BY: SHAZIL SHUJAH
Sitting aimlessly nearby the resonating yet tranquil stream amongst the heighted greenish trees delves one into the recollection of the former pleasant and unforgettable memories. I am recollecting such memorable memories, but the truth is, I’m not sitting or standing at the shore of the sea, or lake, in fact, I’m on the bed and one date is prying into my solace-fitted setting, and that is 15th March.
On 15th of March, 1877, the first official test match of the cricket’s world between Australia and England was played at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The most interesting matter of this match was that, a player aged 49 years 119 days debuted in the international cricket. And the more compelling fact is, this player named, J Southerton is still the oldest debutant in the cricket. If we peer into the historical developments of the game of cricket and pile them up here, it would be a hard task, and the need of the hour is to stop here.
Since the inception of T20 cricket on 17th February 2005, with the match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park, Auckland, the format of the game has always been introduced with the anew heights. These intangible heights commenced augmenting, or enlarging at a wider scale, when ICC began holding ICC WCC T20, the first tournament of this kind was played in 2007, and IPL was introduced. From whence, the T20 is the apple of everyone’s eye amongst the other formats of the game. Now, the traits like commercialization and money-making are common in every country’s cricket. The famous T20 leagues from all over the world are as under:
INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE (IPL):
The Indian Premier League (IPL) started off its journey in 2008, when in April of that year; Rajasthan Royals won the first title. The teams inclusive of this T20 league are Chennai Super Kings (It saw 2 years [2016 & 2017] ban from the play for accusations of corruption), Delhi Capitals (previously, Daredevils, it never reached an IPL final), Kings Xi Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Banglore, and Sunrisers Hyderabad (this team appeared in 2013 following the disbanding of Deccan Challengers after IPL 2012). Among all these described teams, both Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians which played the final of IPL 2019 are credited to have won more titles than others. Both have been victorious or winners 3 time each in the tally of 12 editions. It must be noted that, it is the richest T20 league. The brand value and combined prize money of IPL is $6.3bn, according to the statistics of Duff & Phelps in 2018 and $6.1mn respectively. Vivo, the current IPL title sponsors, signed a five-year agreement, worth $341mn in 2018. The revenue generated through broadcasting rights is worth mentioning. In September 2017, Star India, won the broadcasting rights for a figure of INR 16, 347.5 crore for five consecutive editions.
BIG BAS LEAGUE (BBL):
Twenty20 Big Bash, which was a six state-based teams’ tournament, was replaced by the Big Bash League (BBL) by Cricket Australia (CA) in 2011, the year which is marked with the winning of 2nd ICC WCC 50/50 by Indian Men’s Cricket team. Before the edition of BBL 2017-18, each team used to play once at least the other team, but now, a team plays two more games. Teams are allowed only two overseas players. There comes no drafting or auctioning of the players unlike PSL, IPL, and CPL. Usually, it is considered as an opportunistic platform for the inexperienced talent players. The most successful team or franchise of this league is Perth Scorchers, which has won the title thrice (2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17) and has cruised to the finals at 5 different occasions. The other teams of this awaited league are, Sydney Sixers, which won the first championship in 2011-12, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Stars etc. Cricket Australia was the first board to inaugurate Women’s T20 League as Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). Like IPL, BBL earns money through granting the broadcasting rights to the opulent broadcasters. In 2018, CA signed a contract with Fox Cricket and Seven Network worth $1.12bn.
CARRIBEAN LEAGUE (CPL):
The beginning of the league is dated 6 years back there in 2013, when Windies’ players deprived of money and merry thought upon to organize a league. Each franchise gets $600, 000 in the auction. The brand value of Hero CPL is $102mn and the current title sponsor of CPL is Hero MotoCorp, which is an India’s automobile brand. Administered by Cricket West Indies, the teams playing in CPL are, Trinbago Knight Riders, Jamaica Tallawahs, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars, and Antigua Hawksbill (it is no more existed, appeared in 2013 and 2014 only). The most victorious franchise is, Trinbago Knight Riders, which has been the champions thrice.
PAKISTAN SUPER LEAGUE (PSL):
A new addition to the nail-biting and thrilling games of the cricket for the gratification of cricket admirers is the reasoned as the need of the contemporary world for seeing the exciting and promising players. PSL is new contrary to other leagues. Its inauguration is of 2016 (4th Feb) before the organization of ICC WCC 20/20. The franchises included in this talent-seeking and utilizing league are, Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Multan Sultans (It came in 2018 first), Lahore Qalanders, Quetta Gladiators, and Peshawar Zalmi. The format of the league is similar to that of CPL. The winner of the first edition of PSL was Islamabad United (2016) and the recent champion of recent edition of PSL (2019) was Quetta Gladiators, which played the finals of three editions out of 4 held editions. HBL is the title sponsor of the league. The league has attracted several world class players as Chris Gayle, Kumar Sangakara, Abraham de Villiers, Brendon MacCullum, Kevin Pietersen, and Luke Ronchi, although the games are held in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi. Gradually, the event is being shifted to Pakistan. It has been proclaimed that the 5th edition of the PSL will be held in Pakistan.
There are more leagues to cover such as Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Natwest T20 Blast, Global T20, T10 League, and APL, but, the time instructs us to wrap the things up right here.