I won’t get into such debate as to whether a Twenty20 form of cricket is a real cricket or not, but if the format isn’t managed correctly, I surely can see the threats this format poses to Tests and especially to ODI format to its existent. I believe that the true sport fans who enjoy all kind of sports always have space in their heart to accept anything sporty comes to the way, so to us true sport fans, all formats of cricket, including Twenty20, Test and ODI, can exist together only if the evil of the cricket finance isn’t allowed to milk from all cash-cows to a single format.
I am one of those who believe professional cricketers are underpaid compare to other professionals of major sports. However, over the years the ICC has created an environment for international cricket that international players of full member countries have now started to earn decently without a great deal of disparity among them. It will be a good thing to allow any growth within the same framework. If we are to get out of this framework, and support a domestic league that in turn attracts players with more money in a way that a player can make so much in a few weeks that they cannot earn in years playing international cricket, it surely can create a bad case for international cricket.
Also since a domestic league can only support a limited number of players, an overly paid such league can only create great disparity by creating unnecessary elites among the elites without considering any qualitative indifference. I am not talking against capitalism or routing for socialism or something else, but all or majority of the money going to the pockets of a few so called elites can be very harmful for sustaining and growing cricket world wide. Even if you like sweeten tea, you surely wouldn’t want too much sugar that can make it bitter. That’s exactly the case that will happen to international cricket if a domestic cricket takes precedence over an international event in cricketers mind. I am not against any domestic league, and I believe healthy domestic leagues are critical to developing good international players, and we must support domestic leagues everywhere possible. But we must not allow any domestic league to supersede international cricket.
Financial opportunities that Twenty20 can offer for its advantages due to duration need to be analyzed and taken advantage of, nonetheless. And for the solution, we must look within the framework of the international cricket. Only a superior international league can counter any ill aimed domestic league that threatens the international games of cricket. Why can’t we ask ICC to arrange a yearly Twenty20 international professional league, in which major cities of the full member countries can participate? We can set aside two months in a year for this league whereas Tests and ODI can be played the remaining 10 months. This way, we can enjoy all versions of the game
. It’s a good thing that the ICC hasn’t reserved any window for any domestic league yet:
If the reservation was made for any domestic league, it would have been difficult to change it for an international league. Now we have the opportunity to lobby and create a case for reserving a window for Twenty20 international league.
Is an international Twenty20 league feasible? I think it is because I believe there are huge opportunities in big cities of all member countries. And of course since it’s Twenty20, anyone (international cricketer of course) can play competitively. We must take the case to the countries who are thinking the same way. For example, no English player has yet signed for that big domestic Twenty20 that everyone is talking about
If other nations weren’t concerned about the issue, ICC would have acted differently. There has already been a discussion about creating a league between three so called elite countries. But we must move and create a case for everyone before the so called elites win their cases and add more messes to the existing ones.
For BD, the case is very simple, but we must plan and believe that we can easily fit into a big international Twenty20 league because our players are surely good fit for Twenty20. And we have a large population base and big cricket events surely can attract big audience since cricket is very popular in BD. At a minimum, Dhaka and Chittagong can financially support two teams in such a league.
It may not be a unique idea and there may be others who have expressed the same need as well. But I am still creating a thread for this here since I know many, possibly including BCB members and members from other forums, visit this forum. Time hasn’t run out yet, but it will unless we make enough noise and demand for an international Twenty20 league. We must take the case to everyone. And if BCB can’t take a lead in this regard, we as fans must insist on BCB at a minimum to support others who may be coming up with similar ideas. Instead of drumbeating for another domestic league which may or may not have one or more of our players, BCB must plan to ensure that we participate in enough tournaments and that our players earn decent and competitive salary by playing for and representing our cities and nation.