Domestic state T20 leagues are growing faster day by day. Domestic players are getting huge exposure in these leagues even before representing state teams. We have seen players like Varun Chakravarthy, Sai Kishore, T Natrajan, Shivam Dube, Jay Bista getting instant recognition. India’s first major state-based franchise T20 league Karnataka Premier League established in 2009 flopped in first two seasons. After a gap of 3 years, the third edition of Karnataka Premier League became a major hit by popularity among fans and commercially as well.
Then other revolutionary tournaments Tamil Nadu Premier League(2016), T20 Mumbai(2018), Saurashtra Premier League(2019) were launched with big hype and reputation. These leagues have a huge fanbase in their respective regions and have the potential to attract fans all around India or even outside India but somehow failed. Other than technical and corruption aspects let’s have a look at some fantasy Improvements.
Allowing outstation players in state leagues
IPL has the format of a maximum of four foreigners in playing 11 and eight in the squad. This helps the team to improve overall levels because once outsider player starts to perform, local players try to match his levels. Outside players like Hardik Pandya and Piyush Chawla registered their names for TNPL auctions in the first season but this move was blocked by BCCI. The BCCI does not allow Indian players to play in overseas leagues unless they have announced their retirement. So an Indian cricketer can represent any state in BCCI’s premier competitions but not allowed to play in one region of country if he is from another region.
These leagues are a source temp employment for players and that’s why a block of outstation players is highly criticised by fans, players and owners of franchises. This Improvement can create more opportunities for deserving youngsters and veterans of this format. You can imagine the hype if Dinesh Karthik playing for Hubli Tigers or Suryakumar Yadav playing for Chepauk Super Gillies or Ambati Rayadu playing for Shivaji Park Lions or Suresh Raina playing for Kutch Warriors.
Adding reserve sides of IPL franchises
Football clubs field their reserve teams in lower divisions consisting of untested players to give enough gametime. Due to many reasons like team combinations or tough competition, some Indian players remains untested. There was a time when IPL franchises used to select mostly own-region domestic players but now the time has changed. All Mumbai Indians domestic players regularly participate in DY Patil T20 Cup so players get enough gametime to showcase their capabilities before the tournament.
This move can benefit those deserving Indian players to represent franchise and prove yourself to team management. Reserve teams of IPL franchises will bring a new audience in these leagues because worldwide fanbase of that franchise will be attracted. Just imagine the scenario if MI-B playing T20 Mumbai with players like Krunal Pandya, Anmolpreet, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav etc.
Domestic Champions League
BCCI should launch the Domestic Champions League consisting top 2 teams from 4 major T20 tournaments. BCCI launched CLT20 modelled as UEFA Champions League in 2008. It turned out disaster for owners owing to poor viewership, lack of audience interest and unstable sponsorship. CLT20 failed to generate targeted revenues from the Indian market.
Domestic T20 leagues are already successful in market and compilation tournament of these leagues will reach the levels of other sporting leagues like Premier Badminton League and Pro Wrestling League.
Domestic Champions League will become a bigger and better platform for players to showcase themselves to IPL franchises and state cricket associations.
Tell us in comments about your view on these fantasy improvements
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