The ICC Champions Trophy got over late on Monday night. The Champions League Twenty20 kicks off tomorrow. So we thought we’ll take this tiny window between the two tournaments to give our two-paise bit on the golden goose that’s today’s cricket. For starters, if you breathlessly followed the Champions Trophy that took place in South Africa, then you’re either a retired cricket nut who’s doing a late PhD titled, ‘The 50-overs game: cricket at the molecular level’, or one of the New Zealand or Australian cricketers who actually played in the final match. More excitement was generated about the so-called ‘manual’ of the Indian cricket team, a plague of flying ants on the field during the Australia-England encounter, and whether this would hammer the first official nail in the coffin of the one-day format of the game.
As for the upcoming 16-day Champions League — the latest grazing grounds of 12 ‘non-national world class teams’ — the buzz is already inaudible. Perhaps once the circus comes to town, with the opening match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Cape Cobras (‘who, what, howzzat?’), things will get noticed. But a day before Day 1, the big story is about, er, Wasim Akram’s ‘non-inclusion’ in a commentary panel. One hopes for the sake of the organisers, the sponsors and, oh yes, the players that on Diwali night, we will stop everything and watch at least one of the two matches that will take place in Bangalore.
One advantage that the Champions League Twenty20 has over the ICC Champions Trophy is that we don’t have to stay awake till the wee hours of the night. The disadvantage: coming two days after the latter, the golden goose of cricket is getting seriously squeezed out of that narrow, bouncy strip of our attention.