried with two groups of five teams each and maybe something like that could have worked," he added.

Gavaskar believed that the motivation to win their respective domestic tournaments for gaining a CLT20 berth, will no longer be there for top T20 sides of the world.

"Champions League is a very, very lucrative tournament for the non-Indian franchises. And therefore they (the foreign teams) were very keen to win their domestic tournaments to qualify for the CLT20. So with that incentive being taken away, the importance of winning, with all the leagues in the world, will just be diminished," he said.

PTI

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