Lahore Qalandars CEO backs idea of T20 Champions League

Faizan Lakhani
Lahore Qalandars Atif Rana. Photo: File

Atif Rana, CEO of Lahore Qalandars, has backed the idea of launching the T20 Champions League, a tournament between top teams of various T20 leagues.

Several cricket administrators have expressed the need of such a tournament and Rana is latest to join the call for restoring the competition.

Rana, while speaking Geo News, said that a competition between T20 franchises from different countries would play a key role in globalising the sport.

"We need to do something similar to football. We need more competition between clubs/franchises," he said.

The idea of a Champions League isn’t a new. The competition ran for six editions in the past from 2009 to 2014 but many believed that the tournament was ahead of its time as T20 franchise cricket was not mature then.

The tournament previously relied on India's sides heavily but now with the growth of T20 leagues around the world the chances look promising.

According to Rana, a contest between Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises will provide great entertainment value and will serve as the answer to cricket fans' need to see the rivals clash. 

"Imagine a match between Lahore and Delhi, Mumbai and Karachi or Islamabad and Chennai, such a contest will bring supporters on toes and it will be as important as an India vs Pakistan clash," he said. 

"A contest between franchise teams can be the answer to the growing appetite of a competition between India and Pakistan."

The Qalandars CEO further said that the competition will give a much needed boost to domestic players as they will get to experience the pressure of playing top level cricket.

"I see this happening in future," he assured.

Earlier, officials from England’s Surrey County, India’s Rajasthan Royals and Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) officials have also expressed the need for Champions League. 

"We’d love to see the Champions League return. It just feels like club cricket has come of age. When you see all these international tournaments with football clubs and rugby clubs, it just seems the right time for cricket clubs, too,” Richard Gould, the Chief Executive of Surrey was quoted in The Telegraph.

Manoj Badale, the lead owner of the IPL team Rajasthan Royals told the same publication that the Champions League would bring a positive impact on the quality of T20 cricket.

Jacques Faul, the chief executive of CSA also supported the idea saying that the board would definitely consider it as there’s a need to find ways to reward domestic winners.

Lahore Qalandars CEO backs idea of T20 Champions League