Friday, August 06, 2010

Who Makes These Draws???

There must be some really stupid people incharge of domestic competitions. A few months ago I had written on BCC! about how the rules of the knockout stages of the Ranji Trophy made no sense. Subsequently Mumbai benefited from playing Haryana instead of Uttar Pradesh in the quarters and went on to win the title. They did put in a solid performance against Delhi in the semis and played out one of the most memorable finals against Karnataka, but it doesn't change the fact that neither they nor Uttar Pradesh should have been seeded higher just because they made the finals of the previous Ranji season.

The 2010 Champions League starts in a little over a month and I happened to visit its section on cricinfo earlier tonight. There was some rubbish about branding, positioning, etc. and they've hired Amitabh "Serial Brand Ambassador" Bachchan their brand ambassador. I don't know how it makes any sense and I also find it contradictory that they want this to be as big as the UEFA Champions League but are only focusing on the Indian market. But I'll go along with it anyway.

Then I checked out the draw for the tournament. Now the format this year is different from what it was in 2009 because you don't have any English teams. Therefore, this is the break-up of where the teams come from.

India: Chennai (Champions), Mumbai (Runner-up), Bangalore (Third Place)
Australia: Victoria (Champions), South Australia (Runners-up)
South Africa: Warriors (Champions), Lions (Runners-up)
Sri Lanka: Wayamba (Champions)
New Zealand: Central Districts (Champions)
West Indies: Guyana (Champions)

Surely the way to go about this would have been to have 3 champions in each group, with the runners-up from India, Australia and South Africa drawn in the group other than the one the champions from their country were drawn into. Instead each team in Group A won its domestic T20 competition, while Guyana are the only team in Group B to have won their T20 competition.

T20 might be the most unpredictable of the 3 cricketing formats, but it's a bit of a stretch to put Chennai, Victoria, and the Warriors in the same group. Below are three possible combinations which I believe are better than the good folk running the tournament have come up with.


Group A
Group B

Group A
Group B

Group A
Group B
Chennai
Mumbai

Chennai
Mumbai

Chennai
Mumbai
South Australia
Victoria

South Australia
Victoria

Lions
Warriors
Lions
Warriors

Warriors
Lions

Victoria
South Australia
Wymb/CD/Guy
Bangalore

Bangalore
Wymb/CD/Guy

Bangalore
Wymb/CD/Guy
Wymb/CD/Guy
Wymb/CD/Guy

Wymb/CD/Guy
Wymb/CD/Guy

Wymb/CD/Guy
Wymb/CD/Guy

I think the best option would have been the first combination - Winners and Runners-up from India, Australia and South Africa go into opposite groups while #2 and #3 from India are paired together, and each group has 3 champions. I'm sure some people might disagree, in which case I invite them to share their point of view :)

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