16 Jul 2015

T20 Champions League discontinued

7:38 am on 16 July 2015

The international Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament has been discontinued with immediate effect due to lack of interest.

Suresh Raina

2014 Champions League winner Suresh Raina from the Chennai Super Kings Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The event, which has run since 2009 and featured the top T20 sides from most of the major Test-playing countries, has been cancelled because of "limited public following".

Launched by the cricket boards of India, Australia and South Africa, the competition had an overall prize fund of $NZ 9 million.

The 2014 title was won by Chennai Super Kings of the Indian Premier League.

As an aside, a panel appointed by India's top court yesterday recommended that the franchise owners of Chennai and fellow IPL team the Rajasthan Royals be suspended for two years following a corruption scandal.

Anurag Thakur, the honorary secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India said the Champions League axing was disappointing but unavoidable.

"It was a fantastic platform for players from around the world to showcase their talent and the participating teams thoroughly enjoyed the experience over the last six seasons."

"Unfortunately, off the field, Champions League T20 wasn't sustaining the interest of the fans as we had hoped."

With two wins in total, the Super Kings are the joint most successful side in the competition's history, along with fellow IPL side the Mumbai Indians.

The only other two teams to win the title both came from Australia's Big Bash competition.

New South Wales Blues won in 2009 - before the Big Bash was reformatted to feature city-based franchises - and their victory was matched by the Sydney Sixers in 2012, when England one-day batsman Michael Lumb was man of the match in the final.

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