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Domination of IPL teams in CLT20 not entirely unfair

Domination of IPL teams in CLT20 not entirely unfair

Teams still have to perform, no matter the amount of money they pump in to fetch quality players. That's where IPL teams have excelled.

An international extension of the Indian Premier League, the Champions League Twenty20 is quite understandably dominated by teams from India; and the 2013 edition hasn't been an exception with three of the four semi-finalists coming from the IPL, two of whom - Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals - have progressed to the final.

With the amount of money IPL franchises pump in to shape-up their squads, other international clubs look pale in comparison, and if the tournament is staged in India, like this year, the domination of Indian clubs becomes obvious.

There has been talk about Indian teams enjoying distinct advantage with four foreign players in the eleven, which doesn't make for a level playing field. But the same pundits call Twenty20 anybody's game, which somewhat nullifies the earlier argument. You still have to perform, no matter the amount of money you keep putting in. And that's where IPL teams have excelled.

Also, IPL teams face the challenge of gelling as a unit after their squad gathers only twice a year following months of playing in different parts of the world in contrasting conditions. In contrast, foreign clubs play together day in and day out and don't face that challenge. But still, to their credit, the Indian clubs manage to get in sync and dominate.

The only bone of contention could be the number of IPL teams in the fray, which can be regarded slightly unfair. Four Indian clubs play the CLT20, two more than South Africa, Australia and England, and three more than Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies. That naturally creates more chances of an IPL team winning the tournament.

Another point that's debatable is that why champions like the Faisalabad Wolves and Otago Volts are asked to come through the qualifying phase, while runners-up from Australia and South Africa and top three teams from the IPL get direct entry into the main event.

That gives a misleading name to the tournament. 'Champions League' should mean every domestic champion gets direct entry into the main event, which should apply to every nation and not just India, Australia and South Africa who run the tournament.

On that note, it won't be wrong to admit that CLT20 is work in progress and will take considerable remodeling to get near football's UEFA Champions League, on whose blueprint it is based.