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Performance of ‘champions’ throws up questions

cricket Updated: Sep 24, 2010 00:46 IST
Subhash Rajta
Subhash Rajta
Hindustan Times
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The Champions League has been built up as the contest between champion sides. The competition has fallen short of the billing, what with as many as three teams —Wayamba XI, Guyana and the Central Stags (CS) — looking out of depth.

While Guyana sleepwalked through their group without winning a single match, Wayamba and CS did the same in the other group.

The only win Wayamba could muster up was against CS in their last match.

Thanks to their collective poor showing, the competition has been somewhat lop-sided with not enough matches going down to the wire - the highlight of the T20 format.

“It is an eye-opener for us. We had worked hard, and now we feel there is a long way to go to compete at the highest level,” said Wayamba skipper, Jehan Mubarak. That holds true for the two other teams as well.

Anil Kumble, however, took a more sympathetic view of the situation.

“Being a contest between champion sides does not mean that all matches will be decided by one or two runs. Many of these state sides are playing outside their home conditions for the first time, and it takes time to adapt,” he said.

Nevertheless, one can’t help but wish they had put up a better show. The Central Stags, though, did look a shade better than the other two sides and could have been more competitive had they not lost their skipper Ross Taylor to the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“Taylor is a huge loss. Not only in batting, his experience in bowling would helped as well. It’s a huge loss, but then we have to carry on with whatever resources we have,” said skipper Jamie How.

South Australia opener Daniel Harris feels the rule does dilute the competition a bit.

“Players eligible to play the tournament from two away teams, like Kieron Pollard who qualified from both the Mumbai Indians and South Australia, could decide which team they want to play for. But when a home team is in the fray, a player should be allowed to play for them,” he said.

Some food for thought for the CLT20 governing council.